It’s a common pest that invades their human or animal host, sucks on their blood and causes itchy, irritating bites. It is the dreaded Bed Bug. Bed Bugs are parasitic insects that feed on blood, multiply quickly, and can live anywhere in the home. Cimex Lectularius is the latin name for what is known as the common bed bug. Bed Bugs are wingless and small in size with a oval flattened shape. However, after they feed, they can double in size. They can appear translucent and lighter in color when first hatched then turn light brown to a reddish brown when they are adults. Bed bugs need to feed regularly as this helps with their survival, reproduction and laying eggs. They are also really smart and really hard to exterminate. They can live for a year without feeding which allows them to wait until a chemical pesticide wears off and they can begin their infestation.
So why are they called Bed Bugs?
They are called bed bugs because of their prefered habitat: human homes. Bed bugs prefer sofas, bed mattress, clothing, dressers and most recently airplanes. They are stoways that like to hide and are adaptable which allows an infestation to quickly occur in any environment. And most of the time they can be hard to find. Most bed bugs peak feeding time on their host is during midnight and 5 am which is when the host is usually sleeping. Bed bug bites can appear as blisters, skin rashes, allergic reactions or they can even appear invisible. In some cases it can take up to two weeks for a bite to appear visible. There are several clues that could point to an infestation happening such as bed bug shells and fecal droppings or spots on your mattress or bed.
So how do you get rid of Bed Bugs?
This is where it gets tricky. Bed Bug infestations are very difficult to treat and since they can hide very easily, this makes it challenging as well. There are several methods you can use. First and foremost is to call your local pest control company since they are experts in bed bug situations. Next you need to tackle the infested items. Items that are small and treatable can be kept in a sealed plastic bag until the treatment has worked. Small items that can not be treated should be put in sealed plastic bags for an extended period of time until the bugs are dead, then discard in an outside container. Discard all furniture or mattresses that can not be treated or salvaged. You can burn it or you can spray paint “Bed Bugs” on the items so others will not collect the discarded furniture or mattress for themselves. You also need to contact your trash collection agency for discarded items to be picked up immediately. Be sure to give your home and all items a deep, thorough cleaning several times,especially on the furniture that can be salvaged. Be sure to check your home every week for bed bugs and their eggs.
Bed Bugs are a national epidemic that spreads easily if proper precaution is not taken. So be sure to inspect all items before they enter your home.