Not Sure If You Have Bed Bugs?
Bed Bug Detection
Bed bugs can be particularly difficult to detect. The bed bug's natural instinct is to hide from potential predators. Bed bugs generally prefer to be within 5 feet of a place that a host (you) sleeps or often sits. In established infestations, there will typically be signs of fecal matter of the bed bug on the mattress, with a heavier concentration of fecal matter typically on the corners of the mattress and in folds of the mattress. Fecal matter looks similar to if someone has taken a black ball point pen and made a dot or dots along the effected area. Another indication to look for is bed bug exoskeletons. Bed Bugs shed their exoskeleton 5 times in their life as they mature and grow. These exoskeletons will likely be found in areas near common bed bug harborages
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites will typically come in a series of 2-4 bites in a close proximity. These bites will typically occur on extremities of the body, such as hands, feet, legs, etc as opposed to on the torso. Different individuals can react much differently to bites. Oddly enough, we find women and children tend to be bit or react to bites more than men. Some people will have little reaction to bed bug bites, while others may have severe rashing and inflamation of the skin.
Bed Bug Behavior
Proximity to Host- Bed bugs are a 'nesting parasite' that hide near where people rest and sleep. The bed bug feeds while a person or pet is at rest or sitting still. Once they have fed, bed bugs will return to hiding. Most bed bugs may be found within 8 feet of a person’s resting place. As the infestation grows, bed bugs will spread further. Bed bugs tend to live in groups, but depending on several factors they will move to other areas. Female bed bugs will leave a group if they have been mated multiple times.
Eating Habits- Bed bugs do not feed on a predictable schedule. Bed bugs mostly feed at night but they will feed during the day if they are hungry and there is a resting host. It takes between five to ten minutes for a bed bug to become completely engorged with blood. Although bed bugs can live for a year without feeding, they normally try to feed every five to ten days.
Survivalist Nature-Bed bugs can survive for up to ONE YEAR without a food source. Bed bugs prefer warm dry hiding places. Common harborages for bed bugs include mattress box springs, joints of wood furniture, electronics,
Travel-Bed bugs do not jump or fly. However, bed bugs are excellent climbers. They are capable of climbing up walls, wood, fabric, or any surface that isn't perfectly smooth.
Bed Bug Reproduction
Bed bugs mate in a bizarre process called traumatic insemination. Instead of using the genital tract, the male pierces the female's abdomen with his genitalia and injects his sperm through a wound in the abdominal cavity. The sperm migrates through her abdominal fluid until it reaches her ovaries. This process is traumatic to the female because of the wound, leakage of blood and increased risk of infection and disease. The mating process reduces the lifespan of the female bed bug. After mating, the female may try to avoid mating again by isolating herself and moving away from the harborage. This process makes it more likely that a bed bug that hitchhikes on personal belongings like luggage, backpacks and pocketbooks will be a pregnant female. Females can carry sperm and produce eggs for 4 to 6 weeks, increasing the odds that the bed bug you bring home will be a pregnant female capable of creating a widespread infestation in your home or business.
Bed bugs can live up to 12 to 18 months. A female is capable of laying from one to twelve eggs per day, but typically lays 5-7 per week. Over the course of her lifetime, a female can lay 200-500 eggs. Both male and female bed bugs must feed at least every 14 days in order to reproduce. Females will lay eggs almost continuously as long as she has access to a blood meal. An infestation from a single pregnant female can rise to 5,000 bed bugs within six months. Egg hatch in 6 to 17 days and nymphs can immediately begin to feed. Nymphs require a blood meal in order to molt and reach the next level of development. Nymphs or instars pass through five moulting periods before they become adults capable of reproducing. Development time from egg to adult is greatly affected by temperature. At 86 degrees, it takes about 21 days for an egg to hatch, go through nymphal development and reach adulthood. At 65 degrees, the process takes about 120 days.