Bed bugs are a pest viewed by most homeowners with a degree of loathing. This distaste is warranted as bed bugs have the capacity to be a frustrating and expensive problem for homeowners. A great amount of misinformation exists surrounding bed bugs, and it is important that homeowners have a firm understanding of what bed bugs are and how they can be a pest. This knowledge can help you to better identify bed bugs and mitigate the threat that they pose to your home.
Bed bugs are an insect taxonomically sorted into the Cimicidae family. Cimicidae contains a variety of parasitic pests, most of which have a specific animal that they feed on, such as the bat bug. The name bed bug, which is given due to the pest’s tendency to hide on mattresses, is usually referring to the Cimex lectularius, which is considered the common bed bug.
Bed bugs are infamous for feeding on human blood, and in fact, the common bed bug has been shown to prefer human blood sources over other warm-blooded mammals. Bed bugs are some of the most tenacious parasites in the pest world, able to survive in a variety of climates and go without food for up to a year.
Fortunately, while they do take blood from hosts, they are not a known vector of disease or illness. This means that, unlike other blood-sucking pests such as mosquitoes, they do not pose a threat to homeowners as a spreader of disease. Despite this, bed bugs still leave behind bite marks on the bodies of their victims, which can be itchy and inflamed.
How do you identify bed bugs?
Due to their reclusive nature, it can often be difficult to identify bed bugs in your home. Because they are nocturnal, they often only emerge from their hiding places at night to feed. For this reason, the most obvious sign of bed bug activity are bite marks left by their feeding. While it is preferable to identify bed bugs before they begin to feed, the bites are the most common sign homeowners find.
If you believe that bed bugs are active in your home, the best way to confirm this is to search in areas where bed bugs tend to hide. Common areas where you might find bed bugs include:
• Cracks and crevices
• Sheets and other linens
• Furniture and luggage
• Inside boxes or bags
• Crawling on baseboards
If bed bugs are active in these areas, you will often find black or brown stains left behind on any porous surfaces, and it is sometimes possible to spot immature bed bugs in these areas. Bed bugs are flat, round shaped insects that are typically reddish-brown in coloration. The adults are usually around 4-5mm in length. Even spotting one or two insects matching this description should be cause for concern, as a much larger population could be hidden elsewhere.
It is important to remember that bed bugs are excellent at hiding, and it can require a very detailed search of the home to locate them in some cases. Homeowners should be careful to keep their home free of unnecessary clutter, as this can provide bed bugs with easy hiding places.
Keeping your home safe:
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to remove from a home. Their rapid reproductive rate and ability to remain hidden for long periods means that they can sometimes outlast any treatment products that you might use in your home. To make matters more complicated, if the infestation is not completely eliminated, even one single female bed bug can rebuild the entire infestation anew.
Due to this, it is very important that homeowners call in a professional pest service to deal with bed bugs as soon as they are spotted. The sooner treatment begins, the easier it is to completely remove the problem from your home.
At Canton Termite and Pest Control, we have decades of experience treating for pests. Our technicians begin any treatment with a thorough inspection of the property, identifying any signs of pest activity or conditions conducive to infestation. After this, we will formulate a safe, targeted treatment plan to deal with your pest problems once and for all!
So if you are dealing with bed bugs, call us today at 770-479-1598!