Bed Bugs are ubiquitous little pests that not only hide in your bed, but also in household appliances. This includes alarm clocks, coffee makers and toasters…by the time you’ve woken up and eaten breakfast you may have already come in contact with hundreds of them!
Bed Bugs are flat, oval and have a reddish-brown coloration and are generally 4 to 5 mm long, or the size of an apple seed.
Bed Bugs Behavior and Diet
Bed Bugs feed exclusively on blood and in cooler climates bed bugs can survive up to a year without feeding. Generally, they are nocturnal preferring to move and feed when their host is asleep.
They can be found in nearly every nook and cranny of a home or hotel; this includes mattress seams, sheets, pillows, furniture, behind baseboards and inside electrical outlets and even kitchen appliances. Bed Bugs are often found in hotels as they can travel from room to room via guests luggage and personal items such as purses and backpacks.
How Bed Bugs Reproduce
Females can produce and deposit one to 5 eggs each and every day, and in optimal room tempatures with available food access can lay 200 to 500 eggs in a lifetime and live for more than 300 days.
Bed Bug Infestation Signs
Understanding if you have a Bed Bug infestion begins by actually identifying and seeing the actual bug. They are the size of an apple seed and are fairly easy to locate. The second indicator of an infestation are the case skins from juvenile bugs; as juveniles increase in size, they shed their skins which are reddish brown in appearance and locating casings indicates a presence. Additionally, bed bugs will defecate in their ‘harborages’ or where they live once they’ve fed. Their defecation’sare black to brownish stains, or are black to brown mounds on nonporous surfaces.
Of course, Bed Bug bites could indicate an infestation, but try and find further evidence to corroborate their presence.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs?
Bed Bugs are expert travelers, and they live almost everywhere: home, hotels, gyms, offices and any other place where potential warm blooded hosts reside. They can and do hide in backpacks, luggage, purses, automobiles thus making your unknowing transportation of them almost impossible to prevent. Once they’ve set up residence in your home they are nearly impossible to remove without professional pest control applications.
Traveling Best Practices
Pest control experts suggest travelers use the acronym S.L.E.E.P to avoid unknowingly giving Bed Bugs a ride home.
- Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-colored spots on bed sheets, mattress tags and seams, and bed skirts.
- Lift and look for all bed bug hiding spots, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard and furniture. Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day they are most likely found within a 1.5 meter radius of the bed.
- Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind headboards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
- Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and when you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed and 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.
Home Best Practices
While at home, follow these prevention best practices to avoid a Bed Bug infestation:
- Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
- Wash and 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, when a service worker comes in or guests stay overnight.
If You Have a Bed Bug Infestation…
Then it’s probably time to call in a Hawaii pest control expert immediately. Bed Bugs reproduce quickly, so early treatment and prevention are critical to preventing an even larger pest infestation.