Bed Bugs are ectoparasites and they are small insects that feed on blood. Although they prefer human blood, they will feed on other animals. They are visible to the naked eye. However, since the early stages of bed bugs are difficult to see, you may need to use a magnifying glass to see the smaller bed bugs. Adult bed bugs are oval, wingless and rusty red colored, and have flat bodies, antennae and small eyes. They often hide in cracks and crevices. When bed bugs feed, their bodies swell and become a brighter red or almost black in color sometimes. In homes, bed bugs feed primarily on the blood of humans, usually at night when people are sleeping. They are attracted to people by their CO2 and body heat. Adult bed bugs can crawl about 4 feet a minute. That is why you will notice small blood stains or "brown spots" on the sheets and bed covers from when someone rolls over in their sleep and the bed bug is squished.
The life span of a bed bug most commonly ranges from four to six months. However, some bed bugs may live up to a year under cool conditions and with no food.
Always inspect used furniture, particularly bed frames and mattresses before bringing it into a home. Mattresses, in particular, carry the greatest risk of harboring bed bugs and their eggs. Bed Bug Encasements that zip, lock and seal, are recommended for mattresses and box springs. Keep encasements on for at least a year. You should be wary of acquiring used furnishings, especially beds and couches.
Places that Bed Bugs Can Hide:
• The Mattress and Box Spring
• Bed Frame, Head and Foot Boards, Wooden Slats, etc
• Other Furniture: Desks, Chairs, Dressers, etc
• Electronics and Other Appliances
• Other Areas included but not limited to: behind picture frames, switch plate covers, loose wallpaper, under door and window casings, baseboards or along the edges of carpets
Client compliance is essential; proper pre-treatment preparation of the facility may be the single most important step in an effective bed bug treatment strategy.
Often a structure cannot be completely treated because of social issues. Language barriers often prevent effective preparation and implementation of the treatment plan. We always try to establish a relationship and communicate with a resident or homeowner. Overcrowded dwellings can result in too much disorder and or clutter, inaccessible doors for personal property security, and lack of compliance because of immigration concerns. Hoarders are of concern as space can often not be achieved for effective treatment; we give special care and sufficient time allotted in these instances.
Don't forget your car seats either, these bugs make great unwelcome travel companions! We have incorporated in our personal travels to inspect for bed bugs in hotel rooms. Always take a flashlight to inspect the bed area completely and a white or clear garbage bag to lay flat on top of the luggage rack to set your luggage on. In most cases, bed bugs are transported from infested areas to non-infested areas by clinging to someone's clothing, luggage, furniture or bedding that is then brought into homes.
Bed bugs do not discriminate between economic status or race. They can be found on buses, airplanes, in movie theatres, homes, senior centers, and schools. Schools may become infested by student backpacks, purses, gym-bags, etc.
Anyone can get bed bugs. If you find bed bugs, seek help immediately by contacting Patterson Pest Patrol, LLC. Sealing cracks and small holes will help to reduce hiding places and prevent bed bugs from crawling between rooms, apartments, etc.
Although bed bugs may be a nuisance to people, they are not known to spread disease. They are known to cause allergic reactions from their saliva in sensitive people. Initial infestations tend to be around beds, but the bugs eventually may become scattered throughout a room, occupying any crevice or protected location. Bed bugs come out to feed every few weeks, so re-treatment is critical. Being pro-active to prevent the re-introduction of bed bugs once abatement has been achieved is very important for the resident/client. Bed bugs are becoming more prevalent in Texas every day and many times have been labeled as the "new millennial roach".
Download the Bed Bug Treatment Plan PDF here