The bed bug, or Cimex lectularius, is a rust-colored blood-eating insect that spreads by traveling with humans. Inside a home or business a female bed bug can produce over 4,000 offspring in a six month period, given optimal conditions. What are optimal conditions? Contrary to what you might have heard, these bugs do not require a dirty place to make their home. They can be found in luxury accommodations and the most opulent of homes. These bugs require only one thing to breed and live: a blood meal. Regardless of this fact, there is still a stigma attached to these bugs, and having them can be a humiliating and reputation damaging experience for a business or family. This primer will show you what to look for and how to detect these bugs early.
- Due to their inability to fly or hop like other insects that feed on blood, bed bugs must take up residence near their food source and wait for an opportunity to feed. They will live in beds, couches and other upholstered furniture, preferring a room where humans sleep to other areas of a house or business. Visual signs include black fecal stains on the seams and corners of these items, blood stains on sheets and pillowcases, or the visible presence of brown, seed-like bugs.
- Bed bugs feed multiple times a night. Though these bites can be mistaken for mosquito, flea or spider bites, their sheer numbers are a strong sign that they are bed bug bites. These bites can also be accompanied by a rash. With enough bites, the size of the rash can be significant. Business owners should always be looking for these rashes, even if guests are not. Trained employees should be looking for these bites when guests are poolside.
- These bugs can be very small especially as larvae. To quickly stamp out a bed bug infestation, a trained professional is needed. No, I’m not talking about a pest controller. I’m talking about a bed bug inspector that can sniff out bed bugs before they even hatch from their eggs. I’m sure you’ve heard of drug sniffing dogs. Well, how about bug sniffing dogs? K-9 bed bug inspectors are able to quickly detect bed bugs in all stages of development and lead pest technicians to breeding sites, before bed bugs can begin to feed. With K-9 inspections and a limited and focused use of pesticides, pest controllers can wipe out an infestation before it can do damage.
No one wants to be eaten alive by bed bugs, and no company wants this to happen to their guests. The ferocious way these insects feed can lead to severe psychological trauma in some victims and lead to harmful litigation. Knowing the signs of bed bug infestation and having a proactive bed bug plan in place can keep everyone safe. Get your plan in place today.