The bed bug
is about the same size as an apple seed. The insect’s tiny body is dark red. As the abdomen becomes engorged with blood, it turns a bright red. The insect utilizes its elbow-shaped legs to climb surfaces to access its host’s bed.
cannot fly and travel distances at slow speeds. Feedings usually take place at night or when the host is asleep. The nocturnal behavior allows the insect to feed without being detected. The host probably will not be aware of the feeding until the bite marks are detected on the body. Even so, the host may mistake the bed bug
bite for another insect like a mosquito.
Fortunately, bed bugs
do not spread diseases. However, the bite can cause an allergic reaction. Bed bug
bite allergies start with a small red, edematous bump. Depending on the severity of the allergic reaction, the victim may experience itchiness, a small pustule, or shortness of breath.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?
Besides the most preferred hiding spot, the host’s bed, bed bugs seek refuge in tiny, crevices, holes, and gaps in various surfaces. The more bed bugs involved, the vaster the problem becomes.
Once the host’s bed becomes overcrowded, the insects will seek shelter nearby. Electronic devices, home décor, wall hangings, bed frames, wallboards, loose wallpaper, carpet, upholstery, drapery, damaged paneling, baseboards, and electric outlets can easily become bed bug hiding places.
The first place to look for bed bugs is your bed. Starting with the mattresses, carefully inspect the seams, cover, top panel, and vents. During the inspection, there are several signs to be on the lookout for, including:
- Live bed bugs
- Dried blood
- Dried exoskeleton
Bed bugs hide in closets, toy boxes, storage crates, shoes, decorative pillows, sofas, and box springs.
Bed Bug Feedings
As previously mentioned, bed bugs feed when their hosts are asleep. If the host is a day sleeper, the bed bugs feed during the day. The feeding begins with numbing of the skin. The saliva contains properties that act as an anesthetic, which allows the insect to feed without getting detection.
The second step of the process involves injecting the feeding tube into the host’s skin. The feeding tube is injected deep into the skin to access blood. Feedings only last for one to five minutes in most cases.
Bed bugs feed once or twice every 10 days. The insects begin feeding on human blood when they reach the larvae stage of the life cycle.
Do Bed Bugs Outside The Host’s Bedroom?
Yes, it is common knowledge that the bed bug prefers hiding in the host’s bedroom. There are times when the insects are forced to live outside the host’s bedroom. During an infestation, the bedroom may become overcrowded, forcing the insects into other areas.
Bed bugs follow their hosts when they alternate from one sleeping place to another. It may take several days for the bed bugs to make the transition, but it will happen at some point. These parasites cannot survive without feeding at least once every 20 to 400 days.
Bed bugs have been known to infest nurseries, daybeds, and other sleeping areas. If you have infants and small children, it is crucial to inspect their bedding regularly. If your bedroom is determined to be infested with bed bugs, it is likely your children’s bedrooms are also infested.
Do Bed Bugs Travel On Your Body?
Bed bugs can travel inside luggage, coats, handbags, briefcases, suitcases, backpacks, and clothing. The insects do not generally remain on their host’s body after feedings. They return to their hiding places, where they will remain until the next feeding.
Bed bugs can also travel in furniture, clothing, shoes, and stuffed animals purchased from thrift stores, garage sales, and yard sales. While it is not always a good idea to purchase used furniture and stuffed animals from secondhand stores, some people tend to do it anyway. It is recommended to inspect all high-risk areas before taking them through the checkout.
It is unfortunate, that bed bugs are not always visible to the naked eye. Bed bug larvae and eggs are almost translucent in color. If there are no adults, it is likely, that the insects will go undetected during a quick inspection.
Where Do Female Bed Bugs Lay Their Eggs?
Female bed bugs can lay up to 200 eggs in their lifetimes. They lay between one or five eggs every few days. To ensure their larvae have access to blood meals, females lay their eggs in proximity to their hosts.
Female bed bugs utilize cracks, between mattress seams, carpet fibers, and gaps in furniture as temporary housing for their eggs. They also lay their eggs on mattresses, box springs, sheets, pillowcases, and bedspreads.
Bed bugs target all properties, including unkempt houses, prestige townhouses, mansions, and tidy flats.