For most of human history, we have shared our homes with bed bugs. With the development of DDT, we almost wiped bed bugs out, at least in countries with access to the chemical. But after DDT was banned, they came roaring back in the last 15-20 years. And bed bugs are once again a pest problem in Salt Lake City. They are hard to identify and are often misidentified as other pests.
Bed Bug Lifecycle
Adult bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are about the size of an apple seed, or 3/16th of an inch long. They are flat, oval, brownish insects before they feed. After they feed on your blood, bed bugs are rounded and reddish in color. Bed bugs can live about ten months. The female lays an egg or two every day. The eggs are tiny and whitish, making them very difficult to see. They are also sticky when first laid so they stay where the female puts them. At normal room temperatures, they hatch in about a week. The nymphs are about the size of a pinhead and are straw-colored. As they grow, the nymphs go through five molts. They must have blood before each molt. At room temperature, nymphs can mature in about a month and produce many generations each year.
Signs You Have Bed Bugs
Because bed bugs are so small and are nocturnal, you may not see them even if you are looking. They often will hide close to their next meal on a bed frame, mattress, or box spring, as well as in other sleeping and resting areas such as the sofa, reclining chairs, etc. As the infestation worsens, they disperse throughout the house. If you see these signs then you probably have bed bugs.
- Eggs and the nymph’s cast-off skins
- Spots of red excrement on the bed and sheets
- Smears of red on the sheets from where bed bugs dribble blood
How Bed Bugs Get To Your House
Bed bugs cannot fly or float to new homes, but they can crawl. In apartments or hotels, they can crawl from one apartment or room to another. The initial infestation occurs when the bed bugs hitchhike a ride there on something. This is also how they reach homes.
Generally speaking, bed bugs hitchhike home on something that is put on a bed or other infested surface, such as a backpack, luggage, or clothing. It is important to inspect your belongings and the clothes you are wearing before going into your house. Look for movement, check the seams, edges of zippers, and all other external features where a bed bug can hide. If you find bed bugs, do not enter the house with the item until the bed bugs are eliminated. You can wash your clothes and other washable items in hot water for at least 30 minutes then dry the items in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes.
The other route for bed bugs is second-hand clothes, furnishings, and furniture. Carefully inspect all surfaces of the items and do not bring them into the house until they are treated if you find signs of bed bugs.
Get Professional Help
Bed bugs are challenging to eliminate. You are no match for them. If you think you have bed bugs, call a professional for expert help. Call Pest Pro Pest Control. We have the equipment and materials needed to eliminate your bed bug problem. When you call us, we will send a licensed professional out to inspect your home. Because bed bug infestations look similar to some other pest infestations, we will inspect the areas of your home that bed bugs like to hide.
If we find signs of bed bugs in your home, we will move to the treatment phase. We will give you an instruction sheet on how to prepare for treatment. When we come out we apply a liquid treatment to the areas bed bugs typically hide. In two weeks, we will come out and re-treat your home. If you think the bed bugs are back within six weeks, we will come out and re-treat the house at no additional charge. Call Pest Pro Pest Control today at (801) 889-2016 and get rid of your bed bug problem.