Bed Bugs: Facts, Identification & Control
Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects about 3/16-inch long or the size of an apple seed. Swollen & reddish after a blood meal.
Cracks & crevices including mattress seams, sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates & picture frames.
Often found in hotels, where they can travel from room to room & in visitors' luggage.
Feed on blood.
Females can deposit one to five eggs a day, & may lay 200 to 500 eggs in a lifetime. Under normal room temperatures & with an adequate food supply, they can live over 300 days.
Bed bugs (often misspelled as bedbugs) are small, nocturnal, wingless insects that belong to the family of Cimicidae.
They feed on human blood & other warm-blooded hosts.
They are oval in shape & grow up to 4-5 mm long when fully grown.
Their skin color is rust brown to a deeper red brown.
Bed bugs are also known as "mahogany flats", "red coats" & "chinches."
The adult bed bug does not have any wings & has a flattened body.
Since they can survive in birds' nests, they can be seen in houses & buildings that have several bird nests, particularly on rooftops.
They are also known to feed on bats or household pets, but their typical source of nutrition is human blood.
Bed bugs have a great worldwide distribution due to human travelers who transport luggage, clothing, bedding, & furniture. Though they may reside in unusual places, they are also likely to be found in small cracks near a bed or in comforters & bed sheets.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs:
It's possible to pick up bed bugs almost any place, they've infested offices, stores, hotels, gyms & countless other places we never would have imagined just 10 years ago.
They can hide in your luggage, personal belongings, or even on you, & hitchhike a ride back to your home, condo, townhouse or apartment.
Once indoors, they can be extremely difficult to eradicate without the help of an experienced pest control professional.
A bed bug infestation has nothing to do with cleanliness – you can pick them up in even the finest hotels, & they can hitchhike into the cleanest homes at any time.
But, you can help reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.
When traveling, think of the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to remember the following action steps to help avoid taking bed bugs home with you.
- surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-colored spots on bed sheets, mattress tags & seams, & bed skirts.
- lift & look for all bed bug hiding spots, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard, & furniture.
Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day, they are most likely found within a 5-foot radius of the bed.
- elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed & wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind head boards, artwork, picture frames & electrical outlet panels.
- examine your luggage carefully while repacking & when you return home.
Always keep luggage off the bed & store it in a closet or other area, far away from your bedroom.
- place all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.
In the House:
When at home, follow these handy tips to help keep bed bugs
- Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
- Wash & dry your bed linens often using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
- Closely inspect any second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring it into your residence.
- Inspect your residence regularly – after a move-in, a trip, a service worker comes in, or guests stay overnight.
Think you might have a Bed Bug Infestation?
Notify Frio immediately, or tell your property manager if you are renting.
Bed bugs can multiply quickly so early detection is critical to help prevent an even larger infestation.