If you suspect that you have a bed bug outbreak or infestation in your home or office, your first priority is to educate yourself on what they look like, how they behave, and more importantly, how to get rid of them. Scroll below to learn some need-to-know facts about bed bug biology, identification, treatment, and more.
Identification Guide For Bed Bugs
Scientific Name: Climex lectularius Linnaeus
What Does a Bed Bug Look Like?
Well, the best way to describe the physical appearance of a bed bug is like a small mite, usually reddish (rusty) or dark brown in color. They can sometimes appear redder if they have just fed. They can even look translucent as babies, which are called nymphs.
As for shape, they are often round-bodied, or broadly oval. After a bloodmeal, their bodies tend to be even rounder and slightly engorged. They are also known to shed their outer skin right after feeding, known as molting.
Adults come in at about ¼ of an inch in length, while nymphs can be as tiny as 1.3 millimeters! This means you could probably fit around 10 to 12 bedbugs on the surface of a penny.
Bedbug Egg Identification
It is just as important to eradicate bed bug eggs as it is the bed bugs themselves. Otherwise, you’ll just have more bedbugs in the future. Gestation periods are short, so won’t be very long before you have a new bedbug infestation. Within 21 days, bed bugs reach full maturity and begin reproducing new generations of nymphs. Bed bug eggs look like tiny, sticky balls, generally white or brown.
Locating Bed Bugs
Where did bedbugs like to hang out? The most obvious places include mattresses, box springs, and bedding; after all, they are called bed bugs. But bedbugs are also known to infest backpacks, hats, shoes, car seats, coats, jackets, luggage, and more. They are also found behind wallpaper, baseboards, electrical outlets, switch plates, furniture, and even picture frames.
Bed Bug Bites
Getting bitten up by bedbugs is one of the worst parts of dealing with the bedbug infestation. Bedbugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted from our skin. This is why they tend to target our exposed skin while we sleep. They insert two beak-shaped feeding tubes into the skin, one injecting saliva to anesthetize the area, and the other drawing blood. Bedbugs will typically engorge feed on their hosts for 5 to 10 minutes, then retreat to a hiding spot for several days to safely digest, mate, and reproduce. Bedbug bites generally look like tiny red bumps or welts, and they itch like crazy. This is simply a reaction to the anesthetic inserted into the skin via one of their beak-like feeding tubes.
How to Get Rid of Bedbugs
There are several required to fully get rid of the bedbug infestation. The first part of bedbug removal and treatment is bedbug extermination. Once you get rid of all of the bedbugs and bedbug eggs, the next phase is cleanup followed by prevention.
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