Bed bugs, of the Cimicida family, are small visible bugs the size of an apple seeds that feed on warm-blooded animals. Although bed bugs have been around even before biblical times, they have recently exploded in population worldwide especially in more populated areas such as New York City, London and Mexico City.
To better understand bed bugs we must first understand how they live. Bed bugs feed directly on their host every 4-7 days for 5-10 minutes before retreating back to their hiding place often within 5 feet of the bed. They are most active between 4-6 am when their host is deep alseep. Before bed bugs begin feed, they first inject a local anesthetic so the host doesn’t notice they’re there along with an anti-coagulant to prevent the blood flow from clotting. After feeding bed bugs retreat back to their hiding place until their next feeding.
Contrary to popular belief, cleanliness and hygiene have nothing to do with bed bugs. Bed bugs, unlike cockroaches, do not feed on garbage so keeping a clean home will not prevent you from having bed bugs. All that is needed for a bed bug infestation is simply exposure to one.
Where Bed Bug Hide
Bed bugs can often be found along the seams of the mattress or inside the box spring and corner guards. They can also be found inside walls, along baseboards, inside alarm clocks, picture frames, headboards and furniture. Many people have trouble finding bed bugs as they normally only active at night and are good hiders. If you can fit a credit card inside a crack there is a good chance that a bed bug can also fit inside.
How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can be normally distinguished through a visible encounter or by examining signs they leave behind. Common signs include small blood droplets or black fecal matter they leave behind. Small red bite marks in a row are also indicative of bed bugs. If bites are found a thorough inspection of the room can often confirm the presences of bed bugs.
Where Bed Bugs Came From
Bed bugs are nothing new in the United States, but were almost eradicated during the 1930-1950 through the use of pesticides such as DDT. DDT had been used liberally against cockroaches during this time period, which was also indirectly effective against bed bugs as well. It was later found that DDT caused health issues with wildlife such as the Bald Eagle and it was banned in the 1970’s. From the 70’s on pest control professionals began using more natural remedies against roaches such as bait traps, which had no effect at all against bed bugs. It was only a matter of time until bed bugs, with nothing being used to kill them, increased their numbers dramatically. Over the past few years bed bug cases have increased over 500% with new cases continually increasing.
How Do I Get Bed Bug
People are often exposed to bed bugs by coming into contact with an area that has them. This includes areas where people frequently come and go such as hotels, hospitals, cruise ships, airplanes and buses. Bed bugs can easily attach themselves to clothing, suitcases or bags making their way home with the host where they quickly lay eggs and multiply. Each female bed bug can lay over 500 eggs during their lifetime.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can be eradicated through the use of a professional pest control operator or by purchasing treatment products and following a proven treatment protocol.
Along with either course of action bedding encasements should be applied. Bedding encasements protect your mattress and box spring against invading bed bugs and well as treat mattress sets that are infested with bed bugs. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to throw away their mattresses. Mattresses are expensive costing hundreds of dollars to replace. If the mattress or box springs are ever infested, they can be easily encased with bedding covers trapping any hiding bed bugs inside. Eventually these hiding bed bugs will die of starvation as they can only feed on a live blood source.