Bed bugs are insects and are members of the Cimex lectularius family. All bed bugs feed on the blood of birds or mammals, and the bed bugs that infest our home and businesses daily prefer to feed on the blood of people. Bed bugs find their hosts through body heat and the carbon dioxide produced during the breathing process. These oval-shaped insects lack wings, and move from location to location by hitchhiking. They have mahogany-brown bodies, and adults grow to about 1/4 inch long. They have specialized mouthparts (proboscis) they use to pierce the skin of their host and feed on their blood; after feeding, their bodies swell, increase in size, and turn a purplish-red color.
Immature bed bugs (nymphs) closely resemble adults, but are much smaller and, until they have their first blood meal, are yellowish or translucent in color. After feeding, they turn a bright red. Bed bug eggs are only the size of a pinhead and are white; generally, only a professional is able to detect the presence of their eggs.
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Though described as nuisance pests, bed bugs are not pests that anyone wants to share their home with. While currently not a big concern in the United States, bed bugs are capable of acquiring and spreading human pathogens during the feeding process. Many people are allergic to a protein in their saliva; those allergic to bed bugs develop raised, itchy welts that are uncomfortable. Additionally, scratching the bites may lead to a secondary infection that requires medical attention.
Bed bugs do not have wings and can’t jump; their main mode of transportation is hitchhiking on people or their things (used mattresses, box springs, newly purchased clothing). Bed bugs are equal-opportunity creatures and will find their way into any home, no matter how clean or dirty. Households with more clutter, however, indeed provide bed bugs with more hiding spots.
Bed bugs are most active at night, right before dawn. At night, they emerge from their daytime hiding spots to feed on the blood of their sleeping victims. When bed bugs first get into a home, they stay close to sleeping areas in the seams of mattresses and box springs, and in cracks in footboards and headboards. As the infestation grows, they will travel through walls and floors and infest many rooms.
Common bed bug hiding spots include the following:
- Behind baseboards
- In the seams of upholstered furniture
- In electronics and keyboards
- Behind wall hangings, pictures, and clocks
- Inside wall voids located behind electrical outlets
- Under piles of dirty laundry
With over 250 years of combined leadership experience, The PEST Group is the best choice to rid bed bugs from your California, Florida, or Hawaii home or business. We are North America’s largest fumigation company, dedicated to our customers and to providing safe and effective bed bug solutions.
If you are looking for an experienced, dedicated professional to eliminate biting bed bugs from your property, reach out to The PEST Group and request your free inspection today!
In addition to our residential pest control and commercial pest control services, use the following tips to prevent bed bug infestations:
- Newly purchased clothing should immediately be washed and dried on a high heat cycle.
- Place bed bug-proof covers on all mattresses and box springs in your home.
- Never place your luggage on the ground or beds of your hotel room.
- Keep your home and storage areas free of clutter.
- Regularly vacuum your floors.
- After traveling, wash, and dry all clothing on high heat cycles.
- Do not buy used mattresses, box springs, and furniture for your home.
- Always inspect your hotel room for signs of bed bugs before bringing luggage inside.
- In public places or while at work or school, keep personal belongings away from other people’s belongings and off of the ground.
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