Bed Bug FAQ
WHAT IS A BED BUG?
Simply put, bed bugs are parasites that live and survive on the blood of humans or animals. They do not hop, jump or fly.
WHY ARE THEY BACK?
The Banning Of Certain Chemicals
A Generation That Has Never Seen A Bed Bug
People Not Affected By Bed Bug Bites
Lack of Education and Awareness
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
Bed bugs are often mistaken for other insects so it’s important to know if it is bed bugs you are dealing with. The adults have flattened bodies, are rusty brown in color and about ¼ inch in size.
BED BUG HIDING PLACES
Because bedbugs live solely on blood, as their name implies, bed bugs are commonly associated with areas where we sleep or relax. As infestations grow, they can be found outside the bed in dressers and drawers, chairs and cushions, sofas, electrical outlets, folds of draperies, clocks, phones, shoes, cracks and crevices, under carpet tacks, around baseboards, picture frames, under the bed, in books, door hinges, light fixtures, in wheelchairs and in or under any clutter or objects near a bed or lounging area.
Our dogs can find them in all the areas they may be.
WHERE THEY BREED
They breed mostly within the confines of the bed or other areas where people sleep, rest or sit for long periods. However, they can easily be transferred to other parts of the home.
Temperature and conditions are important for a bedbug’s survival and our homes provide perfect conditions.
Females can lay hundreds of eggs during her lifetime and can produce several generations per year. These eggs are attached to surfaces with a sticky substance making them hard to remove. The eggs hatch in 7 to 10 days and are in search of a blood host right away.
Regular blood meals and mating is required to continue the laying of eggs. Immature or young nymphs will shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a blood meal between each shedding. Under favorable temperature and conditions, the young nymphs can develop fully in as little as 21-36 days.
A single bed bug is not an infestation.
Large populations of bed bugs take time to develop, but if a few adults are not detected early, you could well have thousands after 3 or 4 months!
HOW DID THEY GET IN MY HOME?
Because bed bugs are parasites and are known for their hitchhiking abilities, they can attach to clothing, furniture or personal items.
Anyone one can bring a bed bug into your home including but not limited to you, your family, a visitor, a delivery person or a repair or maintenance worker.
PHYSICAL SIGNS OF BED BUGS
For some people, the first sign of a bed bug problem may be waking up with unidentified bites.
These bites can resemble bites caused by many other kinds of blood feeding insects and can rarely be identified by the appearance of the bites alone. In order to identify the bites as bed bug bites the culprit or signs of them “must be found”.
Because of the bed bugs inborn-way of hiding in the smallest of cracks and crevices, these signs are very difficult to find in early stages.
FECAL STAINS (POOP)
These stains appear to be minute “ink dots” (like from a black marker pen). Some materials are “impervious to moisture” and the dropping may “bead up” on the surface.
MOLTED BED BUG SKINS (CASTINGS)
Bed Bugs’ shed skins happened when the bed bug grows out of its skin and leaves the old one behind. Because bedbugs have exterior “i.e. protective & supportive structures” called exoskeletons (unlike humans who have interior supporting structures such as bones, called endoskeletons), they have to shed their skins (=exoskeletons) in order to grow to their next stage (5 of them during their life-cycle) before they become adults. These shed skins are tell-tale signs of a bed bug problem.
Outside of bite marks, people may find blood spots. These spots may be recognized as rusty spots on bedclothes, sheets, furniture and surrounding walls.
And last, is a peculiar “odor” from defecated blood and oxidized iron in blood, a sort of rusty smell. These odors are mostly associated with higher numbers of bed bugs and longer infestations, and like any of the normal human smells and scents, if you reside in the room on a regular basis you may become “use to” the smell.
(Click here for our gallery of bed bug signs)
VALUE OF OUR BED BUG DETECTION DOGS
Our detection dogs can sniff out live bed bugs and eggs if these signs are not visible, without having to tear anything apart.
THE EARLIER YOU FIND THEM THE EASIER IT IS TO GET RID OF THEM!
BED BUG BITES AND FEEDING HABITS
Bed bugs are drawn to us by our warm temperature and carbon dioxide we breathe. They can feed at any time of the day or night whether you are sleeping or not and adjust their feeding time to adapt to the host’s sleeping patterns.
Even though they will bite any exposed area of the body, face, neck, arms, and hands, the act of biting is usually not felt. Two people sharing the same bed can be affected differently.
When bed bugs feed, they inject an anti-coagulant and anesthetic from their saliva. The number of bites does not always mean there are large amounts of bed bugs involved.
Bed bugs are sensitive to movement and slight disturbances and may withdraw its mouthparts during the feeding, move a short distance and continue to feed again. This may cause multiple bites that may be in a row. This is sometimes called a “Breakfast – Lunch – and Dinner” pattern.
CAN I GET A DISEASE FROM BED BUGS?
A common concern is whether they transmit diseases. The bed bug has not been known to transmit diseases but they are known for reducing the quality of life of the bite victim. They do, though, carry many different pathogens and may excrete these in their feces.
According to medical experts, the added stress from living with bed bugs can have a significant impact on the emotional health and well-being of certain individuals. Reported effects include anxiety, insomnia and systemic reactions.
Any medical intervention comes from swelling and intense itching, which may cause a secondary infection from the bed bug bites.
Don’t go to bed wondering “if” you have bed bugs. Allow us to come in with our dogs and find out if bed bugs are lurking in your home. If we find them early, you can rest assured that the cost for treatment will pale in comparison to what you would pay if you didn’t know and they built into infestations.
Call our friendly team at 508-713-8267 or leave your details below and we’ll be in touch to help you A.S.A.P.
Mass Bed Bug Busters is an award-winning provider of world-class bed bug detection.
We’ve helped over 3,000 people detect bed bugs!
Servicing Massachusetts (MA), Connecticut (CT), Rhode Island (RI), Vermont (VT), New Hampshire (NH), Maine (ME) as well as New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), and surrounding areas.
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