According to historical evidence, bed bugs have been a problem in our homes since the Ancient Egyptians, some 3,500 years ago. These parasitic bloodsuckers don’t just pester humans, they have also been known to feed on chicken, bats, dogs, cats and even guinea pigs. And while blood is their food source, they have been known to live up to one year without a “meal.”
Identifying bed bugs
Bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed. They are flat and reddish-brown if they haven’t eaten recently; if they have had a meal, they will appear swollen and reddish. They prefer cooler temperatures. The bothersome bugs live on average four to six months. During a female’s lifespan, she will lay one to five eggs a day, for a maximum of 200 to 500 eggs during her adult period.
Signs of an infestation
Not sure if what you have is a bedbug problem? Here are the most common signs:
- Bites may be the first indication you notice of bed bugs, however other signs may be needed to confirm it is in fact bed bugs.
- Obviously another sign of bed bugs is if you see the apple seed-shaped bugs in your home. They are particularly fond of mattress seams and sheets, as well as any cracks and crevices.
- As young bed bugs grow, they shed their skins, so another sign of an infestation is the discarded case skins.
- Finally after feeding, bed bugs prefer to return to their hiding spaces where they defecate leaving black to brown stains or mounds depending on the surface.
How to avoid bed bugs
The best way to deal with bed bugs is to avoid inviting them into your home in the first place. To prevent them, it is important to check your hotel room when traveling. Bed bugs like to hitchhike via your luggage back to your home. If you purchase secondhand or used furniture, ask the store if they have a policy for inspecting the items for bed bugs or how they handle them on any of their items. Finally, if you purchase clothing that is used, wash it on the warmest possible setting you can or at least put it in the dryer on a medium or high setting as soon as you bring the item into your home.
If you suspect that your home has a bedbug infestation, it is best to let the professionals at Impact Pest Elimination address the situation. Call us today, and let us help!