Bed bugs have largely been thought of as being a problem of the past. Unfortunately, we are now experiencing an epidemic recurrence of bed bugs in the United States and abroad. In 2004, the National Pest Management Association estimated a 500% increase in the preceding 3 years. The most significant factor that explains their return is the increase in international travel. They can easily get into clothing or luggage and are brought home. They do not discriminate when choosing a host, and can be found virtually anywhere including movie theaters, hotels, laundry mats, dormitories, and your home.
Since their reappearance, researchers have found that the new infestations of bed bugs are much more resistant to chemicals that have previously been used. Insecticides that are often used for roaches and similar insects are ineffective on them. Bed bugs, in particular, absolutely require professional pest control management.
Biology & Habits
These tenacious pests are about 3/8″ long and are visible to the naked eye. The different species of bed bugs have different feeding preferences. Some prefer human blood while others prefer bats or even birds. A bed bug does not live under your skin, but will drink a few drops of blood mostly at night when you’re asleep. You cannot feel a bite, even though it will pierce the skin, and can often cause swelling, rashes, and general irritation. Although some saliva will get into the bite, bed bugs have not been recorded or known to pass on any diseases to humans. Approximately 50% of bed bug victims do not show any evidence of bites. This is one of the main reasons why bed bugs can go undetected for long periods of time. Another reason is that bed bugs are attracted to the CO2 emissions of the host. In other words, breathing will cause the bed bugs to become active in their nesting site again. They can lay dormant without a blood host for up to a year. After getting their fill of blood, the females will lay eggs in batches of up to 200 at a time.
They primarily reside in their target’s nests or nesting areas. In the case of a human host, your home would be its primary nesting area. Bed bugs are known for and get their name for mostly hiding in the crevices of mattresses. However, they may also hide in a sofa, behind wallpaper, picture frames, and even electrical outlets. Thoroughness is the only real way to get rid of bed bugs. Every corner and crevice needs to be searched. Since they can hide in every part of the house, this means that simply getting rid of an infected mattress will not solve the problem.
While bed bugs are difficult and even scary, it’s not impossible to get rid of them. You can order bed bug detection systems and mattress encasements directly through Masters Termite & Pest Control. You can also reference our Bed Bug Fact & Prep Sheet for more information on our bed bug treatment programs, or visit our page on bed bug control.