Bed bugs remain one of the most common pests in the United States and around the world. Bed bugs are small, bloodsucking parasites which often lurk in people’s beds. However, they can be found in other furniture as well. During the day, bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices that several slips of paper could fit in. These areas can include innocuous locations like an electrical outlet, between a mattress and a box spring, or behind the frame around a door or window. When they emerge at night, they often latch onto the human or animal in the room and suck their blood for sustenance. They have been known to travel up to 20 feet away from their hiding space to feed on a host and can become bolder during the day if they haven’t eaten in a long time.
So what do bed bugs look like? Bed bugs are 5-7mm in length with small, oval-shaped bodies. They are real insects and have three segments to their bodies, but most people do not get close enough to see this aspect. One easy way to detect their presence is by the sickly sweet odor they emit. Bed bugs go through seven different life stages ranging from egg to adult, and will always be slightly larger and redder when they have fed recently. Each egg is white and roughly the size of a pinhead. There are a few signs that people can look for to determine if they have an infestation.
First, there might be rusty stains on bedding or other furniture which is created when a bed bug is crushed. Because people don’t often see them, it is easy to sit or lay on one accidentally. Second, another significant feature is the presence of dark spots that are also the size of a pinhead. These spots are the excrement of bed bugs and can similarly bleed into fabrics to markers. Third, there is the sweet yet musty odor excreted by the bed bugs. People often describe the smell as being like overripe fruit or moldy paper, and it is often one of the first warnings people have about the infestation of bed bugs.
Many people often attribute a stigma to bed bugs. Some think they only in places which are dirty or believe that having an infestation means there is something wrong with their home. Bed bugs are increasing in number and have for the last several decades. There are a couple of different theories about their spread and the growth in their population. Some scientists think bed bugs are reproducing more rapidly because the EPA outlawed effective pesticides made with DDT in the 1970s. Others think bed bugs are going through a natural increase in their reproductive cycle. Whatever the reason may be, bed bugs are spreading more rapidly because society has become more global.
It’s much easier in modern times for people to travel from one location to another. Some of the most common places to find bed bugs are in standard sleeping facilities like motels, hotels, and hostels. The presence of bed bugs does not mean that the locations are filthy. Bed bugs spread quickly because their eggs and larvae are small and difficult to see. It’s simply for someone to accidentally carry bed bugs and their eggs in their luggage, accidentally leave a small population in a hotel, and then have someone else take them home in their suitcase.
Because bed bugs can reproduce and spread quickly and are adept at hiding, most people will not realize they have an infestation until it is already out of control. One of the best ways to deal with them is to call a pest control company like Pest Control Escondido, because their trained professionals have the experience to locate and eliminate all of the bed bugs lurking in a building. Commercial enterprises are more likely to experience a problem than a regular home because of the number of people who come and go. These businesses will also need more extensive pest control methods to eliminate the population because there are more places for bed bugs to hide.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!