Nothing is worse than an interruption to a good night’s sleep. Okay, there may be worse things, however, no one wants to be woken up to the painful, irritating, and unsightly presence of bed bug bites all over their skin. And that’s exactly the risk these pesky little bugs pose. Even if you don’t have a current issue with bed bugs in your home, it’s still important to recognize the signs. Bed bug infestations have been on the rise in recent years, so they could be lurking in hotels, Airbnb’s, friends’ homes, or in your own. To be equipped with the knowledge needed to combat these little pests, here’s what you should know about bed bugs:
Table of Contents
1. What are bed bugs?
Let’s start with the basics. Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that feed on human blood. While bed bugs are considered parasites, they differ from parasitic lice, ticks, and scabies because unlike those bugs, bed bugs don’t stay attached to the host. Instead, they feed and quickly retreat back to their hiding place. On top of this, bed bugs are nocturnal – making nighttime their prime feeding time.
2. What do bed bugs look like?
Now, we’re not here to ruin your doctor’s favourite fruit, however, adult bed bugs are most comparable to apple seeds. They have the same size, shape, and colouring as an apple seed, with a smaller head and a flat, oval-shaped body, six legs, and two antennae. Bed bugs are reddish brown, but as they feed, they get larger and deeper in colour. Baby bed bugs, known as nymphs, are very difficult to spot. When bed bugs first hatch, they’re about the size of a pinhead and white in colour. So, if you spot an adult bed bug, there’s likely babies to boot. To thoroughly address the problem, professional pest control in Vancouver is the best solution – for pests of all ages.
3. Do bed bugs carry disease?
It’s an important question with a relieving answer. Unlike mosquitos, ticks, and other biting insects, bed bugs do not spread disease. Typically, the worst-case scenario with a bed bug bite is that you’re left with a small, itchy mark on your skin that looks similar to many other types of bug bites. In some rare cases, you may be allergic to bed bugs, however, this is quite uncommon. If you have unexplained marks/ bites on your skin that are causing unusual reactions, seek medical attention immediately.
4. Why do bed bugs like beds?
Bed bugs are creatures of habit. They like calm, dark spaces that allow easy access to people at rest. Hence their favourite home: the bed. Because bed bugs don’t attach to their hosts, they need access to people for extended periods of time when they’re lying down or sitting, making the bed the optimal spot of attack. Additionally, since they tend to be nocturnal, they like to live where people sleep. Making homes, hotels, university dorms, hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, and even airplanes, airports, and trains the perfect place to hide out and wait for a host.
5. Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs don’t like to travel unnecessarily – even for food. So, they’ll typically stay in proximity to their food source, which is typically mattresses, bed frames, box springs, couches, etc. Ultimately, any piece of furniture that’s close to the bed is at risk for bed bugs. Some surprising bed bug hiding spots include:
- End tables
- Picture frames
- Electrical outlets
Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may find bed bugs in kitchens and bathrooms, however, this is rare as they like to stay very close to sleeping areas.
6. How do you find bed bugs?
Identifying bed bugs can be tricky as they like to hide during the day. Therefore, the best way to spot them is to inspect what they leave behind. Look for:
- Dark spots on bedding
- Rusty or reddish stains on mattress and sheets
- Eggs or eggshells left behind from hatching bed bugs
- Shed skin casings of matured bed bugs
If you want to spot a live bed bug, the best time to do it is at night with a flashlight. Check the seams of your mattress, along your headboard, and in your nightstand – these tend to be the bed bug hot spots. At night, when the room is dark, leave any overhead lights turned off and shine a flashlight at these areas. This will be your best bet for catching a glimpse.
7. How do you get rid of bed bugs?
These little pests are durable. They can live up to a year without feeding and can survive in all sorts of temperatures and climates. Therefore, the best way to eradicate a bed bug problem is with professional pest control in Vancouver. At Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control, we have the equipment and treatment to rid your home of bed bugs permanently. For safe and effective pest control in Vancouver, reach out to our team today!