Bed Bugs

bed_bugsBedbugs – They are about 3/16″ long, broadly oval and flat. Most are mahogany or red-brown in color.  After feeding bed bug larvae can resemble small drops of fresh blood.  Their wings are very short and look like small pads. They can not fly. Bed bugs are known to give off what has been described as an obnoxiously sweet odor, or an odor similar to fresh raspberries. They will leave small spots of dried blood on the sheets and walls after feeding. The bite of a bed bug is not painful and usually the host initially is unaware of the bite. Many people have an allergic reaction to the saliva injected into the skin by the bug. Often there is a large oval or oblong, inflamed swelling, called a wheal, at the feeding site. It may be accompanied by intense itching. Rarely when a person is hypersensitive, asthmatic symptoms may occur. Bed bugs have been implicated for the transmission of at least 41 human diseases, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and allergic reactions, but they have not been proven responsible for any epidemics or serious disease outbreaks. After a blood meal, female bed bugs will lay one to five eggs a day. With multiple feedings they may lay 200 or more eggs during their life. Eggs are usually laid on a rough surface in a protected place like in a crack or crevice in walls or floors. In heavy infestations bed bugs will lay eggs on garments. In cases of starvation bed bugs can live more than 260 days. However, in all stages, bed bugs can go for long periods without a blood meal, so their life cycle may be many months long. Adult females can survive more than 150 days without food. Bed bugs are nocturnal insects. They hide in protected places during the daytime and emerge at night to feed on their sleeping hosts. Some of their more common hiding places are behind molding, in mattress seams, bedframes, loose wallpaper, and cracks in hardwood floors. With a large infestation, they may be found farther away from a potential host.