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.