If you notice reddish bites on your skin, it’s more than likely that there’s a pest afoot. One of the most common household pests are bed bugs, which can infest the entire house when left unchecked. What are bed bugs and how big can they get? Let’s find out.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny, wingless pests that feed on the blood of humans or warm-blooded animals. Their peak feeding times are typically between midnight and 5 a.m. A bed bug up close may look tiny, but, surprisingly enough, they’ve been around for thousands of years. Some were even found in Egyptian tombs that date as far back as 3,500 years ago.
Over the years, bed bugs have evolved as nest parasites. Just as the name suggests, they inhabit places like bird nests or bat roosts. However, they seem to have a preference for feeding on human blood, which is probably why they’ve adapted to our environment.
Where Are They Found?
These bugs obtained their name because they’re mostly found hiding in the different parts of a bed such as the mattress, bed frame, headboard, and box springs. Looking at a bed bug up close, you see how they can even hide in other furniture items such as dresser tables, behind wallpapers, or any kind of crack or crevice. Objects cluttering the bed or its surrounding areas can also be hiding spots for bed bugs.
Geographically speaking, bed bugs are found all over the world. It was previously believed that bed bugs were prevalent only in developing countries because of their poor quality of cleanliness. However, in recent years, developed countries such as European countries, the U.S., the U.K., and Canada have seen a rapid increase in bed bug infestation. Even places that are expected to be meticulously cleaned such as five-star hotels or resorts have not been immune to the presence of bed bugs.
What Do They Look Like?
It’s hard to see a bed bug up close because they’re incredibly tiny, although the reddish-brown or mahogany color of adults can give them away. Nymphs, however, are harder to detect since they’re almost colorless. Often, they’re compared to about the size of a poppy seed.
Once they’ve matured, if you look at a bed bug up close, adult bed bugs can grow between 1 and 7 millimeters and have a flat oval shape when they’re not feeding. If they are able to feed, bed bugs can double their size and look engorged.
Despite not having wings, their six legs and two antennae more than make up for the lack as this allows them to travel as far as 100 feet. They also latch onto humans and animals to get from place to place.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
While bed bugs don’t necessarily carry diseases, it’s important to curb an infestation early as bites can lead to severe itching, painful swelling, and even allergic reactions or anaphylaxis. You’ll know if there’s an infestation when you see a bed bug up close, or dark brown stains on your mattress, which are a sign of bed bug droppings. If you catch a whiff of a coriander-like odor, it’s likely that they have a huge population.
One way to get rid of bed bugs is to make sure they have no hiding places. Thus, decluttering is a must. Moreover, bed bugs have less chance of surviving warmer temperatures, so steam clean and vacuum not just your mattress but your entire house. If you have an infestation, call a pest control company so they can appropriately assess the problem of bed bugs up close and eliminate them soon after.
Beware of These Creepy Crawlies
A bed bugs up close may be a fourth of an inch in size but they’re not to be trifled with. Infestations can easily happen, which can lead to a cluster of bites that result in itching, swelling, and even anaphylaxis. If you suspect the presence of bed bugs, call a pest control service so they can safely and effectively take care of the problem.
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