Bed Bugs 101
Bed Bug Treatment In Seattle & Bellevue
Learn About Bed Bugs (Cimex Lectularius)
Truth #1: BED BUGS DO NOT DISCRIMINATE!
Anyone at any time can bring one of these uninvited guests unknowingly home with them. Bed bugs are found in five star hotels, luxury homes, small homes, shelters, schools etc. any where people are coming and going. They are hitchhikers getting into bags, on clothes and other items hitchhiking their way into your home, office or building.
My Home Is Clean, How Do I Get Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs have nothing to do with how dirty or clean a home is, but clutter can help an infestation grow quickly. Stigmas still exist regarding having a bed bug infestation, and the stress of knowing bugs are in a home causes people considerable stress and in some cases long standing psychological problems even after the bugs are gone.
At NW K9 Bed Bug Detectives we understand how stressful it is to have to handle an unanticipated situation like Bed bugs. We take the time with each client to assess the situation and we work with clients to provide them the necessary information they need them so they can make the best choice for them.
Why Can’t I Find Or See Any Bed Bugs When I Look For Them?
Because of the bugs habits and patterns. Bed bugs also love to hide! The majority of their lives are spent hiding anywhere and everywhere. Bed bugs have been found in remote controls, TV’s, headboards, fire detectors, walls… virtually anywhere. They also range in size “ first instar nymphs” are so small they are almost un-detectable to the naked eye and require a magnifying mirror to see and an adult bed bug is only the size of an apple seed. Another reason they are difficult to find is that they typically remain still unless they are going to “feed”. The bugs normally feed from 12 pm – 5am when people are sleeping.
How Quickly Do Bed Bugs Populate?
Bed bugs can populate at an exponentially explosive rates, due to the biology and habits of the bugs. One female bed bug can turn into over 30 thousand bed bugs in just six months. Each female can be impregnated by up to 5 males. She can lay 7-10 eggs daily and then mate with her offspring once they are adults. An infestation in an apartment can quickly move into an adjacent unit and grow into a full blown infestation building wide within a few months. Early detection and intervention is vital to eliminating these bugs! If left alone an infestation will become extremely difficult to eliminate if not impossible by all available methods except whole building fumigation which is so expensive it is reserved for only the most severe commercial infestations.
Why Can’t I Just Wait Them Out And Stay Away From My Home Until They Die?
Because, bed bugs survive off of human blood and can live for many months without feeding, so attempts to wait them out are ineffective unless the structure is left for a year or more.
Why Is It So Difficult To See Bed Bugs?
First stage and second stage nymphs are extremely small and translucent making them almost impossible to see with the naked eye. Often a magnifying glass is needed to see one with any clarity.
Bed bugs life cycle (see picture), begins as an egg, becomes an instar, nymphs and goes through 5 nymph stages to become an adult. Because the bugs look different at each stage proper identification is difficult. The bugs shed their exoskeletons between stages of growth. This is referred to as Molting which is “the shedding of the nymph’s exoskeleton”. Unless an individual is trained to identify molting their chances of finding them are slim.
How Do I Know If I Am Dealing With Bed Bugs And Not Another Type Of Pest If I Cannot Find Any?
Using detection dogs along with a visual bed bug inspection is the very best way for detecting an infestation. Dogs can catch an infestation when it is small much sooner than doing a visual inspection alone. The key to bed bug extermination with the least amount of disruption and cost is by catching them early. Studies have compared canine detection with visual inspections. The results were using a well-trained detection dog provides up to a 97% accuracy rate for confirming an infestation.
In comparison, industry experts agree even a well-trained technician has only a 30-35% chance of detecting lower level infestations by sight alone. This low level of accuracy by visual inspections is why dogs were originally considered. The results have been great dogs can find as little as 1 bed bug in residence or other buildings. They are a much more accurate, and efficient means to use for detecting a bed bug infestation. Dogs are also being used for mold. A dog can be trained on almost any scent which is why they used by rescue teams, police departments and now pest control companies.
Why Has There Been This Sudden Resurgence?
Bed bugs were almost eliminated in the 1950’s but have made a huge resurgence in the last 5-7 years. There are many reasons why this has occurred. One is the reduction of baseboard spraying that used to be done as a preventative bed bug treatment to keep pests out of homes.
Another reason is due to the type of chemicals used during that time. DDT was the main chemical used to kill Bed bugs back then and worked well. The problem is DDT was found to be harmful to humans and was banned.
Regulations have toughened and few insecticides are approved to use indoors. The Insecticides used today have lower toxicity levels for people and pets, but most all belong to the Pyrethroid group of Insecticides. They are the predominant types used in both commercial and over the counter sprays. Pyrethrin insecticides work well with many pests, but not bed bugs. Due to the overexposure of these sprays being used bed bugs to become resistant to them. In fact, some bugs will not die even when directly exposed to the poisons other have varying degrees of resistance. Please review the University of Kentucky research on the topic under the research tab.