Bed Bugs come from the Cimicidae family and feed by sucking blood from humans, small animals and rodents with their piercing mouthparts. They are approximately .05mm or 1/5” long and are usually brown or red in color. Although these wingless, flat-structured bugs are not known to spread diseases, their infestation in the home can be quite troublesome.
Notoriously associated with filthy housing conditions, bed bugs have been found in the finest hotels. People can also transport these dreaded bugs on their clothing from buses, planes and even movie theaters.
In a suitable environment, the female bed bug can lay hundreds of eggs in groups up to 50 on surfaces such as fabric, paper and wood. Hatching takes place in approximately 1.5 to 2 weeks; and based on the right conditions, an adult will emerge within several weeks or up to several months.
Bed bugs get their name because research shows that approximately 85% of bed bugs are found on or near the bed.
They have also been found on upholstered furniture, behind loose wallpaper, along baseboards and under picture frames. Often attacking at night, the saliva injected into the skin can result in itchy skin with large areas of swelling skin. It is often difficult to distinguish a bed bug bite from other insect bites such as mosquitoes or spiders.
How to determine if you have a Bed Bug Infestation. Look for these signs:
- Red or brown stains on bed sheets
- Tiny dark spots which are bed bug excrement
- White eggs or eggshells, which are very tiny (about 1mm)
- Skins shed from the nymphs stage
In a well-lit room and with the aid of a magnifying glass, search all surfaces of the bed including headboard, box spring and upholstered furniture.
Prevention Methods: Since Bed bugs are brought into the home through a variety of ways, always be vigilant when buying second-hand bedding material or upholstered furniture. If you suspect any bed bug activity, do not bring an infested item into your home. When traveling, use luggage racks provided instead of placing bags on the floor or bed. Check the mattress and headboard before sleeping, and as a precaution, wash your clothes immediately after a trip.