IS IT A BED BUG?
Bed bugs are oval in shape and adults may be up to 10mm long. They are usually brown, except after they’ve been feeding, when they become a darker, blood-red colour.
A young bed bug is the same shape as an adult, but may only be 1.5 mm long and a lighter brown colour. Young bed bugs also become darker after feeding.
Female bed bugs can lay at least 200 eggs during her lifetime, equaling 2 to 4 eggs each day. The eggs are white, roughly 1mm long and extremely difficult to see with the naked eye. The eggs generally take between 6 and 17 days to hatch, so it’s important to take action quickly.
The Life Of The Bed Bug
Bed bugs will hide just about any place they can fit into, and considering their size that is almost anywhere. They’ll hide in the seams of your mattress, under wallpaper, in electrical outlets, behind baseboards or behind picture frames, just to give you an idea of what you’re up against.
At night, they are attracted to the carbon dioxide exhaled by people and their pets. This is when they come out to feed, then go back to their hiding spot. Adult bed bugs will usually live for up to 10 months, but some can survive for more than a year in a home that is good for breeding.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
Sometimes, bed bugs will hitch a ride into your home despite your best efforts at keeping them away. Their size and ability to get into small openings makes it challenging to prevent them completely, but by following a few tips you can reduce the likelihood.
Set your luggage in the bathtub or on the luggage rack in hotel rooms.
Leave your own pillows at home.
Bring along large, white sealable garbage bags in case you have to separate certain items.
Inspect the room thoroughly, including all areas in and around the bed, couches, chairs, outlets, baseboards, carpets and window frames.
Bed Bug Bites
The old saying “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” holds some truth, because if you have a bed bug problem you will be bitten. Most of the time, a bed bug bite doesn’t hurt and may take up to two weeks to appear.
Bed bugs can bite you anywhere, but the arms, legs, neck, face and chest are common targets. Serious reactions to bed bug bites are not common, but they do happen so contact your doctor if you or a family member have an allergic reaction. Avoid scratching bed bug bites to prevent infection
Video on Bed Bugs
Remove unnecessary clutter.
Inspect items you bring into your house for the first time, especially used items like clothing, books or furniture.
Vacuum your home regularly, including under the beds.
Tighten any loose electrical outlet faceplates.
Seal up cracks or gaps in baseboards, wooden bed frames, walls, ceilings and window or door frames.
Remove or repair wallpaper that has peeled back.
Perform regular inspections of all beds, furniture, pillows, linens and other potential hiding spots. Use a flashlight for any hard-to-see areas.