Identification and Life Cycle
The bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is the most common of bed bug species. These small insects are usually active at night when people are sleeping and feed on human blood. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases and are sometimes mistaken for spider beetles, roaches and ticks.
Bed bugs are approximately 1/4 inch in size with flat oval bodies, long thin legs, and antennae. They are reddish-brown in color and have a long segmented proboscis (beak) that extends forward when taking a blood meal. The young nymphs resemble the adults but are light, translucent color.
Bed bugs must feed on blood to grow and the females need blood to develop eggs. She lays her eggs in secluded areas, depositing 1 to 5 a day and 500 during her one year lifetime. The eggs are tiny, whitish and hard to see on most surfaces. Oftentimes, the eggs are compared to a small sesame seed or a small grain of rice. Without feeding, nymphs can survive for months, while adults can survive for more than a year. They complete five growth stages from an egg to an adult in approximately 1 month.
Bed bugs can look different depending on their feeding status. An unfed adult bed bug can appear flat, once it takes a blood meal it plumps up like an elongated balloon and becomes a bright red color.
Bed bugs usually breed high in number and it fastly gets spread all over your facility. Proper & professional extermination process will put an end to their wings as these are unwanted guests in our property. If you feel unsafe with bed bug infestation, feel free to call bed bug controllers nearby.
Habits and Damage
Bed bugs are great hitchhikers and unknowingly can be carried indoors on clothing, furniture and luggage. They cannot fly or jump, but instead crawl, and will often hide in cracks and crevices in furniture, floors, picture frames, and walls where they cannot be disturbed.
Bed bugs are attracted to CO₂ produced by breathing and body heat from the host up 3 feet away or less. Like all insects, the bed bug has its skeleton on the outside of their body and needs to shed its ecoskeleton in order to grow.
Signs of an infestation may be found along mattress seams, wood frames of the box spring, bedding, behind head-boards, electrical outlets, behind hanging pictures on walls inside the holes for set-in screws, along the tops of baseboards, and under the edges of carpeting. Some individuals may develop an itchy, red welt and swelling that may take a few days to develop after being bitten.
Common Signs Of Bed Bugs
- Live Bed Bugs. May be seen in multiple life stages from nymph to adult.
- Black fecal spots. Small black marks (specks) at first glance can look like mold or mildew.
- Cast Skins. Left behind by nymphs that have molted.
- Eggs & Eggshells. Can be about the size of a head of a pin and are a translucent pearl-white color.
Bed Bugs Prevention, Control, Extermination and Management
The best strategy for controlling bed bugs is early detection. An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program can help to control or reduce bed bug infestations. As a leading bed bug control & exterminators at NY, we use modern-day bed bug inspection & extermination techniques for safe removal.
Bed bugs can hide in many places such as in the seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, outlets, and behind wall-hung picture frames. Recognizing the early signs of an infestation is your best defense in controlling bed bugs.
The following steps can be taken to help control and/or detect a potential problem with bed bugs.
- Vacuum suitcases after returning from a trip.
- Do not take home mattresses, bed frames or upholstered furniture found on the street.
- Check all used or rented furniture for bed bugs.
- Dark reddish spots on sheets and bedding may indicate a bed bug feeding.
- Be aware of unexplained bites you may find in the morning.
- Seal cracks and crevices around window, door, crown and floor moldings.
- Encase mattresses and box springs in a cover that is “bed bug” rated. Check periodically for rips & tears.
- Vacuum carpets, floors, bed frames & crevices daily. Empty vacuum and dispose outside of home.
- Reduce clutter where bed bugs can hide.
- Do not attempt to self-treat for bed bugs. Call a pest management professional. Unreported and uncontrolled bed bugs can spread quickly.