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I Found A Few Bed Bugs – Does That Mean I’m Dealing With An Infestation

A bed bug sighting, regardless of quantity, is enough to stir anxiety, even in the sanest of people.  At this point in your life, you have encountered a variety of pest species. In fact, it is not unusual to see a fly, ant, or mosquito at any given time when spending time outdoors. A bed bug is another story, as sightings are rare in residential settings. At least, bed bug sightings are supposed to be uncommon, but still a possibility.  Whether you reside in a house, apartment, flat, condominium, or log cabin, you should not be sharing it with bed bugs. Or any other pest species for that matter. Commercial settings, such as hotels, bed & breakfasts, and rental cabins, are known for bed bug sightings. These establishments are frequently visited by people from all walks of life, some of which bring unwanted visitors with them. Bed bugs travel from place to place in used furniture, luggage, overnight bags, and backpacks.

Is A Lone Bed Bug Enough To Cause Concern?

Bed bugs generally travel alone, hopping rides with unsuspecting travelers. They can be picked up at hotels, college dorms, nursing homes, roadside inns, and hospitals. It is important to be prepared for bed bug encounters when visiting all the aforementioned commercial establishments. In the meantime, you must learn why any bed bug sighting is enough to warrant concern in all settings.

One Bed Bug Can Transition Into A Full-Blown Infestation

It only takes a mature pregnant female bed bug to cause a full-blown infestation. The adult bed bug grows up to 7 millimeters in length, not much larger than an apple seed. Each female bed bug can produce up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. This is about 5 eggs per day. Now, imagine if you detect a handful of pregnant female bed bugs in your home. While it may be difficult to believe, a few bed bugs will develop into a full-blown infestation in as little as a few months.

Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation

Whether you believe your home is 100 percent protected from bed bugs or not, there is always a risk. Unlike most household pests – cockroach, ant, spider, rat, and mouse – bed bugs do not infiltrate human living spaces through crevices, gaps, and cracks. Instead, the insects are carried into the human living space in suitcases, purses, preowned furniture and bedding, and dirty clothing. It is crucial to know who is always entering and exiting your home. Anyone who has recently visited a travel accommodation, university dorm, or other high-risk areas can encounter bed bugs. Most of these individuals will leave with bed bugs on their persons or in their belongings. Knowing the signs of a bed bug infestation will help when visiting a high-risk facility.
  • Live bed bugs
  • Tiny fecal droppings
  • Exoskeletons
  • Dried blood spots
  • Strong musty, sweet scent (only in severely infested properties)

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Once the bed bug(s) is safely inside your home, it will begin to search for a discrete, warm, and safe hiding place. Unlike most household pest species, the bed bug needs a breathing, living host to feed on. Bed bugs are parasitic insects that need a blood meal at least every 200 days. When a host is readily available, the bed bug will feed at least weekly. Since the bed bug needs to be in close proximity to a living host, it will discretely infiltrate the human habitat if at all possible. Doing so will give the insect quick and easy access to the host. To ensure the quickest and easiest access to blood meals is the host’s bed. The mattress is the most common bed bug hiding place. In addition to the mattress, the box springs, bed linen, pillow, bed frame, and bedside table also make good hiding places for these insects. The tiny pest will burrow deep in the tiniest crevice to avoid human detection. Bed bugs remain hidden until feeding time. At which time, the insects will emerge from their hiding spots in search of their hosts.

Know How To Avoid Bed Bugs When Visiting High-Risk Businesses?

The first step to protecting yourself and your home and family from bed bugs is knowing the high-risk businesses. With this in mind, businesses are not the only high-risk facilities. Residential establishments are also at risk, especially when the occupants are frequent visitors of high-risk commercial establishments. People who work at homeless shelters, motels, daycares, and college doors can encounter bed bugs every day of the week. Avoiding bed bugs is never easy. This is especially true when visiting establishments infested with bed bugs. While an encounter may occur, it is possible to not take bed bugs home. How is this possible?
  • Create A Bed Bug Prevention Strategy – The first step is to create a strategy to ensure you and your home stays free of bed bugs
  • Learn How To Conduct A Bed Bug Inspection – When visiting high-risk facilities, it is important to conduct a thorough inspection before or immediately upon entry. While a physical inspection will not always be possible, a visual assessment can be completed with little to no effort. Visually assess the room from the entrance before entering.
  • Know The Signs Of Bed Bugs – Know how to spot the signs of bed bugs. Apply this knowledge to the visual inspection for the best results
  • Inspection Your Suitcases – Inspecting your suitcases and other accessories before or immediately after exiting the facility is crucial. The exit inspection should be a major component of the bed bug prevention strategy

How Do Bed Bugs Know When Their Hosts Are Asleep?

Bed bugs are drawn to heat and carbon dioxide, both of which are produced by humans while sleeping. The insects rely on their antennae to detect carbon dioxide and heat that are emitted by sleeping humans. The human body releases carbon dioxide through exhalation. When the bed bug’s antenna begins to detect heat and CO2, they will gradually walk in the direction of where the human is asleep. Once the bed bugs reach their destination, they prepare to feed. Each feeding can take up to 10 minutes to complete. The insect secretes saliva with numbing properties. The saliva is placed on the skin before each feeding to avoid detection.

How To Eradicate Bed Bugs?

Eradicating bed bugs is a complex process. In most cases, the insects are not detected in the early phases of the infiltration, resulting in a full-blown infestation. Knowing how to identify bed bugs will ensure early detection, which will reduce the complexity of the treatment. We suggest utilizing combinational treatments – pesticides and traps – to ensure maximum results in a timely manner.

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