The common bedbug is the bedbug best adapted to human environments and the one that causes most problems for humans. Once a common health problem that was almost eliminated as such, bedbugs in the last decade have had a successful resurgence. They are increasingly becoming a problem in homes, apartments, condos, hotels, hospitals, college dormitories and cruise ships.
Adult bedbugs are wingless, reddish brown, flattened, oval, 4-5 mm long and are fast runners (video). They change color to a deep red-brown after a blood meal. Usually flattened from top to bottom, bedbugs will swell like a balloon when engorged with blood. Young bedbugs called “nymphs” look like adults only smaller.
There are 5 stages the nymphs pass through to adulthood. Each juvenile stage requires a bloodmeal to mature to the next level. Entire development from nymph to adult requires 6-8 weeks. Adults can live an average of up to 1 year. Eggs are very difficult to see as they are cream colored and only 1mm in length. Bedbugs have piercing sucking mouth parts. They pierce the skin, injecting an anti-coagulant then withdraw blood until full (video). Adult bedbugs will feed every 5 to 10 days.
Bedbugs are often mistakenly associated with filth. They are attracted to exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat. They feed on blood, not dirt or waste. The sanitation of an environment does not affect bedbugs. Bedbugs have not been known to transmit any disease to humans; however, continued feeding on the same host can cause an allergic reaction to the bedbug saliva. The reaction is much like the reaction to a mosquito bite.
Bedbugs can infest a structure as stowaways on luggage, clothing, used furniture (video), bed frames, mattresses, etc. They can adhere to clothing and move from one location to another. Once inside a structure bedbugs can travel from room to adjacent room (dormitory) or remain close to the food source.
They are typically in the bedroom in the bed frame, box spring, mattress, in the carpet, in the dressers, closets, behind baseboards, in picture frames, etc. In short, bedbugs can be found anywhere in the infested structure.
If a bedbug infestation is suspected a thorough inspection by your Willard’s Pest Control professional is essential. We will identify the invader and make recommendations for treatment. Treatment of bedbugs is extreme in nature and completely thorough. In many circumstances more than one treatment is required for elimination.