Top Facts About Bed Bugs
- Bed bugs are simple creatures with simple lives: Find a host, eat often and mate when possible.
- Bed bugs don’t do anything else. They don’t add to the world’s ecosystem like termites, who help return organic material into soil. They don’t control other insect populations like spiders, who eat many of the annoying pests that live in your home. Even the majority of cockroach species, despite our inclination to think of all of them as very dirty, are scavengers that help recycle decaying material.
- Bed bugs, on the other hand, aren’t beneficial to the environment in any way. There are no predators that depend on bed bugs as a food source. Bed bugs aren’t pollinators and don’t create or excrete anything that other insects or animals might feed off of. Even other parasitic insects provide benefits to their environments: For example, mosquitoes are eaten by frogs and other reptiles, while ticks provide an essential food source for animals in their field environments. But bed bugs? They have two major functions to the exclusion of all else: They eat and mate. That’s it.
Good to Know
They have two major functions to the exclusion of all else: They eat and mate. That’s it.
Where Do Bed Bugs Live and Eat?
Bed bugs live and eat closest to where humans sleep, because humans provide them with blood meals. If the members of your household primarily sleep in beds located in bedrooms, that’s where bed bugs will live. If, instead, many members of your house spend several hours sleeping or napping on your couch, bed bugs will make their way there instead. In fact, bed bugs will even live in and around pet bedding.
Once a bed bug has fed, it can take several weeks to digest just that one meal. Because they need so much time to digest their blood meals, they spend most of their lives hiding near your bed — and are extremely adept hiders. Bed bugs can flatten their bodies to fit into the tiniest of cracks and crevices anywhere in your home that’s close to a sleeping person. They look for hiding spots that provide the least threat of being disturbed — and will happily hang out and digest in the wall of your home, your floor, floorboards, furniture, picture frames and any other tiny place they can find. Bed bugs can live for up to a year without eating and will wait in abandoned homes and furniture until their next meal arrives.
Even if you do find what looks like a bed bug in your home, they resemble many other bugs, making them notoriously difficult to identify.
Signs of Bed Bugs/What to Look for
Bed bugs are nocturnal, which means that you aren’t very likely to see the bugs themselves while you are awake. Even if you do find what looks like a bed bug in your home, they resemble many other bugs, making them notoriously difficult to identify. There are, however, some tell-tale signs of bed bug infestations, including:
- Bites on your body, primarily in areas not covered by clothing.
- Bites in a distinctive pattern of three-in-a-row, often referred to as “breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
- Dark or rusty-colored spots on your sheets and mattress. These may be bed bug excrement, which is essentially dried blood.
- Shed skins, or skin casings, left behind by molting bed bugs in the crevices of your mattress or anywhere bed bugs may hide, such as cracks in walls and floorboards.
- Large bed bug infestations can have an offensive, musty odor caused by the aroma produced by bed bug scent glands.
- Bed bug eggs that resemble tiny grains of rice that may be loosely stuck in fabric or wood around any sleeping area.
If you do happen upon a live bed bug, look for wings. If your identified bug has wings or is flying, it is not a bed bug. Adult bed bugs are flat and rusty in color, are about the size of an apple seed, and have six legs and two antennae.
Cost of Bed Bug Removal
Depending on the treatment needed and the area affected, a full bed bug removal treatment can cost between $500 and $1,750 dollars. It is often far more expensive than people anticipate, as it takes considerable effort and skill to completely eradicate a bed bug infestation. In fact, if you hire the wrong people and the infestation is not completely taken care of, you may have to hire a pest control service to start the process all over again.
Find a Specialist for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a serious problem and are notoriously difficult to get rid of on your own. Most infestations require a professional to perform inspections, find all the bed bugs and use proper equipment and chemicals to remove the problem completely. If bed bugs are on your mind, don’t hesitate to reach out to At Home Pros today, and get connected to the best pest control services for bed bugs in your area.