There has been a significant increase in bed bug infestations over the past several years. Several Ohio cities are ranked in the top 12 infested cities in the country. To combat an infestation, you first need to know what to look for. Bed bugs look different depending on their stage of life. The adult is the size of an apple seed and is mahogany or brownish. The bed bug will go through 5 nymph stages from the egg, needing a blood meal during each molt.
The early stage is white and will progress darker during the stages. They live up to 18 months with three or more generations per year. They can lay up to 12 eggs per day, up to 500, during their lifetime. Unfortunately, your problem begins with them being transported to your location. You need to continually inspect your belongings and surroundings, including clothing, furniture (mainly previously used), luggage, gym bags, and other personal belongings.
Be aware that you can encounter them in many areas you visit daily, such as buses, medical facilities, theatres, office buildings, and the mall. What are the signs of bed bugs? Seeing an actual bed bug is one thing. However, signs of an infestation include fecal spots (like dark pen spots), skin casings, eggs, blood smears on sheets, and bites on your skin. Take over your home and call the bed bug exterminators at Apex today to control your Infestation!
Prevention Tips for Home
- Learn to recognize bed bugs so that you can begin to eliminate an outbreak early
- Frequently inspect belongings and surroundings.
- Wash bedding and blankets regularly and dry them at high temperatures
- Reduce clutter and inspect cracks and crevices around where you sleep and lounge.
- Avoid bringing second-hand furniture into your home
- Inspect all your children’s belongings when coming back from school break
- Vacuum often (discard contents and clean the vacuum to avoid transferring eggs to other rooms)
- Leave luggage in the garage upon returning from a trip, place contents in a sealed plastic bag, and bring directly to hot wash and hot dry
Prevention Tips While Traveling
- Upon entering your room, check your mattress and box spring for an infestation: insects, fecal spots, and skin casings.
- Alert hotel management if you see any signs of an infestation or blood spots on sheets in the morning or bites on your body
- Place luggage in the bathtub or bathroom floor to reduce the likelihood of bed bugs attaching to your luggage.
- Inspect your luggage upon leaving and place luggage in a tightly sealed plastic bag to reduce the likelihood of anything getting out
- Leave luggage in the garage upon returning from a trip, place contents in a sealed plastic bag, and bring directly to hot wash and hot dry.
Due to the elusiveness of the pest, bed bug extermination services cannot be quoted over the phone. Instead, an inspection must be performed by a qualified Apex Tech or a canine to assess the level of infestation and the appropriate required treatment. A quote can then be provided at this time. Due to the complexity of this issue and what is required to eradicate the infestation, it is best to call the bed bug exterminators from Apex as soon as possible!
Bed Bug Identification
These parasitic pests are some of the most difficult to eradicate. Identification is the first step in removing any pest from your home or office. Bed bugs are more common than you think!
- Color: Adult is mahogany to rusty brown; red-brown when engorged with blood. Nymphs (baby bed bugs) are nearly colorless when hatching.
- Legs: 6
- Size: Adults are about 3/16 to 1/5 inches long; Nymphs range from 1.3mm to 4-5mm; Eggs are white and about 1/32 inch long
- Identifying Characteristics: Broadly oval and flat; the body becomes elongated, swollen, and dark red after a blood meal; has beaklike piercing-sucking mouthparts; possible to detect an obnoxiously sweet or foul “locker-room” odor, which is emitted from their glands.
Characteristics of this insect:
- Bed bugs feed only on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts, including poultry, rodents, dogs, and cats, to name a few
- Bed bugs do not fly or jump. They can enter tight crack and crevice locations because of their flattened bodies.
- They are elusive, nocturnal creatures hiding in dark, protected sites during the day. However, they are opportunistic and may take a blood meal during the day in heavy infestations.
- Adults and young ones can go without feedings for 80 to 140 days. Older adults are known to live as long as 550 days with no feedings (that is about 18 months!)
- Female bed bugs lay from one to twelve eggs per day; eggs are coated with a sticky substance and adhered to rough surfaces, cracks, and crevices. This is about 500 eggs per her lifetime. Eggs hatch in 7 – 10 days. Developmental time (egg to adult) is affected by temperature – about 21 days at 86º F to 120 days at 65º F. Bed bugs reach maturity after five molts (require a blood meal to molt)
- An adult’s lifespan may encompass 12-18 months, with three or more generations per year.