Bed bugs are small – on average no larger than ¼ of an inch or 6 millimeters for the students of the metric system. However, what they lack in individual size they can more than make up for in group volume. The National Pest Management Association – a non-profit trade association founded in 1933 to represent the interests of the professional pest management industry in the United States – recently conducted a survey with the University of Kentucky and found that bed bugs exist in every United States State with 1 out of 5 Americans reporting experience an infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs in their office, hotel, or home.
How Do They Do It?
So how do these small parasites escape detection and destruction? Here are some of the traits and strengths of this little pest that help them in their mission of taking over your home or office.
- They are smarter than they look. They hide during the day and come out to bite their hosts at night.
- They are the ninjas of the bug world. When a bed bug bites their host, they inject an anesthetic agent so that the host cannot feel the bite or the loss of blood.
- They are resistant to a range of temperatures. Bed bugs can survive freezing temperatures and over 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius).
- They are resistant to many pesticides. Although chemically strong pesticides such as DDT nearly eliminated bed bugs in the 1950s, the harmful effects of those pesticides were just as effective in humans and pets as they were in bed bugs! Therefore, it is advised that – when treating bed bugs in homes, especially homes with small children and pets – a naturally formulated pesticide be used as opposed to chemically based pesticides. See here for recommended natural ingredients based pesticides designed – Bed Bug Bully.
- Finally, they are fast at reproduction. Bed bugs can lay up to 5 eggs a day and over 500 eggs in the lifetime of a single bug. This means bed bugs enjoy a near exponential growth potential as soon as they find a mate in your home.
What Can You Do?
Do not fret; there are steps you can take to not only eliminate this pesky little pest from forming an infestation in your home but also prevent them from coming back in the future.
- Take a deep breath, remain calm, and then take immediate action. While early identification of bed bugs is key; once you find traces of their existence in your bed/home or bite marks on your skin, take immediate but effective steps to eliminate potential harm from bites and a potential in your home.
- Wash your clothes and linens in the highest temperature setting. Bed bugs enjoy moist and warm environments that are near the temperature of the human body. You must first ensure that places where you tend to sleep and rest are free from them before making more thorough inspections to identify and eliminate bed bugs. In order to be thorough, check both your mattress as well as box spring to ensure that bugs have not penetrated the exteriors and are hiding inside.
- Inspect your room including recently used travel materials. Bed bugs normally enter a home or office place on commonly used travel items such as luggage, backpacks, coats, or even shoes. Ensure that whichever method the bed bugs used to travel inside your home is free from any pest presence.
- Eliminate or evacuate the bugs. Now that you have removed the bed bugs you have spotted and cleaned the potential hiding and resting places around the house, consider performing another thorough walkthrough with a friend to ensure that there are no stragglers behind. They are tricky creatures with a penchant for finding hiding places in any crevice or gap within a house or office.
- Call the professionals. If you notice signs of bed bug bites on your skin or bugs in any area of your home following these steps. At this point, you want to either call in a professional pest management service or purchase a DIY kit such as Bed Bug Bully to take firmer actions against your uninvited houseguests.