Bed bugs are becoming a significant problem in this country and around the world. Bed bugs are easily spread and can be difficult to treat, resulting in a rapid growth in the number of outbreaks.
Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and other mammals. Fortunately, bed bugs have not been shown to transmit any diseases. However, the fear of bed bug infestations and bed bug bites can lead to emotional distress. Bed bug bites do not hurt, but they may result in itchy welts, which cause discomfort and can become infected if scratched too much. Treating the bites soothes irritation, but it can still be very distressing if there are multiple bites, which often occurs with bed bugs.
Bed Bug Prevention
The keys to protecting your home and family from bed bugs is familiarizing yourself with bed bug prevention and recognizing the signs of a bed bug infestation. While there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of an infestation, Aerex recommends calling a professional bed bug exterminator if you discover them in your home. Trying to treat a bed bug problem yourself can actually worsen the infestation or even cause it to spread to other areas of your home.
Bed Bug Quick Facts
- Adult bed bugs are anywhere from 1–5 mm long, about the size of a small apple seed. Before feeding they are a flattened oval shape and light brown or rust colored, but they become rounder and darker after a meal.
- Bed bugs do not have wings, but can crawl relatively fast.
- A bed bug can complete its development from an egg to an adult in as little as 1 month.
- A single bed bug female can produce up to 200–500 eggs in her lifetime.
- Adult bed bugs can survive approximately 1 year without feeding; immature bed bugs (nymphs) can go 3–4 months without feeding.
- Bed bugs are nocturnal, lured out of their hiding spots at night by the warmth of our bodies and the carbon dioxide we exhale as we sleep.
Identifying the Presence of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are notoriously elusive creatures and very good at hiding, making them difficult to spot. Instead of looking for actual bed bugs, looking for evidence of their presence is an effective way to identify an infestation:
- Tiny, dark stains on bed sheets, mattresses, furniture or elsewhere
- Bed bug shell casings
- A subtle sweet, musty odor
- Unexplained bug bites or red, itchy bumps
Common Hiding Places for Bed Bugs
- Bedrooms — in crevices or seams of the bed mattress and box spring, in cracks or corners of the bed frame and headboard and in furniture surrounding the bed
- Living Rooms — in the seams and between cushions of upholstered furniture, in the folds of window curtains and in drawer corners and joints
- Floors & Walls — in cracks and crevices, behind and around baseboards, molding and window frames, inside and around electrical outlets and switch plates, under loose wallpaper and behind wall hangings
Sources of Bed Bugs
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not the result of poor housekeeping or unsanitary conditions. In fact, they are always brought into your home on clothing, luggage or furniture.
The most common source of bed bugs is staying at a hotel with an infestation. Bed bugs attach themselves and/or their eggs to your clothing or suitcases, which are then transported home. It is important to check for signs of bed bugs prior to staying in a hotel room. If there are any signs of bed bugs when staying at a hotel, notify the hotel staff immediately. Take great care in bringing your personal belongings home to avoid introducing the infestation into your home.
Another common source of bed bugs is bringing home secondhand furniture that is infested. If you purchase any secondhand furniture, mattresses or boxsprings, thoroughly inspect them for signs of bed bugs before bringing them into your home.
Bed bugs can also migrate to adjoining rooms through wall or floor cavities. If your home has bed bugs and you live in an apartment or condominium, please be considerate to your neighbors and act promptly.
Aerex Has the Solution
The pest control experts at Aerex understand the importance of timeliness when it comes to bed bug control. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators.
At Aerex we pride ourselves on fast, responsive service every day. All appointments are scheduled at times that are convenient for you. Call us for a free consultation at 847-255-8888. We also recommend heading over to our Resource Center to see what preparations you must do before bed bug extermination can be done in your home.
Did you know
Many individuals erroneously associate bedbugs with filthy conditions. In truth, they are attracted by exhaled carbon dioxide and not dirt, and feed off blood, not waste.