We’re all familiar with common fleas, flies, moths and spiders inside our homes. But bed bugs are another story all together. You can almost guarantee if you find one there’s more hiding.
We’re going to teach you what you’re up against with bed bugs to help keep your problem from getting any worse. And then, we’re going to assist you in getting rid of them for good.
Bed Bugs 101
It’s important to know if it is bedbugs that you are dealing with so you don’t delay in treatment.
Anyone can get bed bugs. Bed bugs are not caused by poor sanitation or social status. But affordability for treatment causes problems in containment and control.
Understanding bed bugs, their habits and their reproduction cycle is of utmost importance. Those who don’t understand this tend to go longer before they treat for them. Within a few weeks, dozens of eggs hatch causing early stages of an infestation. When ignored, within six-months you can have exponential growth patterns that take over. This makes it ten times more difficult to treat.
A few bed bugs are not considered an infestation. But once they begin breeding and laying eggs, you will have the beginning of an infestation in 30 days or less.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are elusive, nocturnal creatures that feed only on blood. The adult bed bug is reddish brown in color, and approximately ¼ inch in length. The adults are very resilient, and can live several months without a blood meal.
Bed bugs move via hitchhiking. They often hide within 5-6 feet of where they are getting their blood meals. But will crawl considerable distances to get a blood meal.
With regular feedings and mating’s, a female bed bug can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. But these are not all deposited at one time.
The eggs attach to surfaces by a sticky substance. Temperature dependent, eggs hatch anywhere from three to ten days or longer. Fresh hatched bed bugs begin to feed immediately.
Nymph or Baby Bed Bugs
The bed bug (nymph) is translucent and pearl whitish in color. They become darker as they reach maturity. The nymph is not always easy to see. But after feeding the blood inside shows through their pale skin. The bed bug takes on the shape of a torpedo or football with an elongated trunk that is bright red in color. As digestion progresses, the bloods expelled and the bug flattens out.
They develop in approximately 22 to 36 days. From first nymph to adult varies according to temperature, blood meals and conditions. Nymphs take a blood meal, digestion occurs, time passes and the bed bug grows. During this developmental growth period, they shed their skin (or molt) as they grow to the next stage. They go through five immature stages before reaching the adult reproduction stage.
Bed Bug Hiding Places
As their name implies, bed bugs associate with areas where we sleep or relax. They’re found in the seams of mattresses, bed frames, headboards, and box springs. They may take up residency in or under any clutter or objects near a bed or lounging area. Remember, they want to be close to you so a meal isn’t far away.
Drawn by warm temperatures and carbon dioxide that you breathe, they feed on exposed skin. Their bites leave welts and bumps often in linear or cluster configurations. Not everyone reacts to bed bug bites the same. Others may have delayed reactions or can get serious rashes or even blisters.
Two people sharing the same bed may have different reactions or one of them, no reaction at all. Sleeping in a different room will cause bed bugs to seek you out and spreads them to different parts of the home.
Vacating a structure is not a solution and can make the problem more difficult to eliminate. They can lay dormant for lengths of time. As infestations build, bed bugs will not limit themselves to one area in your home. Over time and in the right conditions, they will infest your entire residence.