Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on blood. As adults, they resemble apple seeds in size and shape, they can easily infest a home or business in great numbers within a short period of time. Bed bug infestations are not easy to remedy, but the techniques of a skilled pest control company can help you get rid of them for good.
They have become a common household pest, biting people typically as they sleep. Since bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices in homes, and inside furniture, you may not find them until a pest control professional locates them for you. However, you may discover many signs of their presence before then, including bites on your family’s skin and evidence of brown fecal matter where they search for food.
What do they look like?
Bed bugs are tiny, flat, six-legged, oval-shaped insects that are the size of an apple seed. Adult bed bugs are about ¼ inch long and brown or reddish-brown in color. If they have been regularly feeding on blood, they may appear swollen, elongated, bright red and shiny. Newly hatched nymph bed bugs are colorless and range from 1-5mm in length.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs feed on blood from humans and other animals typically while they sleep. Their mouthparts inject a numbing substance onto the skin that keeps the food source from noticing the bite. The bed bug will then proceed to feast on blood, and may move on to other parts of the skin to finish up. If a bed bug is disturbed, or if they are not successful feeding initially, the bed bug will move on to other promising spots to feed. This is why when an individual experiences a bed bug bite, they often have more than one. Keep in mind that having several bed bug bites does not necessarily indicate the presence of more than one bed bug.
Bed bug bites are often small, but may become itchy, red and swollen welts depending on your reaction to them. They also may only become visible two to three days after the bite, and half of the population will not react at all.
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers, so not only will they hide in your home, they will also move from place to place by hiding in luggage, on clothing and on pre-owned furniture and home goods. However, bed bugs are also creatures of habit, so there are a few places you’re likely to find them if you’re going to find them at all:
Behind headboards and bed frames
In the folds and seams of mattresses and box springs
In furniture upholstery
Inside crevices in walls and baseboards
Behind frames or pictures on walls
Behind electronic devices like TVs
It’s especially important to be wary of bed bugs if you’re traveling, because no matter what kind of establishment you spend the night in, it could have bed bugs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to always check a rented room for bed bugs before staying in it overnight.
To make sure you don’t become the one who brings bed bugs home or allows them to travel from place to place, make sure you check your luggage for stowaways. Once you’re finished with your travels, wash all your travel clothing with hot water and dry on high heat to kill any that may have snuck in, and vacuum out your luggage before storing it. All it takes for a bed bug infestation to begin is one pregnant female bed bug finding a place to lay eggs undisturbed, so do your best to stay aware of what’s in your luggage when you travel.
What To Do About Bed Bugs?
The first thing you should do if you find evidence of bed bugs is call a pest control company. While the internet is full of tips that advise you on how to get rid of bed bugs, these insects are hardy creatures that are highly resistant to DIY pest control measures. While some home remedies may work temporarily, you’re more likely to allow the problem to become worse by not taking immediate professional action. Call or text us today if you have or think you may have bed bugs. We are here to help protect you and your family. To learn more about what our bed bug treatments look like click to learn more below.