By Pierre Mouchette | Real Property Experts LLC
The common bed bug (Cimex Lectularius) has reintroduced itself and again is a big problem. For many, we have heard people (mainly in the movies) say "Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite" but could not relate to it. Now, we are hearing and seeing on the media the work of those nasty bugs!
The media has shown beds in major hotels and motels all infested with bed bugs! Yes, naked to the living eye, all bunched up in the seams and ribbing of the mattress. Thanks to our mobile society, we are the conveyors of this disgusting bug!
For those who have not seen one, bed bugs are tiny, reddish-brown, flattened insects that feed on the blood of mammals. Adult bed bugs are about 1/4" long and oval. Bed bugs do not fly but scurry over floors, walls, and other surfaces. Females lay their eggs in secluded areas, depositing up to five a day and about 500 in a lifetime. The eggs are tiny, whiteish, and hard to see without magnification. Newly hatched nymphs are no bigger than a pinhead. As the bug grows, they molt (shed their skin) five times before reaching maturity. A blood meal is needed between each successive molt. Under ideal conditions (70 - 90 degrees Fahrenheit), the bugs can complete development in as little as a month, producing three or more generations per year. Cool temperatures or limited access to a blood meal extend the development time. Bed bugs are known to harbor pathogens in their bodies, but transmission to humans is considered unlikely.
Bed bugs usually bite people at night when they are sleeping. The bed bug pierces the skin with its elongated beak, through which it withdraws the blood. This engorgement takes about three to ten minutes, yet the victim seldom knows that they are bitten. Symptoms of this bite vary with the individual, from an itchy welt to swelling and sometimes nothing.
Once bed bugs are introduced to an environment, they rapidly spread from room to room throughout a building. The level of cleanliness of the apartment or building has nothing to do with this bug infestation. If they have a warm body, they will flourish.
Bed Bug Control - they are a challenging pest to control. They hide in the tiniest of places, so professional pest exterminator services should be obtained when they are found or suspected. Experience pest control operators know what to do and how to do it. Giving access to inspection and treatment is essential. Excess clutter, infested mattresses, and box springs must be removed from the premises. Adjacent dwelling units must also be inspected to determine if the bugs have traveled.
Bed Bug Treatment - as previously stated, the only way to control and treat bed bugs is through a Professional Pest Exterminator.