Do you think you’ve spotted a bed bug in your home? If so, it’s best to get in touch with a trusted pest management company as soon as you can. The earlier you treat a bed bug infestation, the sooner you can rest easy.
As pest management experts work to mitigate the local bed bug population in your home, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on some of the facts about these creatures. If you can dispel the myths, you’ll be more confident in the bed bug remediation process and decrease any anxiety you may have about bed bugs in general.
Although bed bugs are small (around the size of an apple seed), they are just as easy to spot as an ant and have a similar brown or red coloring. It’s actually the eggs that are more difficult to identify since they are so tiny. However, bed bugs, nymphs and eggs are all visible to the naked eye if you know where to look and what to look for.
Bed bugs do not discriminate based on your neighborhood, cleaning habits or thread count. Hotels, apartments, and homes at all price points are equally subject to the threat of bed bugs – even 5-star hotels! Nor are bed bugs attracted to dirty or messy conditions (although piles and clutter give them more places to hide), they are only interested in the blood of humans and other animals.
Bed bugs do not transmit any kind of disease. While they certainly bite, their bites do not indicate the spread of disease or pose a real threat to your health. While bed bug bites do cause itching for many people, any redness, raised bumps or welts are not tied to medical illness, rather just an allergic reaction of the skin.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are not only found in beds. While they are commonly found in beds, bedding, headboards, and bedframes, they’re also likely to have infiltrated the other furniture and fixtures within an infested bedroom. This might include your dresser, nightstand, closet, light fixtures, flooring, picture frames and other areas to hide in with easy access to the bed.
Bed bugs are often most active at night because that is when the majority of people are asleep. However, people with bed bugs that work the overnight shift entice bed bugs to come out during the day. It is merely the presence of heat and carbon dioxide (your breathing) that notifies bed bugs that it’s time to feed, not the time of day.
Good news: Bed Bugs don’t actually have wings, so there’s not even the slightest possibility of them taking to the air. And while some people confuse them with fleas, they also can’t jump. In fact, they only move about three feet per minute at their top speed.
Gnats and mites are both fast breeders with the fungus gnat laying approximately 20 eggs per day and the two-spotted spider mite laying roughly 15 eggs per day. House flies are even more prolific, depositing a whopping 500 eggs over their lifespan. The bed bug is far more modest, laying a single egg per day.
Bed bug bite examples do tend to have several common characteristics, such as swollen welts with dark centers that tend to appear in lines or clusters. However, there’s no way to definitively diagnose a bed bug bite versus any other insect bite. In fact, up to 50 percent of people won’t have a reaction after getting bitten by bed bugs.
Eggs and shed skins indicate that you have an insect problem — but it won’t tell you which kind of bug you’re dealing with. Much like bed bug bites, their skins and their eggs aren’t distinctive enough on their own to make an absolutely definitive diagnosis.
This one is less of a myth and more of a qualified truth. Bed bugs aren’t fastidious little creatures, and they tend to defecate anywhere and everywhere. Like the insects themselves, their excrement is small, which means you may have a hard time finding the hard, dry pellets. However, it’s easy to spot them when they show up on sheets. Still, while such signs are telling, they don’t conclusively say what sort of pest you’re dealing with.
Again, this one is somewhat true. Bed bugs need cover and hiding places in order to survive and removing waste and clutter can help you avoid developing a serious bug problem. However, bed bugs don’t need a lot of space to secret themselves away since they’re mere millimeters in size. In fact, the EPA notes that these insects can hiding in furniture seams, the joints of drawers, under wallpaper, and even in the heads of screws. Tidying up helps, but it isn’t foolproof.
Bed bugs can live virtually anywhere that they can fit, and given that many appliances radiate heat, it’s natural for these irritating insects to migrate toward them. Fortunately, bed bugs don’t move quickly, so if you’ve located them around a particular appliance, you may have found the source of your bed bug problem.
DIY pest-control solutions have appeal for homeowners since they are typically inexpensive, but you really do get what you pay for when it comes to bed bug treatments. Self-applied treatments rarely solve the issue since bed bugs are notoriously difficult to find. Additionally, not calling a professional typically causes the infestation to grow worse.