Bed bugs are tiny insects that may enter your home through luggage, clothing, used beds/couches and other items. They typically live in mattresses and box springs and are active at night biting you and your loved ones while they sleep.
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects of the family Cimicidae. This term usually refers to species that prefer to feed on human blood. All insects in this family live by feeding exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals.
Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, flattened, oval and wingless and have microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. Adults grow to 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in color and become browner as they molt and reach maturity. Bed bugs may be mistaken for other insects such as booklice and carpet beetles, or vice-versa.
Bed bugs use pheromones and kairomones to communicate regarding nesting locations, feeding, and reproduction.
The life span of bed bugs varies by species and is also dependent on feeding. Although bed bugs can live for a year without feeding, they normally try to feed every five to ten days. In cold weather, bed bugs can live for about a year; at temperatures more conducive to activity and feeding, about 5 months.
Helpful Hints to Prevent Bringing Home Bed Bugs
We recommend taking a few simple precautions to avoid an encounter with these creepy crawlers.
- Thoroughly inspect the entire room with a flashlight before unpacking, including behind the headboard, under lights, and inside dressers, drawers, sofas and chairs.
- Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams and box springs, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains, spots or shed bed bug skins.
- Place suitcase in a plastic trash bag during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure. *Tip: Pack clothes in zip lock bag for easy cleaning upon returning home.
- Do not place luggage on upholstered surfaces. The safest place is in the bathroom in the middle of a tile floor or on a luggage rack after it has been thoroughly inspected. Do not use a luggage rack if it has hollow legs, where bed bugs may hide unseen.
- If you notice bed bugs in your room, notify management and request to change rooms immediately.
- Do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation.
- When you return home, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house.
- Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before bringing indoors and storing away.
- Wash all of your clothes – even those items you haven¹t worn – in hot water to remove any bed bugs or eggs that may have traveled home with you. Dry clean only clothes should be thrown in the dryer and run on high heat.
If you think you may have bed bugs -don’t wait- call Knox Pest Control today. We’ll have you back to sleeping tight in no time!