This insect has a famous history as a bloodsucker and this name is due to its tendency to feed on people. The bed bug primarily attacks humans at night in bed when one is sleeping but can feed on any warm blooded animal such as birds, mice, cats, dogs, and other pets. The bed bug is found worldwide and probably came to the US from Europe in the 17th century.
These insects were easily controlled by many insecticides, such as DDT, but then the environmentalists caused the good chemicals to be banned. In the last few years, the treatment methods have also modified so as not to contaminate any person. With these changes the bedbugs have rebounded to huge numbers, especially in areas where there is a lot of people movement from one country to another and in many tourist areas.
Adults are just under a 1/4” long and are relatively flat, nearly as wide as long, and oval in shape compared to most other insects. The color is very light tan when hatched or just after a molt, brown before feeding, and after a blood meal has been eaten they will turn to dark reddish brown because of the blood in the gut. The body may have short golden hairs and will exude a “sickening sweet” smell from glands on its body. There are many types of bed bugs and related insects but we are only interested in the ones that feed on us.
Reproduction and Biting
Female bedbugs can lay over 500 eggs over a lifetime and each bed bug will molt or shed its shell five times as it grows and a blood meal is required for each molt. If blood meals become scarce, bed bugs can slow their life process until a blood meal source is found. They can live for at least a year without a blood meal. The saliva of the bed bug may cause a swelling on many people when they are bitten but they do not leave a wound and one cannot feel the bite. Swelling may include redness in some sensitive people. People do not know that they are bitten at night until the next morning when they notice red spots on the skin and blood spots in the sheets.
At the present time no one has gotten a disease from a bed bug bite. This may be a result of their night time habits.
The bed bug is able to crawl into very small crevices in and around the human environment. These include between mattresses, bed frames, seams in bed linens, upholstery, behind wood trim, cabinets, behind pictures, inside electrical boxes, in floor boards, behind wallpaper, and in any other area near a blood meal that will hide a very thin insect. Note, however, that bed bugs will move distances at night for a blood meal which is why infestations commonly occur in beds, so merely washing bed linens or other infested areas might not eliminate the source. Treatment must include the whole area, such as baseboards, bed frames, furniture in the room, and absolutely everything in the infested area. Bed bugs are also excellent at relocating to new sites by hitching rides in luggage, boxes, shoes, clothes, and any other mobile material.
World class hotels have reported bed bug infestation recently due to the increased domestic and international mobility of society.
Commonly, the first sign of bed bug infestation is the appearance of small brownish or reddish dots on bed linens. These are fecal spots or droppings on the surface of linens from these bugs. Occupants may also notice swelling where they have been bitten but not everyone will notice this.
The first step of control is to have a pest management professional such as Bugs R Gone, thoroughly inspect the area. This inspection is required to determine the places where the bed bugs are hiding. Once the inspection is complete, the pest control professional will determine the proper type of control technique; treat the area and most likely return for a follow up inspection. The experience of others indicates that many applications may be necessary and in heavy infestations weekly and monthly treatments will be necessary to control them.
CALL Dr. Bugman @ Bugs R Gone 330-674-0371 or