Most people, even pest control experts, may never have seen bed bugs at all. Bed bug infestation, II in the United States. While it was a very common situation before World War II, these insects were completely eradicated with the developments in hygiene, especially with the widespread use of DDT in the 1940s and 50s. However, pests persisted in parts of the world, including regions of Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. In the last decade or so, bed bugs have made a dramatic comeback in the US. It is increasingly seen in homes, apartments, hotels, healthcare facilities, dormitories, shelters, schools and public transport. Other places where bed bugs sometimes occur include movie theaters, laundries, rental furniture and office buildings.
Definition and Habits
Bed bugs, scientifically named Cimex lectularius, are small, brownish, flat insects that only feed on the blood of animals. Although these insects prefer to feed on humans, they also bite other warm-blooded animals such as dogs, cats, birds and rodents. They have lived in this way since ancient times, and this is known because bed bugs from the Aristotelian era are mentioned in medieval European texts and classical Greek writings.
The adult bedbug is about 3/16 long and has an oval shaped, reddish brown flat body. Sometimes they are confused with ticks, cockroaches, carpet beetles or other house bugs. Immature bed bugs are similar to adults, but they are smaller and lighter in color. These insects do not fly and splash like fleas, but they can quickly crawl over floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces. Adult females lay their eggs in secluded places, potentially accumulating hundreds of eggs a day, 1, 2 or more during their lifetime. Eggs are the size of a tiny dust speck, whitish and especially on light colored surfaces. These eggs are difficult to see without enlarging them. Eggs are sticky when first laid and cause them to stick to surfaces. At room temperature, bed bug eggs hatch in about a week. As the bed bugs grow, they shed their skin five times before reaching maturity. Adult females should also be fed to lay eggs. Under favorable conditions (70-80 ° F), insects can mature several times a month and produce multiple generations per year. Lower temperatures or limited access to blood extend development times.
Bed bugs are very flexible in life spans, offspring and adults can live for months without feeding that is unusual for most insects. Their ability to survive without a bloody meal is longer at lower temperatures, potentially up to a year, or at 55 ° F or less. In temperature-controlled buildings, life expectancy is typically about 2 to 6 months. When infested dwellings such as flats become vacant, they often spread to nearby units or reduce their activity until the apartment is operational again. Bed bugs are mostly active at night and, during the day, prefer to hide close to where people sleep. Their flattened bodies make them easy to fit into small gaps, especially those associated with mattresses, springs, mattress edges and headboards. Bed bugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but they tend to congregate in unusually hiding places. Characteristically, these areas are marked by dark spotting and point-shaped dried feces of insects. There are also hatched and non-hatched eggs, shed skin of maturing fry, and insects themselves. Another possible sign is rusted, reddish stains on the sheets or crushed knitted bedding from bed bugs. Bedbugs prefer to hide close to where they feed, but if food is required, they can stand up while the person is awake to eat. Initially, insects tend to be around sleeping areas, namely beds, sofas and recliners. If infestations are not prevented from multiplying, they can spread to other places within the dwelling, making it even more difficult to get rid of these insects.
Bites and Health Concerns
Bedbugs often bite people at night while they sleep. These hungry insects can feed, especially if the person normally sleeps during the daytime. They do this by piercing the skin in the form of a longitudinal beak. The blood sucking time of this beetle takes roughly three to 10 minutes, but the bite is painless and the person rarely realizes they have been bitten. Normally, they are not found on humans like head or body lice, but instead go to a secluded place to digest their food immediately after feeding. The reactions seen after being bitten by bed bugs vary from person to person. Many people develop an itchy and red reaction a day after being bitten. Other people may show little or no reaction. Sometimes the reaction can occur days or even weeks after the actual bite occurred, making it difficult to determine where or when the bites actually occurred. Studies in bed bug-infected apartments show that around 30 percent of people do not respond even if they are bitten repeatedly from time to time, and the rate of no reactivity is higher among the elderly. Unlike flea bites that occur mainly around the lower legs and ankles, bed bugs feed on any exposed skin while sleeping, face, neck, shoulders, back, arms, legs, etc. like. Sources and itching are often incorrectly attributed to other causes such as mosquitoes. For these reasons, infestations can go unnoticed long and can be quite a lot before they get detected.
