A bedbug is a small, parasitic insect that often can be found in people’s homes and businesses. A bedbug is considered a true insect because it has three segments that form its body and three pairs of legs. This means each bedbug has a head, a thorax, and an abdomen with six legs, antennae, and beady eyes. Each bedbug is 5-7mm long and roughly 2-3mm wide even after eating. Because bedbugs are parasitic, they will feed off of the inhabitants of a property, including humans and pets. Their size makes them difficult to detect. Each one is so small that several of them could fit on a dime. Their smallness is one of their greatest assets because it means they can hide in any location where two sheets of paper could fit. For example, a bedbug would be comfortable living in a crack in the wall, between a mattress and a box spring, behind an electrical outlet panel, or inside furniture.
Despite their capability to hide, there are a couple of different ways a property owner can tell if they have a bedbug infestation. One of the first signs is the presence of bedbug bites on people. Bedbug bites are small, red marks which are itchy and often form in groups or lines. Another typical sign is the sweet, musty odor a bedbug emits. Finally, people might find rusty, red stains on their bedsheets or other furniture. These marks come from accidentally squashing bedbugs at night when they come out to eat. If any of these are found, or if a bedbug is spotted, the property owner should call a professional extermination company to ensure the entire population is caught and killed in a safe manner.
Many property owners do not expect having to deal with bedbugs. After all, if a home or business is clean, the owner shouldn’t have to worry about bedbugs, right? While some people associate a bedbug with uncleanliness, a home does not actually have to be dirty to develop a population. The overall number of bedbugs has increased throughout the United States and the world at large for several reasons. Some scientists think that bedbugs have hit a peak as part of a natural reproductive cycle while others blame the rise of a global society. As people have become more capable of traveling between countries and across oceans, bedbugs have been carried to places they could not originally reach. This means that when a tourist travels abroad, they could accidentally bring back bedbugs or bedbug eggs as a souvenir. Another factor that might have contributed to their rise in the United States is that the EPA banned highly effective but potentially dangerous pesticides which contained DDT in 1972.
This rise in the bedbug population means that home and business owners need to be mindful about their property’s potential to host pests. Just like it’s a good idea to call professional pest controllers to handle an infestation, it’s also helpful to contact the company to identify how bedbugs could get inside. Professionals know what bedbugs are attracted to and can help people seal entryways and eliminate potential resources that bedbugs need to survive. When it comes to bedbugs, prevention is just as important as extermination.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!