If there’s one pest that can disturb your nights, it’s the bed bug (also mistakenly called “bed flea”)! They hide in the seams of the mattress, in the base of the bed, in the cracks of the baseboards and in the furniture and decorations near the bed. At night, they sneak up on you to drink your blood for long minutes before returning to their lair.
Difficult to spot because of their small size, bed bugs can live and reproduce for several weeks before you become aware of their presence. Since bed bug extermination is a difficult task, it is necessary to call a professional.
The way of life of the bed bug
A pest that has existed for centuries, the bed bug adapts to different environments. Although they can feed on the blood of animals and birds, they much prefer human blood, which is why they may make their home in your home.
After hatching, it goes through different larval stages (where it is yellowish with a dark spot on the back) before reaching maturity, at about 5 weeks. At this time, it can measure up to 8 mm. Its color is dark brown, always with this same spot on the back. However, it becomes red when it is gorged with blood. The adult female can lay 3 to 8 eggs per day, for a total of about 500 per year. The eggs are whitish in color and take about 10 days to hatch. The bug can live up to two years and go one year without feeding.
To correctly identify bed bugs, please read thisarticle.
Bed bug bites
Resembling mosquito bites, bed bugs can cause blistering and redness as well as severe itching, especially upon awakening. They are usually grouped or aligned (a bedbug will often bite two or three times in a straight line for the same meal).
The bites are mostly found on areas of the body that are not covered by sheets, such as the arms, shoulders, back, stomach and legs.
Is the sting dangerous and painful?
When introducing its mouthpiece into the skin, the bug injects an anesthetic, which makes the bite almost painless, and then an anticoagulant, to facilitate the sucking of blood. In rare cases, it can transmit certain bacteria and diseases, such as Chagas disease, which can cause cardiac, digestive and neurological problems.
Only one out of two people in our couple has been bitten. Is this possible?
Some people react to stings more than others, so it could be that you were both stung, but only one person in your relationship noticed marks on their skin and felt itchy. Some people may also have allergic skin reactions to a sting. Some people’s blood may be more appealing to bedbugs, so they may only bite one person in a couple.
How to relieve a bedbug bite?
As with mosquito bites, you should avoid scratching bedbugs at all costs. Mild, unscented soaps are recommended. If necessary, a calamine-based lotion or antihistamines can relieve the itching.
Where do bed bugs come from?
Hotels, motels and hostels
Travelers who stay in an unknowingly infested hotel room or hostel may bring home some of the specimens that have snuck into their luggage. And beware! Just because you booked a 5-star hotel does not mean you are safe from bedbugs. In fact, they can be found even in clean, upscale places.
When you arrive, put your bags in the bathroom and use a flashlight to check your bed for any of the signs of their presence listed below.
Public transport and public places
Trains, subways, airplanes and buses can be hospitable homes for bedbugs, which then sneak into passengers’ clothes, shoes and bags and carry them back with them. The same is true of cinemas, theaters, bars, restaurants and other public places.
Second-hand mattresses and furniture
Some unsuspecting people will buy infested mattresses and furniture from private individuals or at flea markets (named after the fleas and bugs that were once abundant in the items sold at these stores).
People who move frequently are at greater risk of bed bug infestation. When moving into a new home, inspect the bedrooms thoroughly.
The infested neighbors
In cases of major infestations, bedbugs can travel from one apartment to another through cracks, pipes, electrical outlets, etc.
Signs of presence
Several signs may indicate the presence of these pests, such as:
- traces of blood in the sheets;
- black or reddish spots or traces left by their droppings;
- eggs alone or in clusters;
- skins of bugs that have moulted;
- a slightly sweet fermentation odor (somewhat like that of raspberry bugs)
If you suspect bed bugs, take a close look:
- the comforter cover;
- each of the sheets;
- cushions, pillows and pillowcases;
- the mattress cover;
- the mattress, its seams and hems;
- the bed frame;
- the base and headboard (especially if they are made of fabric and/or wood);
- carpets, curtains, moldings, electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, picture frames, nightstands and their contents (including electrical appliances such as alarm clocks and telephones) and wallpaper near the bed.
How to prevent bed bugs?
- If you are traveling, avoid putting your suitcases on the floor or near the bed and keep them closed as much as possible. You can also place your clothes in airtight bags for the duration of your stay. When you return, wash all your clothes in very hot water (at least 65°C) immediately and inspect your suitcase thoroughly to make sure it is free of bedbugs. If it’s winter and cold, you can also leave your suitcase and its contents outside for a few days, since bedbugs die at -20°C.
- Never pick up objects, furniture or electrical appliances left on the street and take them home.
- When moving, inspect the truck before loading your belongings. It is also advisable to close your boxes with wide tape.
How do I get rid of bed bugs?
To exterminate bed bugs, call a professional, like La compagnie d’extermination Chomedey / Mirabel, immediately. We will first proceed with a canine inspection, used to locate the bed bugs. This technique is by far the most reliable of all. Then, we will perform a thermal treatment, which is faster, safer and more effective than pesticides.
This type of treatment can completely eradicate the problem in a single day and saves the homeowner from having to wash all their clothes in hot water and throw away mattresses, bed bases and other furniture that may be harboring bedbugs.
Please note that treatments sold in big box stores will never get rid of a bed bug infestation.
Contact Extermination Chomedey / Mirabel for unparallelled pest control services and say goodbye to rodents!