Bedbug FAQ’s - About Bedbugs
What are bedbugs?
Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that feed on warm-blooded animals. Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened insects. They measure approximately 4-5 mm in length and can easily be seen with the naked eye. Bedbug nymphs are much smaller and are often translucent and more difficult to see without the aid of a microscope. The group of insects that are commonly called bedbugs includes species that feed on other animals such as birds and bats. Human bedbugs are found throughout the world.
NOTE: It is very difficult to distinguish bedbugs from related insects (such as bat bugs and swallow bugs). Make sure you have an expert identify the insects before starting a treatment program.
How do bedbugs feed?
Bedbugs feed on human blood. They are nocturnal and prefer to feed in the predawn hours (2 to 4 a.m.). During the day they stay relatively motionless, hiding in cracks and crevices. They are most often found hiding in the vicinity of where the host’s head lies while sleeping (pillow, headboard). At night, bedbugs come out of hiding and are attracted to their human host by the carbon dioxide and heat that is given off by a sleeping person. When they begin to feed, bedbugs inject anti-coagulants (to keep the blood flowing) and anesthetics, which prevent the host from feeling the bite and waking up. The insects will feed for 3 to 5 minutes and then retreat back to its hiding place.
Basic bedbug biology.
Female bedbugs lay 3 to 4 eggs per day and will lay up to 250 eggs in a lifetime. Eggs normally hatch in 6 to 10 days and the new nymphs actively seek out their first “bloodmeal”. Nymphs will mold 5 times to reach the adult stage. The nymphs require a bloodmeal before each molt, but, once they reach the adult stage they can survive for many months without a meal.
How do bedbugs get into a home?
Bedbugs commonly are easily carried by humans from place to place because they “hitchhike” on personal belongings such as luggage, furniture and mattresses. Bedbugs do not normally travel on a person’s body.
How do bedbugs spread?
Once they are in a house or apartment, bedbugs will readily spread from room to room or unit to unit. Because these very flat insects can fit into tight cracks and crevices, they easily spread throughout a large building.
How do I know if I have Bedbugs in my home?
If you suspect you may have bed bugs, look for the following signs:
- Small flat insects in cracks and crevices near the bed
(On and around the headboard, bed frame, under the mattress, etc.)
- Small black dots
(on the back of the headboard, on or under the mattress)
- Multiple red, itchy welts on the skin
What do I do if I have bedbugs in my home?
Call a Pest Management Professional! Once a home is infested with bed bugs, treatment is expensive, difficult and time-consuming and should be done by a pest control specialist.
How is a home treated for a bedbug infestation?
A typical bedbug treatment involves numerous visits by a pest control company. Bedbugs do not just infest beds. They will nest in cracks and crevices throughout the room. Every item in the infested area of a house or apartment must be treated with chemicals and heat. Infested mattresses, boxsprings and padded furniture should be treated. Bedbug eggs are difficult to locate and may not hatch for several weeks. For this reason, inspections should be done every two weeks to insure that a re-infestation does not occur in a treated area.
People are bringing home more than souvenirs in their luggage when they travel. Bedbugs are frequently hitching rides with travelers in their luggage.
Which hotels might have bedbugs?
Bed bugs can be found in any hotel, and this includes economy motels as well as 5-star resorts.
How do I prevent bringing home bedbugs when I travel?
While there is no sure way to prevent bedbugs from getting into your luggage, there are some precautions you can take to reduce the chances.
- As soon as you enter your hotel room check for evidence of bedbugs:
- Look on and under the mattress for bugs or black spots).
- Remove and examine the headboard.
- Do not keep your luggage on the floor or on the bed. The best place to keep your suitcase is on the fold-out stand that is commonly found in the closet.
When you leave, enclose any clothing that has been on the floor in plastic bags