Critter Spotlight: Bed Bugs
Bedbugs were the most commonly searched pests in 2015, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA); additionally, bed bug exterminators have nearly tripled in the past decade, according to a survey by both the NPMA and the University of Kentucky. Though—thankfully —these critters aren’t capable of transmitting diseases, that doesn’t take away from their status as a nuisance.
Bedbugs have been plaguing humans for thousands of years, even since the time of Ancient Egypt; colonists transported them to America via ships from Europe, and have been thriving in the Western hemisphere ever since. Though modern extermination methods have generally kept them at bay, bed bugs have been a rebound back onto the pest scene back in the 1990s, mostly due to increased international travel via cars and airplanes.
Bedbugs are master stealth transporters, capable of entering your space undetected via purses, luggage, clothes, couches, chairs, or other items – as their flat bodies enable them to fit into the smallest of spaces (about the width of cardboard stock). Eventually, they congregate as a group in hiding spots such as your mattresses, box springs and headboards, where they have access to bite throughout the night. They can also inhabit other cracks and crevices throughout an infested room, including loose wallpaper, baseboards or behind picture frames, inching their way towards nearby rooms or apartments.
The distinguishing characteristics of bedbugs include a flat, oval-shaped body (which can appear balloon-like if it has fed recently) that are about the size of an apple seed. Eggs – which can be produced by a female everyday in batches of up to five) are about the size of a pin, and are white to gray in color, and can be marked by an eye spot if more than a few days old).
Bedbugs feed almost exclusively on human blood, causing extremely itchy bites. This is because they inject enzymes and anti-coagulants into the skin to prevent the site from clotting, allowing the bedbug to feed, for up to 10 minutes with each feeding. Bites, welts and swelling commonly appear on exposed skin during sleep – such as the upper body, neck, arms and shoulders.
Because bedbugs live only on blood, you’ll find them in immaculate, as well as filthy homes. If you suspect an out-of-control pest issue in your house, or are even looking for a preemptive strike against a potential infestation, be sure to contact a licensed pest professional – such as Accurate Termite Control – to inspect and treat any pest issues for the fall.
CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS TO DEAL WITH AN INFESTATION. If you suspect an out-of-control pest issue in your house, or are even looking for a preemptive strike against a potential infestation, be sure to contact a licensed pest professional – such as Accurate Termite Control – to inspect and treat any pest issues for the fall.