Bed Bug Identification
Bed bugs are gray to reddish-brown in colour, are oval and flat, and are approximately 1 to 5 mm (1/16" to 3/16") in size. Bed bugs will be closely associated with the bed and surrounding objects such as headboards and end tables. The bat bug is similar in appearance to the bedbug, but has a heavier amount of setae on the pronotum and differs greatly in preferred habitat. Upon hatching, the nymph is a translucent flesh color which makes it difficult to see until it acquires its first blood meal - at which time is easily visible because of the red blood.
Bed Bug Habitat
Bed bug hide in cracks and crevices during the day. Their main harbourage areas are the box springs, mattress and bed frame. At night it feeds on its host which is usually humans but can include birds and pets. They are found wherever food and warmth are present.
Bed Bug Life Cycle
A female bed bug may deposit 1 to 5 eggs per day and may lay a total of 300-500 eggs within her lifetime. Their eggs are 1 mm long and slightly bent. They are often deposited in clusters and attached to cracks, crevices or rough surfaces near adult dwellings. The female bed bug produces a clear, sticky substance that she uses to attach each egg to the chosen surface.
Eggs hatch in 7 to 12 days depending on the conditions. There are 5 stages before a nymph bed bug reaches full maturity - each stage requires a blood feeding. This process takes approximately 4 weeks.
Bed Bug Prevention
A visual inspection of the bed mattress, headboard and linens need to be performed inspecting typical focal areas of infestation. Immediate action should be taken when bloodspots or actual bedbugs are present. A systematic approach must be taken to verify all existing and potential bedbug harbourage sites are identified and that their treatment is thorough enough to achieve control.
Preparation Steps for Bed Bug Treatment
There are many things that owners can do to help prepare their home for a successful bed bug treatment:
1. Clear all floor spaces of debris and clutter.
2. Launder all bedding in hot water prior to treatment of infested areas being sure not to remake bed.
3. Remove the electrical wall plates, phone jack plates and light switch plate covers in the room with activity.
Download our Client Preparation Checklist (PDF).
Download our Heat Treatment Preparation Checklist (PDF).
Bed Bugs- Questions and Answers
Are Bed Bugs a new pest?
Bed bugs have been around for many years but their populations were severely depleted in the 40’s with control products like DDT. The epidemic resurgence of bed bugs in recent years has been caused by lack of effective control products, increased international travel and a number of other factors including a general lack of awareness amongst the public. Another contributing factor is that most strains of modern bed bugs are highly resistant to available control products, making them difficult to control.
How did I get bed bugs?
Bed bugs can infest any home or business, no one is immune. They are great hitch hikers and can easily be picked up in a hotel or even on public transportation and brought home with you in your luggage or even a pant leg. Bed bugs are often introduced into a home in used furniture or mattresses. They can travel unit-to-unit also in multi-unit dwellings.
Are bed bugs difficult to control?
Yes. Traditional control products have limited effect on bed bugs. Modern control involves a high-level of professional training. Control techniques are a combination of steaming, vacuuming, spraying and dusting of key areas. A very time consuming process.
What about bed bug sprays I’ve seen advertised
Bed bugs have become highly resistant to pesticides but they will run away from a sprayed area. Spraying for bed bugs alone will not kill them, worse it will disperse them away from the bed to new hiding areas, effectively spreading the problem.