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Bed Bug Frequently Asked Questions

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Across the United States, everyone is checking under the covers before jumping into bed to avoid snuggling with an unwelcome bedfellow – the bed bug! While New York City has garnered the most attention for their onslaught of bed bug infestations, these parasites are popping up in American cities from coast to coast.

By educating yourself on bed bug signs, symptoms, prevention methods, and management options, you can keep your home safe and secure. Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about bed bugs. These answers can help guide you to the best bed bug control options for your home and family.

Has there been a resurgence in bed bugs in the U.S. and how do you know?

The number of bed bug infestations has risen. Our member pest control firms, who previously received one or two bed bug calls per year, now receive one to two each week. For further information, see the results of the National Pest Management Association’s 2018 Bugs Without Borders Survey.

How did I get bed bugs?

Bed bugs are referred to as “hitchhikers.” You can bring them home or transport them to other locations. They are attracted to heat, carbon dioxide, and other substances emitted by their victims. A business trip or vacation is the most common way to bring bed bugs home.

I just went on a business trip and have not noticed any bites, am I in the clear?

It could take weeks or months to realize you’ve brought bed bugs into your home. By the time you notice that you’ve been bitten, the problem has already taken root in your home. Rather than seeing an actual bed bug, you are more likely to notice the telltale signs of bed bugs. They can go for up to a year without eating.

How do bed bugs feed?

Bed bugs feed on their host’s blood. Later, the blood is expelled as a dark liquid similar to feces. This is what causes the stains that can be found in bed bug-infested areas. Bed bugs can feed on your pets if necessary. They will bite all over the human body, particularly the face, neck, upper torso, arms, and hands. Individual bed bugs require 3 to 15 minutes to feed. In a single feeding session, an adult bug can extract 7 times its body weight.

What do bed bugs look like?

After molting, bed bugs turn white, and after feeding, they turn a dark rusty color. Bed bugs have six legs, whereas ticks and spiders have eight legs. Their abdomen expands many times its original size after they have fed. Adult bed bugs measure about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long by 3/16 inch wide.

How do bed bugs multiply?

Female bed bugs glue their eggs in places where they can’t be seen. They lay up to 500 eggs in a lifetime and up to 5 eggs per day. Bed bug eggs are extremely small. They’re about a 1/32 of an inch long. When viewed from the side, they appear flat and are shiny, translucent, and milky white. They can be as small as the width of a business card. In three to five days, the eggs hatch.

How fast do bed bugs grow?

To maturity bed bugs go through five stages. Nymphs (newly hatched bugs) are similar to adults except that they are much smaller and almost colorless. They develop by molting. To molt to the next stage, each nymph must consume a blood meal.

Where do bed bugs hide?

They spend the majority of their time hiding. They prefer areas that are not disturbed. They usually hide in areas close to where people sleep. The mattress, box spring, and bed frame are the most common hiding places in homes. Typically found in the tufts, seams, and folds of mattresses and bed covers. The headboard is the best hiding place in hotel rooms. Typically, because hotel sheets are changed regularly.

Nightstands, lamps, clock radios, wall outlets, telephones, shoes, hangers, pet bedding, furniture, stuffed animals, wall hangings, and under carpets are some of the other places they have been known to hide. They can hide anywhere in the house, but they prefer to stay close to the food source (which is you). If your home has become “bed bug ground zero,” they will flee. They will even move from room to room and apartment to apartment looking for another host.

Are bed bugs only active at night?

They typically feed at night between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., but if they are hungry, they will feed during the day. It is also determined by their host. If the host sleeps during the day, they will adjust to feeding during the day.

What does a bed bug bite look like?

Bite marks are typically raised, reddened bumps that are itchy. The reaction varies from person to person. Some people may be bitten for extended periods without even realizing it.


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Why don’t I wake up when I am being bitten?

Bed bugs, like mosquitoes, inject an anticoagulant to keep the blood flowing and an anesthetic to make the bite less painful.

How can I tell if I have bed bugs?

Bite marks appear on your body. Adult bed bugs may not receive their blood quota while feeding from a single penetration, so patterns of up to five bites in a row on the skin are common. You discover their fecal stains. Spots of dried excrement that are black and brown (composed primarily of blood). Eggs and molted skin may also be found in the area. When sprayed with water, the fecal stains on the walls will run. Infestations are also accompanied by a distinct sweet, sickly odor, similar to that of ‘stink bugs.’

Why are bed bugs so hard to get rid of?

Bed bugs should not be associated with filth or sanitation issues, whether in hotels or at home. Bedbugs are nocturnal pests that are difficult to detect. They are frequently found in places other than the bed. They’re also tough. They can survive for a year or more without eating and can withstand temperatures ranging from near freezing to nearly 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Bed bugs can be kept under control with constant inspection and treatment by professional pest control companies.

What can a consumer do to protect themselves from bed bug infestations?

Consumers should be vigilant in assessing their surroundings to avoid bed bug infestations. Check your luggage and clothing when you return from a trip. Contact a pest control professional if you suspect you have a bed bug infestation. This is not a pest that can be controlled through do-it-yourself methods.

Why are bed bugs an issue for hotels, visitors and homeowners?

Bed bugs cause itchy, bloody welts on human skin. Adult bed bugs can survive for a year without eating, making them particularly difficult to control. Bed bugs spread quickly from room to room once inside a hotel or home, through pipes, vacuum cleaners, clothing, and luggage. Bed bugs in a hotel can even spread to neighboring rooms because guests may end up moving to another room.

What should I not do when trying to eliminate bed bugs?

Don’t get rid of your mattress or your furniture. Purchasing a new mattress will not resolve the problem. Don’t go to bed with a light on. Bed bugs typically feed when the host is dormant. That is usually when it is dark and you are sleeping. If they get hungry, they will eat whenever they want. Do not sleep in a separate room. Bed bugs will begin to spread throughout the house and will eventually find you. You will only spread the infestation throughout the house.

Apply pesticides only if you fully understand what you’re doing. Make sure you read the label and are aware of the risks. To control bed bugs, do not use pesticide bombs or foggers. They have the potential to exacerbate existing conditions.

Are bed bugs just in beds?

Bed bugs are not only found in beds. They can be found in chair cushions, sofas, electrical outlets, cracks and crevices around baseboards, and even picture frames. To put it another way, they can live pretty much anywhere.

When I travel, how can I prevent from bringing bed bugs home?

Before bringing your belongings into a hotel room, perform a thorough inspection. Look for bed bugs, fecal stains, and molted skin with a strong flashlight, preferably an LED type. Examine the mattress and box spring, as well as the area in front and behind the headboard, as well as the nightstands, wall coverings, and anything else in the vicinity of the bed. Bring plenty of bags. Keep your luggage and clothes in their sealed bags the entire time. When you get home, wash and dry your clothes on high heat. Empty bags should be sealed and discarded.

What can I do to prevent bed bugs from getting in my home?

Clear the debris from the area around the house. Repair wall cracks and caulk windows and doors. Avoid bringing used furniture and/or bedding into your home. The most important way to protect yourself from a heavy infestation is to detect bed bug activity as soon as possible. Bed bug-specific mattress and box spring encasements should be used to keep bed bugs on the outside of the encasements, where they can be easily detected.

What should I do now that I have bed bugs?

You must act quickly and contact a Pest Management Professional to conduct a thorough inspection and assess the situation. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to eradicate, especially if they are not discovered in the early stages of an infestation.

Dealing With Bed Bugs? Get Help Today!

These days anyone can have a bed bug problem. Don’t let it become an infestation because that’s when your real problems will begin. Get help early and give us a call today. 

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