Bed bugs are diminutive, elliptical, healthy-looking insects; they feed on animal or human blood. They belong to insect family Cimicidae. Adult bedbugs have plane bodies about 5 mm long. They live in cracks and crevices in and around the bed. Their color varies due to the amount of blood some are yellowish brown and some are reddish.
They are most active at night, feeding on their prey whilst they sleep but their bites are painless and are unnoticed. They are not much perilous they do not transmit diseases but some people experience a reaction to their bites.
Where Are These Species Found?
Bed bugs are found all over the place. They are most common in facilities where a lot of people are and can be brought by them too. They are generally found in hotels, hospitals, homeless shelters, college dorms and apartment complexes. They like to hide in small cracks and crevice near where their victim sleeps, for example, mattresses, headboards, footboards, box springs, and other furniture within 5-8 feet of bed.
They have a large population and are found in almost every area and they have been dispersed so widely. By the development of the world as a boost in immigration and restrictions to use stronger pesticides can also be a reason for their infestations.
The Life Cycle
A bed bug’s life begins with an egg, which is very minute and white in color. Female bedbugs lay up to 500 eggs within one lifetime and 1-5 eggs per day. They might lay one egg or in clusters and are placed in tight cracks or crevices.
Their egg is approximately 1 mm long and looks like 2 grains of salt. It takes two weeks to hatch and then immature species are ready to feed. These young creatures are also called nymphs. They undergo five molts before reaching maturity.
Apparently, there is no such difference in adults and nymphs they are just smaller in size and not yet sexually mature. They are yellowish-white in color and in order to complete their each molting stage they need. The room temperature is the optimum temperature for them and they become adults after molting in five weeks.
After reaching maturity stage they feed on a weekly basis. The lifespan is commonly four to six months. However, some might live a year with no food, under cool conditions.
Signs of Their Presence
The sings of bedbugs are difficult to extinguish from bites of other insects of skin conditions. Their bites go unnoticed or may be mistaken by bites of other insects. These species also have glands whose secretion might leave moldy odors, they also leave dark spots on bed sheets around the places where they hide. It’s not proven yet that bed bugs cause any disease.
The tiny bloodstains on your bed sheet might appear if you squash them after they have been fed. They tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic or metal. They are also found in places like edges of carpet, sides of mirrors and smoke alarms too.
- Also read: Best bed sheet
Bed Bugs Bite
Bed bugs bite appears as red flat welts. And it’s itchy, it appears in a bunch of bites. At first, the redness is shown on face, neck, chest, feet or face. As these species are great at hiding, you can barely see them with naked eyes. At start bed bugs bites might look like bites of mosquitoes or fleas.
Not every person has the same reaction it depends on the immunity or sensitivity of the skin. Statistics say that 20% – 80% don’t show any observable reaction.
These tiny creatures are nocturnal. But if they are hungry at daytime then they are ready to bite you at that time too. Their favorite time is to bite when you are in deep sleep; 2 hours before sunrise. They can’t fly but can crawl everywhere.
These tiny species can survive temperature as low as 7°C, however, they die when their body temperature reaches 45°C. In order to kill them the room should be hotter than the given temperature to ensure all hiding to save their lives is dead. Common bed bugs are found almost everywhere their host can live. Tropical bed bugs necessitate higher standard warmth than ordinary ones and live in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
Precautions to Avoid Tiny Creature.
Check second-hand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation. Use protective cases for mattresses and box springs which abolish many hiding places. Reduce litter in your home to reduce hiding places. On returning home from hotels and crowded places wash your fabrics.
Educate people about these tiny species because many of them don’t even know about their existence. They ignore their reactions by comparing it to other insects. Clean all items with beg bug-infested areas.
Wash and dry bedding and fabrics at high temperature to kill them. The higher the temperature the shorter the time needed to kill. Cold treatments eradicate some infestation. The cooler the temperature, less time would need to kill these species.
Physically remove the ones that are visible to you. Wash everything near your bed, including stuff toys, pillows blankets, and sheets and launder them on the hot cycle. Heat will kill them, but the heat must be higher than the optimum temperature.
Some items that cannot be washed, encase them place them in the freezer. The extremely low temperature will also exterminate them and their eggs as well. Essential oils are harmful to these species on contact. Dilute the oil and spray on the areas around your mattress. Purchase bed-bug proof mattress if you are too lazy to follow any of steps. Fill cracks with sealant or caulk.
There are currently over 400 products used to kill these species. These products can be used to spray in mattresses, whole room or even whole home. Don’t forget to use it in cracks (the most common place where these tiny species are found).
Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the most used compounds to kill these tiny creatures and other indoor insects. Both compounds are really destructive for them and can kill them and flush them out easily. Some of them have become resistant to these chemicals so the other improved. Desiccants work by destroying the protective outer coating on a bed bug.
On one occasion this coating will destroy them by dehydration. They are really effective in bug control. They cannot become resistant to desiccants. Moreover, they have a long-lasting effect. Examples of desiccants are diatomaceous earth and boric acid. Use of desiccants is limited to cracks in order to reduce breathing risk.
Insect Growth Regulator
Insect growth regulators are the chemicals that imitate juvenile growth hormone in insects. They work either shifting the production of chitin (the compound insects use to make their hard external shell) or by changing an insect growth into adulthood.
Insects Resembling Bed Bugs
Some insects such as bat and barn swallow bugs are apparently like common bed bugs. All bugs’ possess small wide heads, the flat and broad bodies of bugs allow them to creep easily. They all feed on blood. Moreover, bed bugs spread over fissure and cover the human house.
These species make a home out of the deserted nest of bats, birds and other tiny mammals. The poultry bug looks like the bed bug. Poultry farms are the habitat for poultry bugs. Poultry bugs dissimilar to bed bugs feed on birds, like turkeys, eagles, and hawks. They mainly depend on human blood however they may also feed on other mammals too.
Barn swallows are also like bed bugs. Both insects are same in color and size, and they have long smooth hairs all over. Swallow bugs reproduce in summer and have potential to through the long period of time without food.
Myths about Them
- Reproduce quickly
Compared to other insects bed bugs reproduce at very low speed. Bed bug produces 1 egg in a day while common house fly produces 500 eggs over three to four days. Each bed bug egg hatch in ten days.
- Can live up to a year without food
With optimum temperature, these creatures can live two to three months without blood. But as they are cold-blooded they may live up to a year in cold conditions.
- Live solely in mattresses
These species spread from beds to other areas in the living room; they can be seen on any surface.
- Bedbugs unsanitary, urban conditions
They can be found anywhere from lavishing five starts hotels to homeless shelters. They don’t need dirty spots to survive. They can also be found in neat and clean places.
- You can spray bed bugs away
Pesticides cans or spray will not kill them. The most effective treatments are fumigations and heat treatments.
Getting rid of these little species by your own self is hard, so you need a person from Pest Control Company. Getting a professional treatment will ensure that it’s all clean and those tiny blood-sucking tiny animals are away from you. It is important to keep in mind that only one treatment is not 100% effective you need to apply combinations methods to kill bed bugs.
Don’t confuse bed bugs with other insects. If the reactions are very harsh consult a doctor as soon as possible. They are difficult to find as they are tiny and hidden deep inside the fabrics and other stuff.