What is a Bed Bug?
Bed bugs are a relatively common type of insect known for the fact that they feed on human blood, usually at night. They are prevalent throughout the globe and the number of infestations has been increasing. The increase in the number of infestations is believed to be a result of more traveling, more sales and purchase of used furniture, and greater resistance to pesticides.
Bed bugs are notorious for their extreme difficulty to completely eliminate once an infestation has begun. One of the reasons why they are so difficult to eliminate is because they can live up to 70 days without feeding.
In order to stop a bed bug infestation, several treatments are used, typically in combination:
- Heating the room where bed bugs are present to 122+ degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes or more
- Vacuuming often
- Washing clothes at high temperatures
- Application of different pesticides
What Does a Bed Bug Look Like?
Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown in color. Their bodies are flat and oval in shape, and can grow to be about a quarter inch in length and a tenth of an inch in width.
Immature, or nymph, bed bugs are translucent and lighter in color than adult bed bugs. They become browner as they moult and reach maturity.
Bed bugs are commonly mistaken for tiny cockroaches or carpet beetles. However, unlike cockroaches and carpet beetles, bed bugs move like ants when they are warm and active. Further, when crushed, bed bugs release a recognizable foul odor.
Bed bugs might be present if any of these signs can be observed:
- Blood stains on pillowcases or sheets
- Unpleasant odors on bedding and clothing
- Rusty-colored spots on walls, caused by bed bug feces
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Bed bug bites most often appear on exposed skin that is not usually covered at night by sheets or blankets: arms, shoulders, legs, feet, face, and neck.
Bed bug bites do not always produce symptoms. However, when they do produce symptoms, the bites usually appear as red, itchy dots on skin. They can be accompanied by inflammation surrounding the bites and other signs including:
- Painful burning sensations
- Raised itchy bumps with clear centers
Where to Look for Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs like to hide in places where people generally are or are near in the nighttime. Some examples of these places are:
- Mattresses and boxsprings
- Couches and other furniture
- Behind electrical switch and outlet covers
- Folded sheets, blankets, and comforters
In addition to these places, bed bugs can sometimes be found in luggage, backpacks, and in seat cushions, such as those in cars, buses, and trains. Bed bugs transported by hiding in places like this can be spread to new areas and cause fresh infestations.
Hire a Bed Bug Exterminator
Due to their extreme resiliency, only professional bed bug exterminators are capable of eliminating a bed bug infestation and prevent it from spreading.
As international travel has become more frequent, bed bugs are brought from all over the world, especially from countries that have high rates of bed bug infestations. Bed bugs from different countries respond differently to different pesticides. Pesticides that are effective against bed bugs from one region might not be effective on bed bugs from another region.
How can you find an exterminator trained and skilled to deal with bed bug infestations? By using Find A Pest Pro.
Find A Pest Pro is a free service that puts homeowners facing bed bugs and other infestations in touch with licensed, insured, and bonded exterminators throughout the United States.
If you suspect or are currently facing a bed bug infestation, visit FindAPestPro.com today.