You can wake up one day to discover that bed bugs have taken over your home. Your best defense is to understand their behavior. In fact, this is the very first thing you will have to do before calling in pest control. Once you do this, putting these nasty pests in their place will become pretty easy.
They mostly feed at night, adopting a “breakfast, lunch and dinner” patter for feeding. In simple terms, they will first feed on exposed skins nearest their nest, before then moving up to get lunch, after which they will feed on another spot for “dinner”. It is possible for as much as a dozen bed bug to feed on your skin while you are snoring away, thereby creating a cluster of bites.
Their “Dine and Dash” habit
You will barely feel any pain when bed bugs feed on your skin while you are asleep. This is because their extremely sharp mouth which produces saliva while they feed on their host. Contained in the saliva is an anticoagulant which inhibits clotting of your blood while they feed. It takes between 3 to 10 minutes for a bed bug to fill its tank.
After eating to their fill, they will immediately take cover, scurrying back to their hideouts, with floorboards, crevices, box springs, books and picture frames being their favorite hiding spots. Bed bugs are in the habit of setting up their nest at a distance of about 8 feet away from their victim. It takes them 5 to 10 days to digest their meal, mate and produce eggs before coming back to your body for another meal.
Strangely, these nasty sets of pest aren’t attracted by human smell. As a matter of fact, they are actually repelled by human aldehydes especially when it is concentrated. What really attracts them is the warmth, CO2and possibly warmth your body gives them. Their senses are so sharp that they can sense this 3 feet away. Furthermore, they sometimes go food hunting in an irregular pattern.
They don’t feed alone
Bed bugs don’t just come to feed –their plan is to take over you bed, multiplying until their population gets out of hand. Once they have fed to their fill, they will retreat to their hiding spot to mate and produce eggs.
One female is capable of laying as much as 12 eggs every day, and can produce as much as 500 eggs in her lifetime. Mind you, this new babes still need to feed. By the time you calculate the number of eggs produced by other females, then will you know what you are up against.
Once hatched, a baby bug will have to feed at least once at every nymph stage. They undergo a process known as molting at every stage, thus making the presence of exoskeleton a convincing telltale sign of bed bug infestation. Though having a red color, immature bugs will change their color to brown as they leave each stage, eventually becoming dark brown on reaching the last stage of molting. It takes about a month for an egg to become a fully developed adult bed bug, if environmental conditions are right (70°F and 90°F). Depending on environmental condition, bed bugs live between 4 months to 1 year. The only thing they do is to feed, mate and expand their population.
Bed bugs are known to have an unbreakable cycle of feeding and mating. It is for this reason that you need an expert pest control officer. Controlling bed bugs can be really tasking, and there are several reasons for this. They can survive for a year without food, and can survive freezing temperatures and those as high as 122°F. They have evolved, becoming resistant to powerful insecticides such as pyrethroid.
Bed bug bites aren’t convincing enough. That aside, bed bug bites are similar to that of mosquito and flea. The best way of to ascertain their presence is by checking for shed skins, blood spots and feces. Their foul smelling odor can also be a telltale sign.
The most reliable way of determining bed infestation is by physically spotting the creature. Bed bugs are mostly active at night, and this makes it difficult to spot the. If you are lucky to catch one, place it in a container and send it for examination by an expert.