Bed Bugs are a rapidly growing problem for homeowners, multi-family housing and the hospitality industry in the Pacific Northwest. The reason is that they are travelers – climbing into bedding, clothing, luggage and other forms of ‘transportation’ – and relocate very easily, and will crawl up to 100 feet for a blood meal – their staple diet, both human and animal. And, bed bugs can live for more than a year without feeding (nymphs can survive for several months), so long trips aren’t a problem for them.
Female Bed Bug (Image Courtesy of CDC)
Male Bed Bug (Image Courtesy of CDC)
Bed Bug Nymph (Image Courtesy of CDC)
Measuring approximately 1/8 of an inch, bed bugs have a red-brown color and a flat, oval shaped body. Nymphs resemble their parents but are smaller and slightly lighter in color. Active mostly during the night, bed bugs are ground travelers and are very agile climbers, easily able to move up and over obstacles such as walls and other surfaces. While they don’t have nests, per se, bed bugs will congregate in dark places where they hide during daylight hours. Females can lay up to 500 eggs during their lifetime and seek out secluded places (in and around beds, in closets, under other furniture, etc.) for laying them. The nymphs, when they hatch, can live for months.
A strong indicator of a bed bug infestation is small brown or red spots on mattresses, sheets and bedding. Bed bug bites can range from itchy welts, similar to mosquito bites, to no reaction at all. Bed bugs are a robust and persistent pest and treating for them should always be handled by a pest control professional.
Bed bugs became relatively scarce during the latter part of the 20th century, but their populations have resurged in recent years, particularly throughout parts of North America, Europe, and Australia.
Learn more about bed bugs in the Halt Bed Bugs section of our site…