Infestations of bed bugs were up 70% in 2010, as were the number of reported infestations! The
nightmare begins when a bed bug finds its way into your clothing; it usually happens at a hotel but
can start anywhere. (Apartment complexes are famous for this.)
Hospitals, businesses, homes, buses, movie theatres and care homes are just a few places where
bed bugs are being reported. It is said that bed bugs don’t transmit disease from feeding on your
blood; however, an engorged bed bug can burst at the slightest bit of pressure exposing you to
human blood. If that blood is infected, then you run a risk of infection as well. A few simple
precautions can prevent the nightmare from ever happening. We provide you with information on
how to deal with infestations and most important, how to protect yourself during travel!
Finding bed bugs in your home has nothing to do with poor hygiene, although keeping your home
free of as much clutter as possible helps to identify them easier. It takes only one bed bug to hitch
a ride on your clothing (furniture, suitcase, etc) and infest your residence. What’s worse is that
they can live up to one year without drinking a drop of your blood. Feeding takes about 10 to 15
minutes for adults and less for the nymphs; they feed about every three days. Depending on the
conditions, bed bug nymphs can survive for months without feeding.
Bed bugs are insects, more specifically, ‘True Bugs’, which have piercing mouthparts that in most
species are used for feeding on plants. Unfortunately, there are some species of bugs with
mouthparts that have been adapted to feed on human blood while inflicting very little pain (most
never feel the blood feeding). The eggs are white and about 1mm long. The nymphs look like
adults but are smaller. Complete development from egg to adult takes from four weeks to several
months depending on the temperature and amount of feed available. Bed bug bites are the best
way to determine if you have bed bugs. In the photo, you’ll see a client who was bitten by bed
bugs; he 'itched' throughout the night and when he went in to check, this is what he found!
Although the image to your left is a severe reaction, you may find that your bites are not this bad.
Please keep in mind not everyone reacts the same to bites. The grouping is a good sign and you
should start checking for 'mold like' spots on your mattress (which is not mold at all but blood). If
you have such a reaction, check with your doctor who may recommend an antihistamine or topical
cream to relieve any itching and or burning. Do not scratch the bites as this may lead to infection. If
you suspect you have an infestation, you should contact a licensed exterminator who can perform
a thorough inspection. You can try to do it yourself using the helpful tips below, but your odds are
a lot better by letting a licensed professional handle it.
When it comes to bed bug treatments, there are several methods used by pest control companies.
- Bed bugs are flat, brown, wingless and about 1/4 of an inch.
- They have 6 legs, shiny reddish-brown but after a good serving of your blood, they appear
dark brown and swollen as in the picture below.
- They can be seen with the human eye, but do a great job at hiding.
- Bed bugs are not known to carry diseases (as of yet).
- They feed on human blood preferring to do it in the dark when you’re sleeping.
- Simply using chemical treatments will not remove the infestation.
- These bugs love to hide in the seams of your mattress and also in sofa seams,
- Cracks in the bed frame and or head board,
- Under chairs, couches, beds and dust covers,
- Under rugs, edges of carpets, drawers, baseboards and window casings,
- Behind light switches, electrical outlet plates, cracks in plaster,
- Televisions, radios, clocks and phones,
- Backpacks, sleeping bags, clothes,
- Behind wallpaper, picture frames and other dark areas.
Through our experience we have found that a combination of these methods work best. These
include vacuuming, steam, insecticide with a insect growth regulator and a deltamethrin dust in wall
voids and electrical outlets. Once again, keep in mind that it usually takes more than one treatment
to rid your home of these parasites but using all of these methods together will help achieve a bed
bug free home in the least amount of time.
Click For Bed Bug reports in hotels and apartments from across the United States and Canada