What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are oval, reddish-brown colored insects that are flattened from top to bottom. Bed bugs are wingless, have antennae, six legs and adults can grow to about ¼ of an inch in length. They are about the same size and shape of an apple seed. Bed bugs have a proboscis (an elongated sucking mouthpart) that when not in use is held underneath their body. To feed they extend their proboscis and inject it into their victim. After feeding, the bed bug’s appearance will change slightly. Their body swells and elongates in a pill or balloon-like manner and turns a deep purplish-red color.
How do bed bugs gain access?
Bed bugs do not fly or jump, instead, they crawl onto people or their belongings and hitchhike their way into a new environment. Bed bugs like to be near their favorite food source - people. They are commonly found in schools, airports, hospitals, shopping centers, libraries, movie theaters, hotels, single homes, townhomes, and apartment buildings. Bed bugs can also enter into homes inside of used furniture, mattresses, and box springs that are brought inside. Inside of a home or another structure, bed bugs will move from room to room behind walls or below floors, using wires and pipes as their own personal highway.
Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs are usually nocturnal eaters, often hiding during the day in tight cracks and crevices, then emerging at night to feed. Once they have consumed a full meal they will retreat back into their hiding spots. Bed bugs prefer to stay in close proximity to their food source. Common hiding spots for bed bugs include in the seams of mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture, behind baseboards, behind pictures, behind wooden trim, inside of electrical outlets, and under piles of laundry.
What are the signs of bed bugs?
Bed bugs are prolific breeders. A single female can lay 200-500 eggs in her lifetime. If left to their own devices a small infestation of just a few bed bugs can quickly turn into a large infestation of hundreds or thousands of bed bugs. Knowing what the signs of a bed bug infestation are is important so that professional help can be sought as quickly as possible.
Discovering red dots of blood on pillowcases, sheets, box springs, and mattresses.
Finding rust colored fecal stains or dried blood on mattresses, linens, walls, and floors.
As bed bugs grow they shed their skin. The skins will build-up under mattresses, in the seams of furniture, and along the edges of floors.
Seeing live or dead bed bugs on mattresses, box springs, in the seams of furniture, or any of their other common hiding spots.
In the case of a large infestation, you may notice a sweet musty smell in an otherwise clean room.
Can I get rid of bed bugs myself?
Bed bugs are highly invasive, are very difficult to completely eliminate, and breed quickly. We strongly encourage you to call a professional as soon as you suspect that you may have a bed bug infestation. Call us at Havard Pest Control to take advantage of our 70 years of pest control experience.
Bed bug prevention tips
There are a few things you can do to try and prevent bed bugs from entering into your home:
Inspect any hotel or other rental for bed bugs before bringing luggage and other belongings into it.
After returning home from a trip, wash and dry all clothing taken on the highest heat setting possible.
Keep personal items up off of the floor of public settings.
When at work or school keep personal belongings stored away from other people's belongings.
Do not purchase used furniture, mattresses, and box springs for your home.
Regularly vacuum your home and wash bedding on the highest heat setting possible.