Bed Bugs Control

Here are some key points about bed bugs.

  • Bed bugs, known scientifically as Cimex lectularius (Cimicidae) are small wingless insects that feed by hematophagy - exclusively on the blood of warm blooded-animals.
  • As we are warm-blooded animals, we are ideal hosts for bed bugs.
  • Most bed bugs feed on their hosts while they are asleep. The host supplies them with blood in a painless way, never knowing it is happening.
  • The most active time for a bed bug is about one hour before sunrise - the peak time for feeding.
  • Feeding takes about five minutes, after which the bug returns to its hiding place.
  • A female bed bug lays approximately 5 eggs in one day and about 500 during her lifetime.
  • Bites can sometimes take up to nine days to become visible. Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites do not usually have a red dot in the centre.
  • Bed bugs, like fleas, tend to bite in rows. There are likely to be two or three bites all in a row.
  • Since they can hide in so many places, they are not easy to eradicate. Unless you have a lot of time at your disposal, and limitless patience, it is advisable to get a professional in pest control.
Bed Bug Control

Identification

Bed Bugs are transported from place to place in or on a persons luggage or their bedding. They hide in cracks and crevices during the day where people sleep and will seek a blood meal by biting a person in their bed during the night. Bed bugs also need a blood meal to mature into adults. Bites can be very itchy and if scratched can become infected. Most bed bugs feed on their hosts while they are asleep. The host supplies them with blood in a painless way, never knowing it is happening. While feeding they inject a small amount of saliva into the host's skin. The more they feed on one particular host, say, human, over a period of several weeks, the more sensitized that human becomes to their saliva. Until eventually the host develops a mild to intense allergic response. People who have become sensitive to bed bug bites - their saliva - have lesions similar to mosquito or flea bites. Most humans will think they have been bitten by some insect, such as a mosquito, and never realize who the true culprit was. The common bed bug, (Cimex lectularius) has adapted well to human environments. It is found in temperate climates. Cimex hemipterus is more common in tropical regions and has mainly poultry and bats as its host. Leptocimex boueti found mainly in South America, and West Africa feeds chiefly on humans and bats. Haematosiphon inodora, of North America, feeds primarily on poultry

Bed Bug Biology

The bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is a nocturnal pest that feeds on blood and causes itchy, irritating bites. Bed bugs are usually 1/4 to 3/8 inch (4-5mm) long, with a flat, oval-shaped body. They are a rusty brown colour when unfed but after feeding swell in size and become a red-brown colour. Bed Bugs can reproduce rapidly, with female bed bugs lying over 500 eggs in a lifetime.

Where Can You Find Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs can be found anywhere that they can find a host to feed on. They can be found in such places as hotels, movie theatres, apartments, libraries, retail stores, dormitories, office buildings and more. In the home bed bugs hide near the piping, seams and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and head board. In heavily infested rooms bed bugs will hide in the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains, in drawer joints, in electrical receptacles and appliances, under loose wallpaper and wall hangings, even under the carpet. Although bed bugs are not known to carry the infectious disease, their bites are itchy and irritate the skin. Bed bugs are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide are given off by potential feeding sources and only feed at night (usually between 1-4 AM). Once they feed they return to their hiding places for digestion and typically feed every 5-10 days. Typically bed bugs are brought in the home by "hitch hiking" on suitcases, furniture or clothing. It is always important to check used items for bed bugs before bringing them into your home A proactive approach to bed bug prevention is the best method of keeping your home, family or even business safe from infestation. The best way to prevent bed bug infestation in your home is to be careful in places where people travel, such as hotels, apartment buildings or dormitories. When staying in hotels bed bugs can "catch a ride" and set up in your home, thus causing an infestation. Make sure to inspect your room for bed bugs and keep luggage on furniture racks and off of the floor. Also, be vigilant when acquiring used furniture and beds. If you can launder or place used items in a dyer for 10-20 seconds the chance of a bed bug infestation is largely reduced.

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