Bed Bugs

***Information***

1234543972_Picture_bedbugsHistory And Life Cycle
The bed bug is an old pest that was common in homes prior to World War II. For the last 50 years, bed bugs have rarely been seen outside of cramped living quarters and less than sanitary conditions in jails and homeless shelters. Not anymore. In the last five years there has been a resurgence. Bed bugs have become a particular problem in hotels, motels, and hostels where there is a high rate of occupant turnover. Even five star hotels are having problems with bed bugs.

Bed bugs are blood-feeding insects. They are a light tan color, but turn dark-reddish brown once they have fed on blood. Before feeding, the adult bed bug is about ¼ inch long and flattened. Once engorged with blood, it swells in size. Bed bugs can be easily seen with the naked eye, but it’s not easy to find bed bugs in a room. The bed bug is an old pest that was common in homes prior to World War II. For the last 40 years, bed bugs have rarely been seen outside of cramped living quarters and less than sanitary conditions in jails and homeless shelters. Not anymore.

In the last five years there has been a resurgence. Bed bugs have become a particular problem in hotels, motels, and hostels where there is a high rate of occupant turnover. Even five star hotels are having problems with bed bugs.

Bed bugs can’t fly, so they either crawl or are carried from place to place. Bed bugs or their eggs can hitchhike in a traveler’s suitcase or clothing. Business people now routinely travel to and from countries where bed bugs are common, even in good hotels. The offspring of one pregnant female bed bug that crawls out of a suitcase can infest a room, and eventually other rooms nearby. Bed bugs usually feed at night and spend the day hidden. Their flattened shape lets them squeeze into narrow places in bed frames, headboards, in bedside furniture, behind pictures and switch plates, behind baseboards, under buttons on mattresses, in boxsprings, and in other cracks and crevices. Speckles of dried blood excrement can be found on bedding or places where bed bugs hide.

A bed bug feeds about once a week, usually for several minutes. It most often feeds on a sleeper’s exposed skin. The bite is nearly painless and is not felt by most people. Some people have no reaction afterwards, but most people develop a hard bump with a whitish center, which can itch for days. Although bed bugs suck blood like other human parasites, there has been no evidence that they spread diseases. Bed bugs can survive for several months between blood meals if there is no person or animal for them to feed on.