The following information contains important details that you should know about these common and damaging household pests. A to Z Pest Control has provided you with answers to the most asked question pertaining to bed bugs – learn more about what they do, and how we can help you be rid of them!
What are bed bugs?
Bedbugs are insects that, as adults, have oval-shaped bodies with no wings. Prior to feeding, they are about 1/4 inch long and flat as paper. After feeding, they turn dark red and become bloated. Eggs are whitish, pear-shaped and about the size of a pinhead. Clusters of 10-50 eggs can be found in cracks and crevices. Bedbugs have a one-year life span during which time a female can lay 200-400 eggs depending on food supply and temperature. Eggs hatch in about 10 days.
What do bed bugs feed on?
Bedbugs prefer to feed on human blood, but will also bite mammals and birds. Bedbugs bite at night, and will bite all over a human body, especially around the face, neck, upper torso, arms and hands. Bedbugs can survive up to six months without feeding. Both male and female bedbugs bite.
Can I get sick from bed bugs?
There are no known cases of infectious disease transmitted by bedbug bites. Most people are not aware that they have been bitten but some people are more sensitive to the bite and may have a localized reaction. Scratching the bitten areas can lead to infection.
How do bedbugs get into my home?
Bedbugs are often carried into a home on objects such as furniture and clothing. If you think you have a bedbug problem, check for live bed bugs or shells in the following areas:
- Seams, creases, tufts and folds of mattresses and box springs
- Cracks in the bed frame and head board
- Under chairs, couches, beds, dust covers
- Between the cushions of couches and chairs
- Under area rugs and the edges of carpets
- Between the folds of curtains
- In drawers
- Behind baseboards, and around window and door casings
- Behind electrical plates and under loose wallpaper, paintings and posters
- In cracks in plaster
- In telephones, radios, and clocks
Bedbugs can also travel from apartment to apartment along pipes, electrical wiring and other openings. If the infestation is heavy, a sweet smell may be noticed in the room.
What can I do if I have bed bugs in my home?
The best method to deal with bed bugs is Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which combines a variety of techniques and products that pose the least risk to human health and the environment.
- Inspect your mattress and bed frame, particularly the folds, crevices and the underside, and other locations where bed bugs like to hide.
- Wash all your linens in the hottest water possible and place them in a hot dryer for 45 minutes. Consider covering your pillows and mattress with a plastic cover.
- Remove all unnecessary clutter.
- Call A to Z Pest Control and have one of our licensed technicians visit your home to handle this for you. Bedbugs are extremely difficult to eliminate and require a trained professional.
How do I prevent bed bugs from entering my home?
- Although even the cleanest homes and hotels can have bed bugs, regular house cleaning, including vacuuming your mattress, can help to prevent an infestation. Clean up clutter to help reduce the number of places bed bugs can hide.
- Be careful when buying used furniture or clothes. Make sure to inspect the used item, and feel free to ask the retailer if the items were checked for bedbugs.
- Use caution when bringing home used furniture or clothes from the curb side. These items may be infested with bedbugs.
- When travelling take the following precautions:
- Inspect the room and furniture: inspect all cracks and crevices of the mattress and box spring, and look for blood spots or live insects. Request a different room if you find evidence of beg bugs.
- Protect your luggage: keep all belongings in your luggage and wrap your luggage in plastic to help prevent bed bugs from entering your luggage. Keep luggage on the shelf or away from the floor.
- Protect the bed: move the bed away from the wall, tuck in all bed sheets and keep blankets from touching the floor.
- Upon returning home: keep your luggage in an isolated area of your home, such as the garage. Inspect the luggage. Wash all your clothes in the hottest water possible and put them in a hot dryer for 45 minutes.