What is a Bed Bug?
Bed bugs likely get their name from their tendency to shelter themselves in our beds and feeding on us while they sleep. Bed bugs strictly consume blood and must have regular blood meals to survive and develop. Humans are not bed bugs’ only hosts, they also will attack many warm-blooded animals, including vast avian species. Bed bugs have been associated with humans for thousands of years and are found in virtually every place people tend to gather, like motels, retail, residential homes, schools, workplaces and even public transportation. Bed bugs are excellent “hitch hikers,” allowing them to travel long distances. They latch onto suitcases, clothes, and linens and can end up wherever you go. This is why the spread of bed bugs occurs so easily. It’s often difficult to identify bed bug bites, and they can easily be misdiagnosed as a different pest, making early infestations difficult to detect and allowing their colonies to grow.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are an oval shape and only grow to about the size of an apple seed. Prior to feeding, they are brownish-red and flat. After feeding, bed bugs become more red in colour, swollen, and elongated. Bed bugs have 6 legs and 2 antennae. Despite their appearance, bed bugs do not have wings and cannot fly. Adult bed bugs are more visible to the naked eye and can be detected by sight, especially within lighter coloured mattress seams and box springs. Bed bug nymphs can be harder to identify, as they are much smaller in size and paler in color.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs are most easily identified by their droppings, small reddish-brown fecal spots on
mattresses, upholstery or walls. If these spots are found, it can likely indicate a growing
infestation. Bites on the body are also a tell-tale sign of bed bugs. While these bites can be
small, if they swell and become itchy, they are noticeable. It has been noted that they can
take two to three days for these bites to appear, allowing the infestation to grow unnoticed.
Rest assured however, bites alone do not indicate an infestation without other bed bug
Infestations can also be identified by sightings of shedding or molting, their eggs, empty
eggshells, or the bugs themselves. All of these things are quite small, but still visible to the
human eye. Bed bug molting as well as their eggs appear white after emerging from the egg.
Bed Bug Prevention
Bed bug prevention is a lot easier than controlling an existing infestation.
Depending on the severity of an infestation and the type of treatment used by a pest control
professional, it can take several treatments to completely control bed bugs. Fortunately,
there are several things that one can do to prevent bed bugs from spreading in the home.
Using caution is the key to bed bug prevention. When out in public – whether at a hotel,
store, movie theater or work place – it is important to be wary of all surroundings.
As we’ve become more aware of the bed bug presence, focus on bed bug control has also
grown. Many Canadians are modifying their behaviors to reduce their risk of an infestation.
This can be checking luggage and hotel rooms, second hand furniture, self treating their
laundry out of assumption of bedbug presence.
Regular to quarterly bed bug inspections by a pest control professional is the best method of
prevention to avoid bed bug infestations.
If you believe there is an infestation in your home, there are a few steps you can take to
reduce or prevent bed bug bites. First, you should regularly wash your bed sheets and pillow
cases using high heat. Any bed bugs that are in your bedding will be killed in the washer and
dryer. Being careful when transporting the bedding to the washing machine is important. As
you don’t want to end up accidentally spreading bed bugs throughout the home. The best
way to prevent bites is by contacting an exterminator to help eliminate the threat of bed
If you already have an infestation, it’s important to try and prevent bed bugs from spreading
in your home and to others. There are multiple different methods for this. First, carefully
check all creases and zippers within your purse, backpack, briefcase, etc. Before leaving the
house. You’ll also want to vacuum and clean these bags thoroughly to make sure bed bugs
have not found their way inside. As for your clothes, place them in the dryer, drying on high
heat for about 20-30 minutes before wearing them.
While it is important that you be proactive in order to prevent bed bugs from spreading, we
highly recommend finding an exterminator to help eliminate and prevent bed bugs.
How do you get Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs have been feeding on humans for thousands of years and continue to be one of
the top pests plaguing homes, hotels, hospitals, tourism and even public transportation. Due
to their ability to sneak into belongings and travel long distances, bed bugs are excellent
hitchhikers. To make matters worse, bed bugs will readily infest any type of indoor environment, just as long as there is a readily available blood meal, human, mammal or other avian species. Once inside of a new environment, they can infest many places beyond the bed, such as couches and chairs, inside picture frames and even behind electrical panels.
One of the most common places where people may first encounter bed bugs is in a hotel
room. Travelers should inspect the place they’re staying for bed bugs as soon as they arrive
and alert the staff as soon as possible.
Another common way people bring home bed bugs is by purchasing second-hand furniture
that may already be infested. Be sure to always inspect used couches, mattresses or box
springs and other soft goods thoroughly before bringing them inside.
What to do if you get Bed Bugs
Caption: The two ways usually used to get rid of bed bugs is heat and chemicals/steam
If an infestation occurs, call Major Pest Control immediately for assistance. Bed bugs can
breed and multiply quickly, so the earlier you can control an infestation, the better. Bed bugs
are extremely elusive creatures so professional help should be sought out when dealing with
an infestation. We are available at anytime, 24/7 when you need us.