Bed bugs are nocturnal and shelter in a variety of dark locations, including under mattresses, bed frames, walls, cracks and crevices, floorboards, carpets, behind paintings etc. Humans and animals living with a bed bug infestation are subjected to bites which turn into wheals or hives. Because of their habits, bed bugs are often not detected even when they feed. Dark fecal spots, cast skins and crushed bed bugs are all signs of possible infestation.
There is an abundance of ways bed bugs can be transferred. They can be found almost anywhere – homes, hotels, condos, apartments or any property that we frequent. They can accidentally get into our belongings (suitcases, back packs, purses etc). From there, they can transferred from their first home, which means they can find themselves in houses, hospitals, offices or any other building that provides a mode of transportation.
Bed bugs only feed once every 5-10 days. At any given night, only 10% of the population will be active and feeding, while the rest are hiding and digesting. In cooler temperatures, a bed bug can live up to a year without feeding. In warmer temperatures, 25 degrees or so, bed bugs will only live up to about 4 months without feeding. Bed bugs only feed on blood and have no other nutritional requirement. They are attracted to CO2 and heat given off by people or animals, but their ability to sense this is less than 3 feet.
Early detection is critical! Solving a bed bug problem requires full co-operation from the home owner, tenant and/or building management for a successful outcome. Home Hardware Pest Control has a comprehensive process to systematically eradicate bed bugs from every possible hiding space, effectively removing them completely.
Bed bug detection and prevention tips
The only way to prevent the spread of bed bugs is to eliminate people from being exposed to them. Taking these steps can minimize the risk of spreading bed bugs:
- Consider bringing a large plastic bag to store your luggage in during hotel stays
- Carry a small flashlight to assist with quick visual inspections
- Vacuum suitcases after returning from vacation
- Check bed frames, mattresses and box springs for blood spots, fecal matter or castings
- Vacuum mattresses and box springs to remove bed bugs and eggs
- Never bring in second hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of bed bugs
- Minimize the number or hiding places. I.e. reduce clutter
- Inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs
- Hire a pest control professional to address and treat the infestation