Bed Bugs

Bedbugs are a small, reddish brown insect that feeds exclusively on blood. Bedbugs hide in cracks and crevices of beds, box springs, headboards, bed frames and any other objects around a bed. They also can slide behind outlets, into floor grooves, and cracks around windows. Although bedbugs do not spread diseases, they are a public health issue and can spread quickly if not treated. They hitchhike on people's clothing, pets, and anything else they can attach themselves to. The risk of encountering bedbugs increases if you spend time in places with high turnovers of nighttime guests — such as hotels, hospitals or homeless shelters. Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Bedbugs should NEVER be treated by an amatuer. ALways call a pest control company for them.

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Bedbugs Identification

Life Cycle of Bed Bugs

Female bed bugs lay between one and five eggs each day and may lay up to 500 eggs within her lifespan. Eggs are laid singly or in clusters within tight cracks or crevices. The egg is approximately the size of grains of salt and are milky in color. Within two weeks, eggs hatch and the nymphs begin to feed immediately. Nymphs pass through five molts before reaching maturity. Although nymphs appear similar to adults, they are smaller in size and are not yet sexually mature. 1st and 2nd molt nymphs are also yellow-white in color. After the second molt they begin to change to reddish-brown. In order to complete each molt, the nymph requires a blood meal. At average room temperature, nymphs become adults within five weeks. Adult bed bugs feed weekly. The average lifespan of a bed bug ranges from four to six months. However, they have been known to live up to a year under cool conditions with no food.

Signs of Infestation

Signs of an infestation are: You wake up with new itchy areas Reddish welts on your exposed areas with no center dot Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases Dark or rusty spots on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins An offensive, musty odor If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame. Check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

Health Concerns

Bed bugs cause a variety of negative physical and mental health issues. Many people can suffer mild to severe allergic reactions to the bites. The effects range from no reaction to anaphylaxis shock in extremely rare circumstances. Bites can also lead to secondary infections of the skin such as impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis. Bed bugs may also affect the mental health of people living in infested homes.

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Bedbugs Control Methods

Precautions and Prevention

There are some things you can do if you think you may be in a position to be exposed to bed bugs such as customer service techs who go into multiple homes or social workers who deal with the homeless. For instance, the EPA recommends you reduce clutter in your home, vacuum frequently, use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs, and check often your clothing and carried items in between locations.

Check second hand furniture, beds and couches for any signs. Remember if it is free it may not be!

Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove from dryer directly into bag and fold at home. (A dryer on high heat can kill bed bugs.)

If you live in a multi-family home, try to isolate your unit by installing door sweeps, sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc. and continuously check for hitchikers. Vigilance is the greatest asset with this pest.

Professional Treatment and Prevention

Bed bugs should not be treated without professional help. Not just due to the fact they are a health hazard, they are resilient and can be challenging to kill. You may actually be assisting in the spread if you are not careful. Modern Pest Control will treat infested areas of concern for the control and prevention of bedbugs, with remarkable results in about 2 weeks. Second treatments only needed in the most severe infestations and that will be known at the 45 day mark.