Bed Bugs

Why You Have Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs are excellent hitchhikers, and are capable of traveling long distances with an unsuspecting host. Experts believe that recent bed bugs increases in the U.S. may be due to more travel, the prevalence of mass transit, lack of knowledge about prevention, increased resistance to pesticides, and ineffective control practices. These bugs have been found in airplane seats, trains, cabs, and hotel rooms.

Bed Bugs commonly travel in luggage, backpacks, and even in clothing. Once this Bug has hitched a ride, its destination could be anywhere, including health care facilities, public transportation, and private homes. Infestations can be spread by a visiting friend, or by even by a domestic help worker. Often a domestic worker may have a visiting relative that will carry the pest from another county. The bed bug infestation can follow you on clothing or belongings to any destination.


General Facts:

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects, roughly the size of an apple seed. The bed bug (Cimex lectularius) has been a parasite of humans throughout written history. Its adaptation to humans is so complete that its bite is not noticed until well after the bug leaves its victim, if it is noticed at all. Attracted by the warmth of our bodies and the carbon dioxide we exhale, bed bugs emerge usually at night from hiding places, seeking human blood. While pathogens have been found in bed bugs, the bed bug apparently does not transmit diseases to humans.

Prior to the widespread use of synthetic insecticides, this small, brown blood-sucking bug was perhaps the most unwanted pest in America. The insidious bed bug was loathed even more than the cockroach. Bed bugs can survive more than a year without feeding, but most adults and nymphs probably do not live more than six months without a meal.

This ability lets them wait for transient hosts that periodically inhabit camp cabins, apartments and temporary housing. It also helps them survive transportation.

The bed bug painlessly bites its victim, injects saliva to ensure blood flow, and ingests the host’s blood through needle-like mouthparts. During the three to five minutes it takes to complete feeding, the bug elongates and becomes more reddish. It then retreats to its hiding place to digest the meal, and will return to feed in three to 10 days. Reactions to bed bug bites vary among individuals. Many persons show no signs of bites. Others don’t realize they’ve been bitten until redness and swelling appear around the bite, sometimes with intense itching. Some exhibit inflamed swollen spots that may occur in linear series or have a rash-like appearance. Such bite marks, when they appear, may not show for several days after the person is bitten.