What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Though small in stature, these biting pests are notoriously difficult to eliminate once they infest homes. Of course, where there’s a will, there’s always a way and when you understand bed bug habits and their life cycle, you’ll find yourself with the advantage.
If a bed bug infestation is suspected, do not ignore it
If you’re reading this because you think you already have bed bugs, it’s important to take swift action to eliminate the pests. While bed bugs don't pose any major dangers, this does not mean you should toss your mattress out on the street, buy every DIY spray at the store, or even attempt your own heat treatment using small electrical heaters. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eliminate, so it’s important to work with a qualified pest control company that has experience dealing with these pests.
Like many pests, bed bugs are nocturnal (for the most part)
As we mentioned above, bed bugs are primarily active at night, when their hosts are sleeping. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide and body heat emitted by humans and animals.
In the case of severe infestations, it is entirely possible to see bed bugs out any time of the day.
Bed bugs will move from room to room, if necessary
Bed bugs can also travel significant distances to find new hosts, making it easy for them to spread throughout a home, a hotel, or building. They can crawl through cracks in walls and floors, and can also be transported on clothing or luggage.
The life cycle of bed bugs
Bed bugs go through several life stages, beginning as an egg, then progressing to nymphs, and finally becoming adult bed bugs. The entire life cycle can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.
During the egg stage, bed bugs are small, white, and oval-shaped. These eggs are typically laid in crevices and cracks near the areas where bed bugs feed, such as mattresses or furniture. After hatching, the bed bug enters the nymph stage, during which it sheds its skin several times as it grows and develops.
Nymphs are similar in appearance to adult bed bugs but are smaller and lighter in color. They also require a blood meal in order to progress to the next stage of development. Once the nymph has fed and molted enough times, it reaches the adult stage, at which point it is fully developed and capable of reproducing.
How you can use this information to prevent bed bugs
In the Art of War, Sun Tzu says the greatest victory is that which requires no battle. If you want victory over bed bugs, then don’t give them an opportunity to infest. With that in mind here are a few bed bug prevention tips:
- Do not introduce secondhand furniture or clothing into your home until you’ve thoroughly inspected those items for any sign of bed bug activity.
- Never pick up mattresses or furniture from the curb.
- When you return from a vacation of business trip, do not unpack your suitcase in the house. Instead, check it for bed bugs out in the driveway or garage.
- If you live in an apartment of duplex, be sure to inspect your space for bed bugs regularly.
- Don’t assume that because you only saw one bed bug, there aren’t others around. Also, if it’s a female, you cannot rule out the possibility she has already laid eggs in your home.
Contact Pine State at the first sign of bed bugs
At Pine State Pest Solutions, our bed bug control specialists understand the habits and life cycle of bed bugs and use that knowledge to gain the advantage. As Maine’s premier bed bug control company, we are well-versed in addressing infestations quickly and effectively. Using a combination of heat and conventional product, our treatment process ensures that not even a single bed bug egg has the chance to develop.
Offering effective bed bug treatments in Auburn, Augusta, and Portland as well as throughout our multi-county service area, you can trust our locally owned and operated pest control company to take care of your bed bug problem, no matter how severe.