“Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” used to be a trite saying we shared with children and each other that had little actual meaning in our lives. Fast forward to today and we are realizing again what a problem bed bugs can be. Bed bugs are showing up everywhere these days.
But what are Bed Bugs?
Here are a few little facts to help you answer that question of “What are bed bugs really?”
- Bed bugs are parasitic insects, they need host environments to feed and reproduce.
- There are many types of bed bugs out there, but only the common bed bug is primarily known to use humans as a host.
- With improvements in sanitation and use of some potent chemical treatments (a number of which are not available any more for environmental concerns) the bed bug population was a non-factor in the lives of much of the population.
- Bed bugs are making a comeback due to a myriad of reasons; the lack of adequate treatment options (until recently), a population that travels (which helps spread), people who have infestations and do not get treated only aiding in the spread, and a few more.
- Bed bugs are known as “hitchhikers” for their method of attaching onto a person, animal, clothing, luggage, etc. A single bed bug can hop a ride on a person from an infested home and find its way just about anywhere and hop back onto a new person and new home.
- A mature adult bed bug is about 1/4 inch in length, very flat body, oval/circular (seeing from a top view), and reddish brown in color.
- Bed bugs will only come out at night (barring some extreme cases) to feed on their host environment.
- Bed bugs tend to hide in the cracks and crevices found in and around a room. In the case of a bed, the mattress fabric folds and buttons are good places for them to hide. Bed bugs will also find their way into a box spring as that is generally a nominally disturbed area. Headboards can make for good hiding places for bed bugs as well. Cracks in the walls, drapery, electrical sockets, etc. can all be places for bed bugs to hide.
- There is usually a trail of evidence from bed bugs if you suspect there is a possible problem. They leave behind both fecal matter and blood spots on a mattress or area that they are inhabiting. If you notice blood spots & fecal smears on a mattress, box spring, pillow cases, as well as other areas then you might be dealing with bed bugs.
- Bed bugs usually start off as a really small problem, but if left untreated can become a sizable infestation and the cost to get rid of them (which is possible) can be expensive. So it is prudent using preventative measures to keep bed bugs away. Plus, have your home inspected and/or treated as soon as you suspect possible bed bug problems.
There is a real psychology behind bed bugs that helps to aid in their spread. Getting past this and getting treatment quickly is your best chance to alleviate the problem quickly and without huge costs. Using preventative measures to keep them at-bay is a good idea to keep bed bugs out of your home. Never a guarantee, but helpful for sure. If you feel like you have a bed bug problem it is never a bad idea to have a professional come out to inspect your home, apartment, dorm, retreat cabin, etc.
We at Johnson Pest Control are Bed Bug Free certified by Bed Bug University, the foremost authority and training center for bed bug research and removal. We have bed bug K-9 inspection capabilities where trained dogs are able to detect even the most minute presence of bed bugs. Check out all our bed bug services and treatments.