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 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 and Bites
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
Bed bugs can easily nestle into fabrics and furniture pieces and can commonly be found in the following areas:
- Headboard & Head of bed
- Foot of bed & Bed frame
- End Tables
- Picture Frames
See how a bed bug infestation can easily extend to the walls of a home:
Are Bed Bugs Easy to See?
Bed bugs, eggs and nymphs themselves are visible to the naked eye, but often are difficult to detect as they will hide in crevices or cracks. It’s also quite easy to detect signs of bed bugs. You will notice dark reddish or brown spots on sheets or mattresses which are bed bug excrement or blood.
Are Bed Bugs Attracted to Light?
Bed bugs do prefer the darkness and are generally considered nocturnal creatures who will feed during the night. They are not sensitive to light and are known to come out during the day time or when lights are on to take part in a blood meal, particularly if they have not eaten in some time or if a host is nearby.
Are Bed Bugs Nocturnal?
Bed bugs are generally considered nocturnal creatures, feeding once or twice per week mostly at night. Bed bugs typically come out and feed between 2am and 5am, however, if a host sleeps during the day, bed bugs are known to alter their feeding schedule and feed during the day.
Can Bed Bugs Jump?
Bed bugs are not capable of jumping. They are also incapable of flight and do not have wings. Bed bugs move and relocate by crawling from host to host and nesting into clothing, crevices, luggage, furniture and more.
Can Bed Bugs Live on Dogs and Cats?
Although bed bug bites are a concern for humans, bed bugs are known to feed on all mammals, including pets like dogs and cats. As they do with humans, a bed bug bite will result in a red, itchy welt on your pet. Bed bugs are considered a lower threat than other pests, but the itchy bite can lead to skin irritations for cats and dogs.
What Do Bed Bugs Feed On?
Bed bugs will typically feed on any blood source available to them to sustain themselves. Some bed bugs prefer the blood of specific mammals and may even require the blood of specific mammals in order to lay eggs.
Can You Starve a Bed Bug?
Yes, you can starve a bed bug, however, bed bugs can survive quite some time without feeding, some lasting up to 5 months. It all depends on their age and resistance to certain factors.
Will Bed Bugs Go Away on Their Own?
Bed bugs are extremely resistant and are known to survive for months between feedings. Bed bugs will not simply ‘go away’ on their own and are known to withstand some chemicals and treatments. A diligent and professional pest control plan may be the only viable solution to a bed bug infestation.
ASAP Pest Control’s Bed Bug Services & Best Practices
ASAP Pest Control ensures that bed bug infestations are properly identified, located and managed by following a series of steps and best practices:
- Their experienced pest control technicians will apply residual pesticide, eliminating the number of possible bed bugs.
- ASAP Pest Control technicians follow a well-planned out checklist to ensure that each crack and crevice is treated to prolong the process of eliminating bed bugs.
- Extremely thorough inspection to locate new possible holes and areas of concern
- Ongoing monitoring of traps and areas of concern where bed bugs may return
- The ASAP Pest Control technician will work with the home or business owner to identify the location bed bugs may be entering
For more information about bed bugs and to find out how ASAP Pest Control can help to manage a bed bug infestation, contact their professional technicians today.
Below, we’ve identified a few steps that will help prevent transferring Bed Bugs home from your travels:
At a hotel
- Use light-coloured luggage – although black luggage is one of the most common colours for suitcases, it makes it more difficult to see if bed bugs have nestled on or in your suitcase.
- Check bedding or areas of concern for signs [of bed bugs]
- DO NOT put luggage on bed,bed bugs can easily transfer from a headboard or bedding onto your luggage
- DO NOT bring your pillows or blankets
- Keep luggage on a luggage stand or close by area and inspect the stand for signs of a bed bug infestation
- DO NOT unpack luggage into dressers. Bed bugs can easily nest into furniture pieces
- If you see any bed bug activity in your room, notify your hotel as soon as possible (switch rooms or leave hotel).
- Bring luggage to quarantine area (garage, kitchen, laundry room) to properly identify any signs of bed bugs that may have found their way into your luggage.
- Wash all clothes before returning to bedroom, preferable in warm or hot water.
- 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
- Avoid purchasing second-hand furniture, it’s an easy target for bed bugs