What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small wingless parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and are translucent brown or red in colour. They are attracted to the body heat and carbon dioxide exhaled by mammals. Bed bugs can live up to one year, and in that year females can lay up to 100 eggs or more. Eggs are small, about the size of a poppy seed, and are white or translucent. They generally live in or on mattresses and box springs, or other places where people are sedentary (i.e. sofas and beds etc). They are typically nocturnal and in some cases can feed on humans without being noticed. Bed bugs are not known to transmit human diseases.
Who Is At Risk Of Bed Bug Infestation?
Bed Bugs are found anywhere people reside or rest, including hotels, theatres, and cruise ships, and they can be transmitted in many ways. While the number one method of transmitting bed bugs is through the introduction of used or salvaged furniture, they can also spread from adjacent homes (apartments), and can even be brought into your home on your clothes and in/on luggage. Literally any home can become infested.
How Can I Tell If I Have Bed Bugs?
Bites will likely be the first indicator of an infestation, but proactive steps may be taken. Inspect mattresses looking for adult bed bugs along seams and in crevices, as well as inside the box spring. Also look for the small white eggs in crevices and for distinctive black marks (feces) along the edges of your mattress.
Areas bed bugs like to hide:
Bedbugs love gaps in just about everything, so check:
- behind baseboards
- around door and window casings
- around window sills and frames
- behind electrical and telephone switch plates
- between flooring and wall components
- where materials meet to form a gap
- around pipes (water, drain, electrical conduits
- seams, creases, tufts, and folds of the mattress and box spring
- bed frames and head board
- under night stands and drawers
- storage units
- items such as furniture that may have hollow legs
- between upholstered furniture
- between the folds of drapery or curtains
- in your alarm clock
What Can I Do To Prevent A Bed Bug Infestation?
The physical effects of bed bug bites are similar to mosquitoes and in rare cases can cause dermatological problems, but the psychological effects of infestation, while not exclusive to bed bugs, can be severe. Prevention through the steps below is the key to avoiding any ill effects.
- NEVER bring discarded bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture into your home
- Inspect luggage thoroughly after travelling and BEFORE bringing it into your home
- Vacuum your mattress often, inspect piping and seams and check plastic corner caps on box springs
- Clean up clutter, articles of clothing, blankets and other clutter provide an idea place for bed bugs to live, to limit your risk, limit clutter to a minimum
- Seal cracks and crevices in your home with caulking
What If I Find Bed Bugs In My Home?
It is always best to contact a professional pest control operator. While there are consumer level pesticide products, these are not recommended as they can harm occupants (including pets) and probably will not be effective. Global Pest Control is a licensed and insured operator and has developed protocols for dealing with infestations of any size. Pesticide treatments are recommended over alternative treatments, such as heat treating and cold treating. Infestations can encompass the entire home, with bed bugs living within walls and behind cabinets. Severe infestations can require extensive professional pesticide use and will be disruptive.
If you find bed bugs in your home call Global Pest Control immediately, then refer to the following bed bug checklist:
Download our checklist to be sure your space is ready to be Bed Bug Free:
You can download a PDF copy of this page for quick reference as we work with you to eliminate these pests: