Beg bugs are about 1/4” to 3/8” long (about the size of an apple seed), brown to reddish blood-sucking insects with a flat, oval-shaped body. Bed bug young (nymphs) are smaller and translucent white-yellow in color while their eggs are tiny (about the size of a pinhead) and milky white in color. The female bed bugs deposit 1 – 2 eggs daily and can produce up to 500 eggs (one bed bug per egg) in its lifetime. Nymphs undergo five molts (leaving behind a tannish shell known as cast skins) before reaching maturity which generally takes about five weeks. They need a blood meal in between each molting stage. Since bed bugs are very resilient, they could survive several months without a blood meal especially at cooler temperatures. They have the potential to live up to a year without feeding at 55 degrees F or less.

Where Bed Bugs Hide – Bed bugs are very secretive by nature and prefer to hide in dark cracks and crevices especially close to where people sleep or spend a lot of time at rest such as seams around mattresses and box springs, wood frame of box springs, on bed frames, behind head boards, on ceiling/wall junctions, top along baseboards, behind pictures on the wall, couches, chairs, etc.

Evidence of a Bed Bug Infestation – Despite their secretive nature, bed bugs eventually leave evidence behind. Evidence includes seeing the actual live bed bugs, dark blood spots on bedding and/or any of the above mentioned hiding places, cast skins and egg or egg shells.


What to expect with Bed bugs

Treating for bed bugs is a time, material and labor intensive job and usually will require one visit by the Pest Management Professional (PMP). In order to reduce the amount of time that the room needs to be treated, the room must be properly prepared by the client staff (or instructions clear that the PMP staff will be doing it; keep in mind that PMP’s typically do charge for such a service). Keep in mind that proper preparation of a room for bed bug treatment also reduces the spread of bed bugs in a facility! Early detection, proper identification, awareness and attention can make a huge difference in success of bed bug services

Clients may expect the following preparation to be required:

1. Linens:

Strip beds of all linens, covers, pillow covers, sham covers and bed skirt. Soiled linens should NOT sit on the floor with other linens but should be washed immediately! Place these linens in a separate laundry (or garbage bag) and take directly to the laundry. Linens should be washed with soap and hottest water washer setting and dried at highest dryer settings.

2. Mattresses:

Mattresses and box-springs should be covered with a plastic sheet or bag and taken outside of the facility. Mattresses must be destroyed if being discarded (knifed or spray painted do not use), so as to prevent someone from taking them from the dumpster and re-infesting the facility or another facility or area. Many companies do not treat mattresses even if a pesticide material is so labeled. Boxsprings may be dusted or treated as needed after the dust covering has been removed. Mattresses may be covered with a certified Bed Bug mattress encasement with a tight fitting locking system over the zipper.

3. Headboards:

Headboards that are attached to the wall should be unscrewed and removed and placed on the floor by the bed.

4. Light switch plates:

Light switch plates, outlet covers, lamps, pictures and frames, that are attached to the wall behind the bed and in the entire room should all be taken off and laid on the floor for treatment near the bed.

5. Drapes and curtains:

Drapes and curtains should be removed, bagged and taken to laundry and laundered immediately as above in no. 1. (Bed bugs often infest curtain rods and have been found even in shower curtain rods!)

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