What Do I Need to Know About Bed Bugs?

Did you know bed bug infestations in the New York metro area have increased by a staggering 125 percent in just the last five years?

Shocking, we know!

You probably know a little bit about bed bugs and the infestations they cause, but there are a lot of stats and facts you NEED to know about bed bugs that you probably didn’t…

Facts & Stats About Bed Bugs You Should Know

  • Residence: According to pest management professionals, the tops three places where bed bug infestations are found are apartments/condominiums, single-family homes, and hotels/motels (in that order).
  • Seasonality: While bed bugs aren’t a seasonal pest, summer and holiday weekends are times of the year when pest control professionals are called the most. This can be linked to the increase in travel, vacations, and staying in unfamiliar homes or hotels.
  • Location: The chances of a bed bug infestation will increase if you live in an urban area due to the larger size in population. Apartments for rent in these urban areas will also increase your chances of becoming infested due to close living quarters and a higher frequency of people moving in and out.
  • Awareness: A major factor in the increase of bed bug infestations was due to the lack of awareness. Many people didn’t know that previous prevention methods were now illegal, therefore, people did not take caution when staying away from their homes. The more people become aware of bed bugs and take measures to prevent infestations, the less likely their chances are of becoming infested.
  • Cleanliness: Many people believe bed bugs only affect homes that are dirty, yet this is a common misconception. Bed bugs do not discriminate and will infest any home because all they look for is a food source (AKA you!).
  • Temperature: Bed bugs can survive temperatures ranging from freezing to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that you will most likely need the help of a professional pest service to effectively remove this resilient pest from your home.
  • Reproduction: Each bed bug can lay up to five eggs per day and up to 500 in their lifetime. Now think about how fast just a few bed bugs can turn into hundreds — or even thousands!

What You Didn’t Know About Bed Bugs

You now know the basic facts about bed bugs.

However, there are some interesting facts about bed bugs you might’ve not heard until now!

1) Attraction to Specific Colors

Bed bugs are attracted to shades of red and black. Since bed bugs like to stick together, it’s thought that they are attracted to dark red because it is similar to their species’ red exoskeleton. White, green, and yellow are said to be colors that bed bugs stay away from.

2) Bites Look Worse Than They Feel

Bed bug bites oftentimes look like they might hurt or itch, but they don’t (they rarely do). Since bed bugs look for a blood vessel to feed on, they might not always find one on the first try. This is why there might be multiple bumps in a single area of your body.

3) Aware of Movement

When bed bugs feed, they like to do so with no noise, light, or movement — hence the reason for being most active during the nighttime. When a bed bug is feeding on a host, and that host moves in their sleep, the little bloodsucker will most likely stop feeding in that area. However, the bed bug will simply move to a different part of the body and begin feeding again.

4) Eat at the Speed of Light

Did you know it only takes 12 minutes for a single bed bug to become fully engorged with blood?

Afterward, bed bugs will detach from their host and move to an area where they are hidden, so they can digest in peace. There are times where a fully engorged bed bug will void remains of previously consumed blood (excrete it from their bodies) in order to make room for new blood — hence any red-brown spots you might find on sheets and upholstery.

Myths About Bed Bugs (That Have Been De-Bunked)

There are many misconceptions when it comes to the topic of bed bugs.

Whether it’s before, during, or after an infestation — it’s best to know the truth about these feared pests.

Myth: The dirtier the home, the more at risk you are.
Fact: This is one of the biggest misconceptions because it is completely false. Bed bugs are one of the few pests that will inhabit your home or workplace no matter the cleanliness. However, you can decrease the number of hiding spots that they can hide in by reducing clutter in your home or business.

Myth: Once there’s an infestation, all clothes and linens must be thrown away.
Fact: You can salvage all of your clothing and linen by throwing them in the washing machine with the water set to hot. (Multiple washes may be needed.)

Myth: Bed bugs stay confined to the bedroom.
Fact: While the most common area to find bed bugs is in the bedroom, you can also find them in other furniture, linens, furniture, carpeting, picture frames, and sometimes even electrical outlets.

Myth: You are only at risk when you are in the dark.
Fact: While these pests only like to come out in the dark, they can still bite during the day when it’s light out. Laying on a bed or sofa during the day will still put you at risk if you have a bed bug infestation.

Myth: Bed bugs are microscopic.
Fact: Unlike dust mites, bed bugs are not microscopic. While these pests are extremely small, they can still be seen with the naked eye. A full-grown bed bug can be anywhere from the size of a sesame seed to an apple seed. Newborns will be roughly the size of a poppy seed, but the eggs will usually need to be enlarged with a magnifying glass to be seen clearly.

Myth: If only one person has bed bug bites, then it must not be bed bugs.
Fact: It’s possible for only one person in a house to show signs of bites from bed bugs. Certain people react differently to bites than others might. Some people can develop red, itchy bites while others may not show any visible bite marks or bumps at all.

Myth: Bed bugs can spread diseases.
Fact: Having a bed bug infestation can pose many different health threats. However, bed bugs have not been linked to transmitting diseases from one living creature to the next. You might not acquire a blood disease from these pests, but it is possible to have the bites themselves become infected.

Knowing as much as you can about bed bugs can help you avoid becoming infested with them in the first place. When your home becomes infested with this blood-sucking pest, contact Knockout Pest Control. To learn more or to schedule an inspection, give us a call at (800) 244-7378.

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