Bed bug infestations have caused plenty of public hysteria in the United States in recent years. The main threat with these buggers is psychological. They carry a harsh social stigma. But bed bugs do not proliferate solely in poor or filthy households, as many people assume. Bed bugs don’t discriminate. If you’ve got furniture and blood running through your veins, you’re at risk for a bed bug infestation. Here are seven of the questions we get asked the most about these persistent pests.
Where do bed bugs live and hide?
About three quarters of bed bugs stay near where people sleep, near a bed, armchair, or crib. The other quarter of them hide in cracks and crevices around the room, in furniture joints and baseboards. Clutter offers more places for the bugs to hide. It also makes it more difficult to find and eliminate them.
What can bed bugs do to me?
They can make you go crazy, that’s for sure. Bed bugs live off of blood, usually human blood. (They also feed on the blood of mice, so make sure you get rid of rodents from your home.) They usually feast at night, about an hour before dawn, while their host is asleep. But don’t get too smug if you work the night shift. Bed bugs know when you are sleeping. They are attracted to a human’s body temperature and the carbon dioxide we exhale.
Luckily, the feeding itself does not cause pain. The bed bug’s saliva has a numbing agent that also makes the blood easier to drink. Later, though, victims may experience an itchy rash or bumps in response to the bites. Some never get any visible bumps. Only a thorough inspection by a professional can confirm unequivocally an actual bed bug infestation.
For the most part, negative effects of bed bugs are mental more than physical. They can cause their victims and their households legitimate stress and insomnia. Nonetheless, those itchy bites can’t be ignored either. Bed bugs are not vectors of serious disease. But if you can’t stop scratching the bites, you risk a secondary infection.
How long do bed bugs live?
The lifespan of a bed bug can vary depending on its species and how many blood meals it can find. The bugs are known to live at least 6 to 12 months.
Can heat kills bed bugs?
Bed bugs can survive a wide range of temperatures. But a combination of heat and drying has proven effective at killing them. Studies have shown that all stages of life are killed by seven minutes of exposure to a heat of 115 °F. Other studies have found that bed bug eggs were only be destroyed after 90 minutes of exposure to 118 °F. Running affected clothes through a regular dryer on high heat for an hour should work to kill the bugs.
How long can they survive in fabric?
Bedbugs can live on sheets, in a pile of laundry, really anywhere. They can survive two to three months in your clothing and fabrics without a blood meal, or up to a year or more with access to blood.
How often do bed bugs reproduce and how many babies do they have?
After a blood feed, a female bedbug lays one to seven eggs per day. In a lifetime of 12 months, she can lay some 500 eggs, so the problem can get out of control quickly.
How do they spread?
People move around too often to be intentional vehicles for bed bugs. They prefer stationary hiding spots. They can spread if the boxes, suitcases, and other goods that they are living in get moved from house to house, or from hotel to home.
How do I eradicate these nasty pests?
Before you flip out, read our guide on bed bugs. If you still feel creeped out or just plain concerned, consult with one of the reputable exterminators at Green Pest Solutions. Call them at 877-636-9469. Then try to get some sleep.
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