WHAT ARE BED BUGS? HOW DO YOU TREAT THEM?

What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed solely upon the blood of warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs and their relatives have evolved as nest parasites. Certain kinds inhabit bird nests and bat roosts and await the return of their hosts; others have adapted well to living in the ‘nests’ (homes) of people. Hatchling bed bugs are about the size of a poppy seed, and adults are about 1/4 of an inch in length. Looking from above they are an oval in shape, but are flattened from top to bottom when viewing them from the side. Their color ranges from nearly white (just after molting) or a light tan to a deep brown or burnt orange. The host’s blood may appear as a dark red or black mass within the bug’s body. Bed bugs will leave behind dark red to brown stains from fecal waste as spots on the bedding. Because they never develop wings, bed bugs cannot fly. When disturbed, bed bugs are extreemly fast and actively seek shelter in dark cracks and crevices of the sheets of the bed. You will need to search very quickly for them when pulling the sheets back.

Bed Bug Expert Bill Carlson Shows You How to Naturally Treat Your Home for a Bed Bug Infestation

What Do Bed Bugs Do?
Bed Bugs seek out people and animals including your pets. Any warm blooded animal will do. Generally at night while they're asleep, and painlessly sip a few drops of blood. Bed Bugs prefer the dark. While feeding, they inject a tiny amount of their saliva into the skin which acts as an anesthtetic, which is why you can not feel them bit you. Then they inject an anticoagulant into their victim so that the blood does not stop flowing while they feed. Repeated exposures to bed bug bites during a period of several weeks or more causes people to become sensitized to the saliva of these bugs; additional bites may then result in mild to intense allergic responses, and in some cases anemia can develop. The skin lesion produced by the bite of a Bed Bug resembles those caused by many other kinds of blood feeding insects, such as mosquitoes and fleas. The severity can depend on the alergic reaction that the person or animal has to the bites from nothing at all to an extreemly severe reaction.

How Do Bed Bugs Get In Your Home?
Because Bed Bugs hide in small cracks and crevices, they may accompany luggage, furniture, clothing, pillows, boxes, and other such objects as stowaways when moved between apartments, homes, hotels and even movie theaters. Used furniture, particularly bed frames and mattresses, are of greatest risk of harboring bed bugs and their eggs. Thus, you should carefully scrutinize and consider the history of any used furniture, particularly ‘street’ items so plentiful at the beginning and end of each academic year. Because they readily survive for many months without feeding, Bed Bugs may already be present in apparently ‘vacant’ and ‘clean’ apartments. Bed Bugs can wander between adjoining apartments through voids in walls and holes though which wires and pipes pass.

We suggest the use of bed bug mattress encasements on both your mattress and box spring to prevent and encase any suspecting matress items. This will seal in any eggs or bed bugs left behind and eventually they will suffocate and die. This also prevent harboring bed bugs in cracks and fold of the bed.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Looking from above they are an oval in shape, but are flattened from top to bottom when viewing them from the side. Their color ranges from nearly white (just after molting) or a light tan to a deep brown or burnt orange.


Bed bugs can be smaller than 1/2 of a grain of rice and if they have not fed will be a very light brown to translucent color. This makes them very hard to detect when they are in the larvae stage of development.

How Do I Search for Bed Bugs?
Carefully inspect the bed frame, mattress, and other furniture for signs of bed bugs and their eggs. Other areas that become suspect when looking for bed bugs include alarm clocks, picture frames and other items hanging on the walls, and even computers. Although dead bed bugs, cast bug skins and blood spots may indicate an infestation occurred previously; they do not confirm that an infestation is still active. Search for live (crawling) bugs and ensure they are bed bugs before considering treating. Keep in mind the eggs can be as small as a poppy seed or 1/2 a grain of rice, and the larvae as small as a full grain of rice.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Generally bed bug bites look like typical mosquito or flea bites, which are red, raised bumps. While feeding, they inject a tiny amount of their saliva into the skin. Repeated exposures to bed bug bites during a period of several weeks or more causes people to become sensitized to the saliva of these bugs; additional bites may then result in mild to very intense allergic responses which should be monitored very closely.



Typical picture of bed bug bites

 

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