Problems Bed Bugs Bring
No one likes waking up to small bug bites all over their body. But being bitten by bed bugs can be much more than an irritation. Here are just a few ways bed bugs can be a problem when they get into a home or business.
For some people, bed bugs are more than an irritation. They can be traumatic. There is something unsettling about having bugs crawling on you and feeding on your blood while you sleep.
Hotels, motels and other businesses that offer sleeping accommodations can get bad reviews and lose revenue.
Daycares, headstarts, and schools can have major fallout from parents when bed bugs appear, no matter what is done to correct the issue.
A clothing retailer that accidentally ships bed bugs with merchandise could find itself the center of a social media frenzy.
When bed bugs get into an apartment complex, they can move through wall voids and spread from one rental unit to the next.
When bed bugs take root in a home, it can create problems with friends and family. Would you go over to someone's home if you found out they were dealing with a bed bug infestation, or they had bed bugs but got them exterminated? Not only is there a stigma attached to having bed bugs, there is a fear of picking these bugs up.
Awareness of what bed bugs are and how they can be controlled is the solution to this unwarranted fear.
In a recent study, it was found that bed bugs have the ability to transmit the protozoan that leads to Chagas disease. While this is not conclusive proof that bed bugs are linked to the spread of this dangerous disease, it shines light on the possibility that bed bugs do more than just leave itchy red welts.
While this is certainly not everything you need to know about bed bugs and the problems they present, it should help you understand the nature of this pest control issue.
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
When bed bugs get into a home, you would think that bite marks would be the first sign of an infestation but often they aren't. Infestations can begin with the hatching of a group of eggs.
The newly hatched bed bug nymphs can leave bite marks that aren't obvious. So it is important to know all of the warning signs bed bugs provide and where you can find those warning signs.
Bed Bug Identification
You may have seen a bed bug posted on the news. It is becoming a common sight. But those photos of apple seed-shaped, brownish-red bugs, with their horizontal crease lines, are a little deceiving.
First of all, bed bugs don't always look like that. In fact, if you see a bed bug, it is more likely to be pale colored and have a bright red abdomen.
This is because the bed bugs most people see are immature nymphs feeding on their skin. Adult bed bugs, the ones from the pictures on the news, come out at night while you're sleeping. Second, bed bugs are really small.
When you see a big picture of a bug on the news, you don't get a realistic idea of the size of these insects. You can hold dozens of adult bed bugs on your thumbnail. And an infestation can be very small to look at.
But don't let the small size fool you. Dozens of bed bugs in a tiny one-inch square piece of real estate between your mattress and your box spring can make you very miserable.
When bed bugs first hatch, they are pale and mostly transparent. As they develop, they become tan and eventually reddish brown, like the photos on the news.
In all stages of development, bed bugs have six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. After a blood meal, the abdomen of a nymph will be bright red. While not as pronounced, adult bed bugs will appear more of a reddish color after a blood meal. An engorged bed bug will also appear to be more of a pill shape, rather than a flat oval.
Bed Bug Warning Signs
In areas of infestation, you're going to see speckles of black droppings or black patches, shed insect skins, 1 mm white eggs in a batch or as individuals, and tan staining caused by blood excretions. Keep in mind that these are not going to be large and noticeable.
They may be tucked in a crack or crease. They may be in a pocket or under a flap of cloth. Bed bugs are skilled at hiding. It is also possible for bed bugs to hide in a place you can't search, such as inside wall voids, outlets, electronics, and the interior of your couch.