About Bed Bugs

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According to research from the Texas A&M University Department of Entomology, bed bugs are small, brownish, flattened insects that feed solely on the blood of animals. The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is the species most adapted to living with humans. It has done so since ancient times.

Adult bed bugs are about 1/4 inch long and reddish brown, with oval, flattened bodies. They are sometimes mistaken for ticks or cockroaches. The immatures (nymphs) resemble the adults, but are smaller and somewhat lighter in color. Bed bugs do not fly, but can move quickly over floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces

Under favorable conditions of temperature (above 70° F) and regular feeding, female bed bugs will lay about 200 eggs during her lifetime at the rate of 3 or 4 per day. Eggs are coated with a sticky substance, causing them to adhere to objects on which they are deposited. The eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days and the nymphs begin to feed on blood immediately. After 5 molts, bed bugs reach maturity. There may be 3 or more generations a year. Environmental factors and the availability of food will cause considerable variation in the developmental rate of all stages of growth. Young and old bed bugs may live for several weeks to several months without feeding, depending upon the temperature.

Bites and Concerns Because of their cryptic behavior, bed bugs usually bite people at night while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin with their elongated beaks, injecting anti-blood clotting agents and withdraw blood directly from the host. Engorgement varies, but published ranges approximate the time as between 3 and 15 minutes. People seldom know that they are being bitten. Symptoms vary for each person, but can range from no reaction to severe welts and swelling. Hypersensitivity studies have demonstrated that in some rare occasions severe bulbous bite reactions may occur. The host immune response and potential protein antigens present in the saliva of C. lectularius or specific antibodies have not been characterized thus far. Unlike fleabites, which occur mainly around the ankles, bed bugs feed on any bare skin exposed while sleeping (face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, etc.). The welts and itching are often attributed to other causes such as mosquitoes. For these reasons, infestations may go a long time unnoticed, and can become quite large before being detected.A common concern with bed bugs is whether they transmit diseases. Although bed bugs can harbor pathogens in their bodies, transmission to humans is highly unlikely. For this reason, they are not considered a serious disease threat. Their medical significance is mainly limited to the itching and inflammation from their bites. Antihistamines and corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce allergic reactions, and antiseptic or antibiotic ointments to prevent infection. Infestations also may cause anxiety, embarrassment, and loss of sleep.

Here are the facts about Bed Bugs:

  • Gary’s Services, Inc is experienced in the identification and control of bed bugs. Please call today to have our certified technicians inspect your property if you think you might have an infestation of bed bugs.Bed Bugs are flat, brown, wingless and about 1/4 of an inch
  • They have 6 legs, shiny reddish-brown but after a good serving of your blood, they appear dark brown and swollen as in the picture below.
  • They can be seen with the human eye, but do a great job at hiding
  • Bed bugs are not known to carry diseases as of yet
  • They feed on human blood preferring to do it in the dark when you’re sleeping
  • Simply using chemical treatments will not remove the infestation
  • These bugs love to hide in the seams of your mattress including:
  • Sofa seams
  • Cracks in the bad frame and or head board
  • Under chairs, couched, beds and dust covers
  • Under rugs, edges of carpets, drawers, baseboards and window casings
  • Behind light switches, electrical outlet plates, cracks in plaster
  • Televisions, radio clocks and phones
  • Backpacks, Sleeping bags, Cloths
  • Behind wallpaper, picture frames and other dark areas

Gary’s Services, Inc is experienced in the identification and control of bed bugs. Please call today to have our certified technicians inspect your property if you think you might have an infestation of bed bugs.

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