Bed Bug Facts

Bed Bug Facts | Maine Bed Bugs and Pest ControlAlthough bed bugs were once a very common public health nuisance, they were nearly wiped out in the mid-1900s with strong pesticides that are no longer used. Increased global travel is thought to be one reason these pests have resurged in the last several years. They are good hiders, excellent travelers and fairly resilient to most pesticides. Whether you think you may have an infestation or you just want to keep an eye out during your future travels, here are some basic bed bug facts.

A Visual

Bed bugs are small, part of the reason they are difficult to detect. At just 4-5 mm long, they are just about the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny. They are a rusty brown color but change to a deeper red after they’ve feasted on blood. Their bodies are thin and flattened, making it easy for them to hide. Eggs are cream colored and measure just 1 mm.

Life of a Bed Bug

There are two main species of bed bugs that bite humans, the Cimex lecularius (most common) and the Cimex hemipterus (more tropical). It takes six to eight weeks for a bed bug egg to develop into an adult insect and the average adult lives between six and 12 months. Blood is necessary for both nutrition and development.

Health Hazard

Bed bugs feed on human blood and find their prey through heat and carbon dioxide sensors. They inject their saliva into the skin while they bite and feed. They usually feed at night, then hide and become inactive during the day as they digest their meal. They can go weeks or even months without a feeding, however if they are starving they can adjust their schedules to feed when possible, including during the day. While they are not a direct health threat, some people may have allergic reactions to the insects’ saliva and develop a rash or bumps at the feeding sites. Recent studies have indicated that the insects may be capable of carrying bacteria on their bodies rather than through feeding, opening up infection possibilities for those with impaired immune systems and open wounds.

Identification

The best way to look for bed bugs is to look for blood spotting on mattresses, pillow cases and nearby nooks. These spots are the bugs’ feces and a trail of their paths. While they do not live on humans they do like to live near their food source. The corners of a mattress, bed side tables, base boards, behind picture frames, under loose wall paper and in electrical outlets are popular hiding places for the thin and flat bugs to hang out during the day.

Not all humans have a reaction to bed bug bites, however a string of small bumps accompanied by restless nights may be an indication of bed bugs. Shoulders and arms are the most common areas to be bitten, but extremities in general are also common (skin that is most exposed during sleep).

Eradication

It’s nearly impossible to eradicate bed bugs on your own without the help of a professional and licensed pest control specialist like Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. The pest controller will inspect your home and look for all the traditional bed bug hiding places to determine the severity of the infestation. Eradication can include an insecticide or heat treatment, or a combination of the two. Not all synthetic chemicals typically used for treating bed bugs can be used on all mattresses and chemicals do not always work. Heat treatments not only kill the adult bed bugs and eggs, but they do not leave a residue or require the same precautions as fumigation. Clothing can be washed in hot water and heat dried while small items of concern can also be put in the freezer.

Call the Professionals

At the first indication of a bed bug infestation, call the professionals at Main Bed Bugs and Pest Control. Eradicating bed bugs is our profession and we’ve developed a unique heat treatment to stop bed bugs in their tracks. The treatment is also safe for all family members and leaves no residue behind. A full line of total home pest control is also available, Request a quote online or call (207) 650-8654 today.

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