Why Should I Fear Bed Bugs?
Bed bug paranoia is a real fear, whether you have bed bugs or not. Bed bugs seem to be making a comeback in homes and businesses throughout the country, and once these pests invade your space, getting rid of them can be a time-consuming process.
What Exactly Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs commonly live in warm houses around bedding or sleeping areas. Only 1 mm to 7 mm in size, or roughly the same size of Lincoln's head on a penny. Adultscan grow as large as an apple seed or a ladybug. Although they feed on blood, bed bugs can live up to 12 months without a blood meal. Their activity goes unnoticed because they release an anesthetic through their saliva, and before you realize it, you can be covered in bites. Bed bug bites can be uncomfortable and hazardous if you have an allergic reaction. They are often misdiagnosed as mosquito or flea bites.
How Did I Become a Victim?
The bed bug epidemic has grown 500% due to international travel and other factors. They can sneak in on the clothes or belongings of another person, can easily travel through duct work and false ceilings if you live near an infested area, or can be carried in furniture. If you live in the country, wild animals are also suspected to carry bed bugs. They thrive in places where temperatures are around 80 degrees. In the Oklahoma climate, female bed bugs can lay five to seven eggs a week or 500 eggs throughout their lifetime.
How Are Bed Bugs Detected?
Bed bugs can be very hard to find if you don't know the signs of an infestation. Since bed bugs mainly operate at night, it can be weeks before you see one, if you ever do. They lay hundreds of eggs in the creases of fabric and, once grown, live in dark crevices of your furniture and mattresses. If you haven't experienced a bite from bed bugs, but you suspect that they are around you, look for small droppings or the exoskeleton that bed bugs shed. They have been known to have an odor that has been compared to raspberries—musty and sweet.