The old saying “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite” still holds significant relevance today. Bed bugs continue to be a prolific pest issue around the world with their ability to hitchhike and spread rapidly from place to place. While most people know the basics of bed bug knowledge – they’re small, brown, oval insects; they love to bite; they are difficult to get rid of – there are lots of things you might not know about them, as well. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about bed bugs.
1. Bed Bugs Are Found Everywhere
Bed bugs are found in all 50 states and around the world. They are more often found in urban areas versus rural areas because of the increased population in these areas and the higher incidence of apartment living. Bed bugs will thrive anywhere humans are found. Bed bugs have been found in every setting imaginable, including hotels, apartments, single family homes, dorms, hospitals, offices, schools, trains, planes, buses, movie theaters, stores, and even laundromats.
2. Bed Bugs Are Extremely Versatile
Bed bugs can withstand temperatures ranging from just above freezing up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. They can live for several months without a blood meal, hiding away in furniture, luggage, etc. until they are near a human again. They are quite elusive, staying hidden during the daytime in mattresses, baseboards, picture frames, or anywhere else they can find and emerging at night to feed. They are triggered to come out of hiding by the small of the carbon dioxide we exhale when we are sleeping.
3. Bed Bugs Have A Predictable Feeding Pattern
Once bed bugs find a host, they will feed for 5 to 10 minutes until they are full. They eat in a “breakfast, lunch, dinner” pattern, leaving behind a distinctive bite pattern which is usually in clusters or rows on the exposed skin of the chest, arms, and legs. Bed bugs can ingest up to 7 times their body weight in blood. They will also only consume blood from a live host. Once they feed, bed bugs will hide in seclusion for 5 to 10 days where they will digest their meal, mate, and lay eggs.
4. Bed Bug Saliva Mimics An Anesthetic
Humans will often sleep through bed bug bites, not realizing anything has happened until they wake up the next day with visible bites on their skin. The saliva of bed bugs contains components that act as an anesthetic, promoting blood flow at the bite site and making the feeding process quick and nearly painless.
5. Bed Bugs Are Difficult to Eliminate
Because of their ability to withstand a wide range of temperatures, their small size, ability to reproduce quickly and in large numbers, their elusive nature and uncanny ability to hide during the day, bed bugs are extremely difficult to control and eliminate. While their are steps you can take to prevent bed bugs, they have developed a natural resistance to traditional pest control methods. Professional bed bug control methods are usually required to completely eliminate a bed bug infestation. A professional pest control company can thoroughly inspect your home and provide you with an effective course of treatment.