What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are extremely small insects: 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch long. They have a flat, oval, and reddish brown colored appearance. Those that eat well can live to be a year old. Those that do not eat well will go into a dormant state and live longer, up to eighteen months.
Due to their size, bed bugs can hide almost anywhere. Their favorite spots tend to be in the creases of mattresses, couches, recliners, or really any place near the host. They will even hide in the battery compartment of an alarm clock.
These pests come out at night to mate and feed off of their human host. If no human host can be found, they will also feed off of other warm-blooded animals like birds. Feeding takes only five to ten minutes, and they do it every five to ten days. They prefer to feed an hour before dawn, which is generally when their human host is in the deepest stage of sleep.
They find their host by detecting exhaled carbon dioxide. Once the host is found, they begin to feed by injecting two hollow tubes in the host’s skin. One tube is for saliva, which works as an anti-coagulant and anesthetic. The other tube draws blood. A person generally doesn’t notice a bed bug bite until hours later because of the time it takes for the body to have a reaction to agents in the bed bug’s saliva. Once the reaction occurs, the bite will start to itch.
A Feeding Nymph
The adult female lays around five eggs a day. The eggs take four to twelve days to hatch. Young bed bugs, called nymphs, molt as they grow. They molt a total of five times before being considered an adult. Young bed bugs are transparent until they begin to molt.
Bed Bug Life Cycle
How Do I Get Bed Bugs? Can They Be Prevented?
Bed bugs can be found ANYWHERE. They do not discriminate. They go to wherever they detect warmth and carbon dioxide. It is hard to prevent them from invading because they are hard to find.
Travelling frequently and taking in second hand furniture are big risks. Bed bugs are becoming extremely common in hotels, and the furniture you find might have actually been disposed of because of bed bug problems.
Bed bugs are hard to prevent, but bagging up your luggage when staying at a hotel and checking your luggage when you’re about to leave could save you a load of trouble in the long run. Also, check the creases of furniture if you are staying in a hotel room or bringing it into your home.
Bed bugs crawling on a mattress
Will They Give Me A Disease?
No. Bed bugs do not carry any diseases. If you are bitten, the bite will itch like a mosquito bite does. The bites appear small and red like any other bug bite. On the rare chance that you are allergic, you might break out (in which case you should contact your doctor).
How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?
There are a few signs that signify you have bed bugs. Check for small, dark spots on sheets, pillows, under the mattress, and in the creases of the mattress. The dark spots may be blood, bed bug feces, skin, or eggs. These dark spots, along with small, red bites on the skin indicate bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug Treatment Prep. Instructions:
BEFORE BED BUG TREATMENT:
1. It is mandatory that tenant, owner, occupant or their representative is home when the technician arrives to allow proper access and to help address any problem that may occur.
2. As a safety concern, it is also mandatory for the occupants of the dwelling to leave the premises during application process and that the dwelling remains empty for at least 21/2 to 4 hours after treatment. When occupants re-enter, all windows must be opened and left open for at least 2 hours (if possible)
3. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO VACUUM THOROUGHLY (!) every other day 2 weeks before and after treatment. Also vacuum bed frames, mattress, box spring, baseboards and other objects and flooring near the bed. Discard or empty vacuum bag prperly.
4. Remove clutter off floors and away from walls.
5. Remove any items that are mounted to the walls (ex. pictures, mirrors), but do not remove these items from the room.
6. Prior to service, all bedding from all beds should be thoroughly washed and dried for a minimum of 20 minutes at high heat to kill any bed bug eggs that may be on them. This includes all sheets, bedspreads, linens, duvet covers, mattress pads, etc. After you have cleaned and dried the bedding, these items must be placed in sealed bags and moved to a separate area of the apartment. Each bed in the apartment must be naked when the Technician arrives for service. All sofa beds, futons, pull out beds, etc. must be left open and naked prior to our arrival.
7. Prior to service clothing stored in dressers, closets, nightstands, chests, etc., in all bedroom(s) should be thoroughly washed and dried for a minimum of 20 minutes at high heat to kill any bed bug eggs that may be on them. After you have cleaned and dried these items, they must also be placed in sealed bags and moved to a separate area of the apartment. The object here is to remove and sanitize everything possible that is kept in bedrooms to avoid the reintroduction of bed bugs back into the treated area.
8. The success of the treatment partially depends on how much access does our technician has to the area that is being treated.
9. Purchase (2) mattress covers for mattress and box spring and have them available for our technician, or place the treated mattress and box-spring in covers.
1. Open as many windows as possible (weather permitting)
2. Leave your home for 2½ to 4 hours or until the spray has dried. Keep pets and children off treated surfaces until the spray has dried.
3. Vacuuming bed frames, box springs, and mattresses, especially the edges, tufts, and folds, as well as baseboards, using a crevice tool, is mandatory and strongly recommended after the service is completed.
4· Do not transport any cleaned items back into the bedrooms using the same bags that they were originally stored in prior to service. Remove all cleaned items from their respective sealed bags and immediately discard these bags properly.
5. Allow mattresses to dry completely before remaking them. Install mattress covers on mattress and box spring.
6. It is not uncommon to be bitten following treatment. You need to give the treatment time to work – at least 7-10 days. If instructions are not followed, you will significantly reduce the chance of eliminating the bedbug problem.
7. DO NOT CLEAN FLOORS FOR 2-3 WEEKS! Carpeted areas can be vacuumed. Avoid the use of any ammonia or bleach product in the bedroom(s) for 30 days to prevent neutralizing the residual materials applied by the Technician.
IF THE PREPARATION REQUIREMENTS ARE NOT MET, TREATMENT MAY BE INEFFECTIVE AND ADDITIONAL APPOINTMENT MAY BE NECESSARY.
DUE TO THE INSIDIOUS NATURE OF BEDBUGS, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ADDITIONAL TREATMENTS MAY BE NECESSARY.
TO ELIMINATE THE PROBLEM, HEAVILY INFESTED MATTRESSES, BOX SPRINGS, AND/OR BED FRAMES MUST BE PROPERLY DISCARDED. HEAVILY INFESTED MATTRESSES, BOX SPRINGS, OR BED FRAMES CANNOT BE TREATED EFFECTIVELY WITHOUT DESTROYING THEM AND/OR CREATING A SAFETY OR HEALTH RELATED RISK FOR THE OCCUPANTS.