Bed bugs are a growing problem in the United States, with increased incidents of bed bugs infestations over the past 20 years. Since 2006, dramatic increases in bed bug reports have been found across the United States. Although they seem like an “old world” bug issue, these biting pests have come full circle in attacking United States residents.
The bed bug is a nocturnal pest that feeds on blood and causes itchy, irritating bites, and are usually 1/4 to 3/8 inch (4-5 mm) long, with a flat, oval-shaped body. They are a rusty brown color when unfed but after feeding swell in size and become a red-brown color. Bed bugs can reproduce rapidly, with female bed bugs lying over 500 eggs in a lifetime.
Where Can You Find Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs can be found anywhere that they can find a host to feed on. They can be found in such places as hotels, movie theaters, apartments, libraries, retail stores, dormitories, office buildings and more. In the home, they hide near the piping, seams, and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and headboard. In heavily infested rooms, bed bugs will hide in the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in folds of curtains, in drawer joints, in electrical receptacles and appliances, under loose wallpaper and wall hangings, even under the carpet. Although they are not known to carry an infectious disease, their bites are itchy and irritate the skin.
Bed bugs are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide are given off by potential feeding sources and only feed at night (usually between 1-4 AM). Once they feed, they return to their hiding places for digestion and typically feed every 5-10 days. Typically bed bugs are brought in the home by “hitchhiking” on suitcases, furniture or clothing. It is always essential to check used items for bed bugs before bringing them into your home.
A proactive approach to prevention is the best method of keeping your home, family or even business safe from infestation. The best way to prevent an outbreak in your home is to be careful in places where people travel, such as hotels, apartment buildings, or dormitories. When staying in hotels, bed bugs can “catch a ride” and set up in your home, thus causing an infestation. Make sure to inspect your room for bed bugs and keep luggage on furniture racks and off of the floor. Also, be vigilant when acquiring used furniture and beds. If you can launder or place used items in a dryer for 10-20 seconds the chance of a bed bug infestation is mostly reduced.
If you do have a bed bug infestation, do not attempt to treat on your own using chemicals. Many “do it yourself” bed bug methods have caused illness and even death in some instances over the past several months. Contact Proven Pest Solutions to ensure safe and effective removal of bed bugs from your home or business.