Bed bugs are a pain in more ways than one. These insects are invasive and persistent, and should not be dealt with in a DIY manner, even if it is a small infestation. A study published in the Nature Science Reports journal suggests that bedbugs have evolved and found ways to resist insecticides used against them, so that is, even more, a reason to leave it to a professional.

 

Appearance

These bugs are flat and reddish-brown with an oval shape. They can grow to be as large as an apple seed. After a meal, they appear swollen and more reddish than brown due to the blood.

Sometimes, bed bugs can be mistaken for small cockroaches or ticks. However, they have unique characteristics that set them apart, one being the feeding tube that punctures the bite site.

 

Close up image of a bed bug biting a human skin.

Lifestyle

Only feeding on blood, these insects can survive without a meal for up to a year. They cover during the day, coming out at night when their hosts, us, are asleep. Found in crevices and cracks, they can travel from room to room and even tag along with visitors in their luggage.

These hardy bugs are smart and will linger in hidden areas until they find a host. They will hide behind picture frames, switch plates, and maybe even behind your wallpaper.

Bed bugs have predictable feeding patterns and usually, feed for five to ten minutes. After they have fed, they will leave clusters of bite marks that can be on parts of the skin that will show during sleeping. Bite marks are one of the easier ways to figure out if you have an infestation.

 

Habitat

Bed bugs can live practically anywhere. Being able to stand temperatures ranging from almost freezing to 122 degrees, they are resilient insects. Hotels, office buildings, schools, and movie theaters are just a few usual places where you can find them. It can make bed bug extermination hard.

 

Identifying an Infestation

Other than finding bite marks on your body, there are a few more things that can indicate there is an outbreak in the area. Bites can be unreliable, so make sure that you look for other signs as well. These signs can be droppings, casings, or even the bugs themselves.

Traces of their wastes and you can find skins in the folds of your mattress, box spring, and other good hiding spots. The droppings will look like small, dark spots colored like blood. The skins that result from the molting process will look like popcorn kernels, but thinner and smaller.

Whether you have a bed bug difficulty or not, it is important to keep an eye out for any signs of them. Making sure that you catch it before it gets too out of control is essential, but if you don’t, it’s not impossible to get rid of them. Call your local bed bug exterminator or pest control guy to help you with the issue.

 

Image Credit: WikiMedia.org

 

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