What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bug infestation is an epidemic throughout North America and the world. It is important to get the proper information in order to understand how to react when you encounter bed bugs. Bed bugs easily travel in suit cases, on clothes, through baseboards, electrical outlets and many other ways. By having a flattened body, they fit in small locations in boxsprings, mattresses, under wallpaper, behind picture frames, electrical outlets and even electronics. They are able to survive for weeks without feeding. Bed bugs have the ability to go dormant for their entire life cycle if there is no food available.
Bed Bug Description
Bed bugs are wingless so they do not fly or jump. They have oval bodies and are flattened, allowing them to fit in cracks and crevices where they spend the majority of their life. Adults are brown but darken to a blood red after feeding. Young bed bugs are light brown to almost clear in colour and after feeding, their bodies become red from the blood. A female bed bug will lay at least 200 eggs throughout her life, averaging 2-4 per day. The eggs are white and are 1mm long. Bed bug eggs are sticky and favourite laying areas include cracks and crevices.
Bed Bug Feeding
Bed bugs feed on humans and animals. They are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide that we produce. Typical feeding areas are where they feel most comfortable and can include the cracks and crevices located on the body (but will feed anywhere blood is available). Bites may be noticed right after feeding or may take up to 7 days to appear. Bed bugs are nocturnal but will be active when disturbed.
Main Areas of Concern for Bed Bugs
- Headboard & Head of bed
- Foot of bed & Bed frame
- End Tables
- Picture Frames
Steps that will help prevent transferring Bed Bugs home from your travels:
At the hotel
- Light-coloured luggage
- Check bedding or areas of concern for signs and activity
- DO NOT put luggage on bed
- DO NOT bring your pillows or blankets
- Keep luggage on a luggage stand or close by area and inspect stand
- DO NOT unpack luggage into dressers
- If you see activity, notify hotel (switch rooms or leave hotel)
- Bring luggage to quarantine area (garage, kitchen, laundry room)
- Wash all clothes before returning to bedroom
- Placing all items into dryer at a half capacity for a full cycle will kill all stages of bed bugs
- Inspect all items in luggage
- Vacuum luggage, changing bag after washing nozzles with hot water