The likelihood of bed bugs increases if the affected individual is traveling or has acquired used bedding or furniture before symptoms appeared. However, it is important to know that not all bite-like reactions are caused by bed bugs. Verification is to identify bed bugs, scalp, fecal spots, etc., which often require the assistance of a professional. it requires control, finding and identification. A common concern with bed bugs is whether they pass other diseases to humans. Although these insects can harbor a variety of pathogens, the risk of human transmission is unproven and unlikely. Their medical importance is most often associated with itching and inflammation from their bites. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, to reduce allergic reactions, and antiseptic or antibiotic ointments can be taken to prevent infection. Although not known to carry the disease, bed bugs can significantly reduce quality of life by causing discomfort, insomnia, anxiety, and embarrassment. According to some health professionals, the stress of living with bedbugs can have a significant impact on some people’s emotional health and well-being.
Traditional insect repellents such as those used to repel ticks and mosquitoes do not appear to be effective against bed bugs. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid being bitten by applying insect repellent before going to bed. Sleeping in a lighted environment is also unlikely to deter these hungry insects, as it will adjust their feeding cycle to the sleep pattern of the host.
Why Do Invasions Cause?
It often seems that bed bugs arise from nowhere. Insects can often be transported along with suitcases, clothes, bedding, furniture and other items to relevant dwellings. This is hotels and apartments where occupants are fixed are high risk areas. Buying second-hand beds, sofas, and furniture is another way insects are transported into buildings. Bedbugs can also be carried in the person’s clothing, shoes or wheelchair. After entering these areas, they can crawl from room to room or from floor to floor. They can also be moved to other buildings on people and their belongings.
Unlike cockroaches and flies that feed on dirt, there is no relationship between bed bugs and cleanliness. Since insects only feed on blood, pristine dwellings may be most susceptible to invasion. However, poverty and privacy can lead to an increased risk of bed bug problems as well as an inability to dispose of a professional. Some types of bed bugs are parasites of bats or birds, and will bite humans if wild hosts are no longer available. Although similar in general appearance, types of bed bugs that normally feed on bats, swallows, pigeons, or other wild hosts can be distinguished from those that prefer humans. Entomologists and knowledgeable pest managers can make this distinction. If bats or bird beetles are present, tunnel and nest areas should be the primary focus, animals should be removed and removed from the building.
Where are they stored?
Bed bugs can live in almost any crevice or protected location. The most common place to find them is in bed or where people sleep. This is especially true in the early stages of the problem. As the infestations grow larger, the insects tend to migrate beyond the beds to other areas, making control more difficult. Bed bugs often hide in the seams, folds and crevices of mattresses, box springs, bed edges, headboards. A thorough inspection may need to be removed so that the upper and lower seams, surfaces can be inspected. The things to look out for are the insects themselves, the skin of the offspring (immature bed bugs) and shedding blackish dung spots. Dark spots of dried bed bug droppings are often found along bed seams or wherever insects are found. Box springs provide many places for bed bugs to hide, especially along the top seam edges and below the bottom edge of the box on the frame. If there is an underlying dust cover, it may need to be removed to gain access for examination and possible treatment. However, the bearings and springs can be difficult to handle successfully.
Cracks of bed frames should be examined, especially if the frame is wooden. Wood bugs have a greater affinity for wood and fabric than metal or plastic. Wooden support laths, if any, should be removed and examined, as the ends are often collected where the frame stands on it. Screw holes, knots, and other recesses are also common hiding places. Headboards attached to the walls should be removed and inspected. In hotels, the area behind the headboard is often the first places where bed bugs occur. Bed bugs also often hide in items hiding under beds. Upholstered chairs, recliners, and sofas are often the next possible area for bed bugs, seams, skirts, and fabric folds should be scrutinized carefully. Sofas and recliners can be big bed bug spots, especially when used for sleeping. Like beds, it can be difficult to maintain and sometimes needs to be thrown away. Bedside tables and dressers may need to be tipped over to unload and inspect the interior and exterior and the woodwork underneath. Often insects hide in cracks, corners and recesses. They can be hidden among common hiding places for bedbugs, in wall-to-wall carpets, behind beds and sofas, at the joints of the ceiling wall, behind wall-mounted paintings, mirrors and key plates, under loose wallpaper, in wardrobes and in drawers.
Bedbugs live collectively, but it is also common to have a single insect or some eggs. A thorough examination and treatment can take several hours. Some spraying companies use specially trained dogs to find small scattered infestations, especially in places like hotels, schools, libraries, and office buildings. When these dogs are properly trained, locating these insects can also be quite effective. Relatively few companies routinely use these types of animals for training and maintenance costs.