How To Identify & Control Bed Bugs

sleeping

Bed bugs are small brown oval-shaped insects from the genus Cimex that feed on the blood of humans or animals. Adult bed bugs have a flat body with an apple seed size; however, after feeding, their bodies will swell and turn red.  Cimex insects can quickly move on walls, ceilings, and floors. Female ones can lay hundreds of dust-sized eggs in their lifetime.  

Looking for signs of bed bugs

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A more accurate way to identify possible infestations is to look for physical signs of bed bugs. Keep an eye open for the following signs:

  • Cleaning, changing bed sheets, or crushed insects during travel leave rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses.
  • Black spots representing insect dung, which can penetrate into tissues like marks.
  • Eggs and eggshells, tiny (about 1 mm) and light yellow shells left by nymphs as they grow.
  • Live bed bugs.

How to find bed bugs: Why is it so difficult?

Finding bed bugs in your home is more difficult than you think. Unless done by a professional bed bug service, visual inspections are rarely reliable. These insects may be confused with other summer insects (such as carpet bugs), and unless correctly identified, they may have spread to your furniture without being noticeable.  Nymphs are more difficult to spot because they are much smaller than bed bugs and lighter in color.

Do bed bugs only eat humans?  

No. Bed bugs are also pests of the poultry industry and are known to parasitize bats. Some laboratories that study the breed these insects on guinea pigs and mice. Cimex can also can feed on cats and dogs. The skin may represent a barrier for them, but they can eat anywhere on the body where hair is not present. Bed bugs are not unique to humans, but they are suitable for parasitism on us. 

Where they Hide?

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Bed bugs can live in almost any crevice or hidden place. They are most commonly found in beds or places where people rest or sleep. This is especially true in the early stages of their life cycle. As the number increases, they tend to leave the bed to find other places, making the infestation difficult to control.  Bed bugs are usually hidden in the seams, folds, and crevices of mattresses, spring mattresses, bed frames, and headboards.

A thorough rodent control inspection requires disassembling the bed and adding components to the edges so that the seams and surfaces at the top and bottom can be inspected. What to look for is the insect itself, the shedding of nymphs, and the black stains of feces which usually appear at the seams of mattresses or where insects live.

Eliminate

Because bed bugs can hide in many different places in the house, they are not easy to eliminate unless you hire a professional pest control service.  Clean up unnecessary debris around the house, so that there are fewer places for these pesky creatures to hide and make the inspection and removal process less difficulty. Some pest control companies request the furniture on the walls to be removed, and mattresses and box springs to be placed on the edge of the front of the house. Other companies prefer to keep everything in place so they can inspect the furniture themselves before moving them. 

Can dogs get bed bugs? 

Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs prefer to suck human blood. Although bed bugs do not usually look for host dogs, it all depends on the degree of infestation. If the problem becomes serious enough, Cimex may infiltrate your pet’s bed.

Disease Transmission

For years, researchers have speculated whether bed bugs are disease carriers or not. Many steps are required to make this bug dangerous for human health, though. They must be able to get infected by an infectious pathogen, survive it, and then transfer it to another organism. Bed bugs are believed to be able to carry more than 45 different pathogens, including HIV and hepatitis B. 1 Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have also been isolated from bed bugs. Although bed bugs can be infected by many different pathogens, there is currently no confirmed case of bed bug transmission to humans. Research is needed to determine whether bed bugs play a role in disease transmission.