What are Bed bugs?
Bed bugs are insects that, as adults, have oval-shaped bodies with no wings. Prior to feeding, they are about 1/4 inch long and flat as paper. After feeding, they turn dark red and become bloated. Eggs are whitish, pear-shaped and about the size of a pinhead. Clusters of 10-50 eggs can be found in cracks and crevices. Bed bugs have a one-year life span during which time a female can lay 200-400 eggs depending on food supply and temperature. Eggs hatch in about 10 days.
“I vant to suck your blood!”
Bed bugs prefer to feed on human blood, but will also bite mammals and birds. Bed bugs bite at night, and will bite all over a human body, especially around the face, neck, upper torso, arms and hands. Bed bugs can survive up to six months without feeding. Both male and female bed bugs bite.
Rumour has it… What’s true, what’s false?
F: You can get bed bugs from walking into a room.
T: Bed bugs do not jump and spend 90% of their time hiding. They tend to be nocturnal and prefer to be undisturbed and avoid any source of light.
F: Bed bugs are too small to see with the naked eye.
T: Bed bugs are the approximate size of an apple seed. They may hide the majority of the time, but can definitely be seen.
F: Chemicals and pesticides alone will kill bed bugs.
T: Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Over the counter products will not get of your bed bug issue completely. Successful treatment depends on an integrated pest management (IPM) approach:
- Laundering belongings
- Sealing cracks and crevices where they can hide
What is IPM, you say? IPM combines a variety of techniques and products that pose the least risk to human health and the environment.
F: Bed bugs can only be found on dirty people or in shelters.
T: Bed bugs are not prejudice – anyone can get bed bugs! The truth is, they can be found in private homes, apartments/condos, hotels/motels, public places such as businesses and offices.
F: Bed bugs cause disease.
T: There has been no evidence to show that bed bugs can transmit disease. However, their bites can cause potential allergic reactions (similar to that of a mosquito bite). Frequent scratching or picking of the scabs can cause infection.