Bed Bug Resources – Bed bugs at a glance

What Are Bed Bugs?

It may come as a surprise to you, but our beds are an entire ecosystem. Our pillows and mattress and blankets are stuffed with microscopic bugs that live off our dead skin. Think that’s gross? Your entire body is an ecosystem as well! In your intestines you carry 3 to 5 pounds of gut bacteria on average and dust mites are a tiny creature that eats nothing but dead human skin. In your bed right now you could have anywhere from 100 000 to over 2 000 000 individual dust mites living off the kilograms of skin you will shed this year.

But despite living in your bed, these bugs aren’t really an issue. They don’t munch on your body or seek living flesh. So, what are bed bugs? Bed bugs are actually a variety of different insects. However, they are all parasitic (benefiting from another organism’s suffering) feeding almost exclusively on human blood, and they belong to the cimicid family.

In biology, a family is a large group of organisms that all share a common ancestor and common traits. The canid (or canine) family for example includes man’s best friend the domestic dog, as well as wolves, foxes, jackals, and coyotes. The cimicid family on the other hand includes no friends to humans. Instead of being known for a pack mentality and a long muzzle, the cimicidae (plural of cimicid) have characteristics such as not being able to fly, blood-sucking, and destroying happiness. Okay, maybe destroying happiness isn’t a biological trait, but if you asked anybody with a current infestation they may beg to differ. Recent research has also found those who are being bitten frequently are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders, chronic tiredness, and even depression.

Bed bugs are most often active at night; during this time, they bite and consume the blood of any warm-blooded creature is nearby (usually mammals including humans). When they have yet to feed, they are flat, oval insects. After eating, they become fat and maybe a bit elongated. The adults are about a quarter inch but can get as large as three quarters of an inch in diameter. In metric, that’s averaging just over half a centimeter with a possibility of being almost two centimeters across. Like many bugs, their life cycle includes eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. In order to remove an infestation, a homeowner must have all individuals destroyed – not just the adults. Each adult bed bug will bite only once every 5-10 days.

During the time in between bites, they will hide in your bedding to digest the blood they’ve consumed, find a mate, and lay eggs. Bed bug bites often result in red rashes and psychological effects; sometimes an individual may have an allergic reaction as well. There’s no way around it: having a bed bug infestation is awful. To make matters worse, getting rid of them on your own is extremely difficult. We always recommend calling a professional to deal with any pest problem. You’ll still have a variety of budgets, methods, and effectiveness to choose from, but they are all more likely to work without damaging your property. If you want an environmentally friendly solution with absolutely no pesticides, contact Calgary Pest Control today for a free quote.

What Do They Feed On?

Primarily, You

Bed bugs are known to feed on warm blooded animals and humans. Commonly, bed bugs will bite around the face, neck, upper torso, arms and hand areas – and are most active during the night time.

After being bitten, skin can tend to itch and become swollen, but will not have a reaction until after the bite. Bed bugs do not transmit blood-borne pathogens between humans.

The Look Of A Bite.

The Mark Left Behind

A bite is similar to what a flea or mosquito bite would look like, in size and colour. Bedbug bites will have a red dot in the centre, much like flea bites.

The most common area to be bitten are the exposed areas when sleeping, such as the face, neck, hands, arms and lower legs. Some people may not show any signs of bed bug bites, but can experience anxiety, insomnia or even nausea.

Do I Have Bed Bugs?

Identify The Problem

If you are experiencing itchy welts on your skin, blood spots on sheets or brown spots on mattresses you may have a bed bug infestation.

When feeding, blood could be crushed and stain sheets/mattresses. If you experience an offensive, sweet, musty odour you may have a severe case of bed bugs.

How Did I Get Bed Bugs?

Many people assume that getting bed bugs is a sign of uncleanliness. The truth is, bed bugs are brought into your home from items such as luggage, furniture, clothing, bedding and more.

Once bed bugs are introduced, they spread quickly from room to room by crawling along electrical wiring, pipes and other openings. Bed bugs cannot jump or fly, climbing on metal or polished surfaces can be particularly hard for them. High traffic places are where bed bugs are most common, such as hotels, motels and apartments.

Goodbye Forever

Prevent an Infestation

To prevent bed bugs, regular cleaning of your home including vacuuming your mattress can help to prevent infestation. Avoid picking up used furniture, as it could have bed bugs infested, it is always a good idea to wash any clothing items in hot water then place in the dryer before bringing into your home.

After travelling, clean out everything you travelled with including your suitcase, and clean with hot water. One of the benefits of heat treatment for bedbugs is that you do not have to throw away your clothing or furniture, but still prevent future infestations through total eradication.

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