While it is highly unadvisable, many homeowners are adamant about taking pest control into their own hands. That’s a completely understandable thing, given the current state of the economy. It helps to scrimp and save every cent you can. The unfortunate truth of the matter is though, most DIY ends up costing more in the long run because of all the trial and error.
Pest professionals are pest professionals for a reason. Air conditioner repair men didn’t get as skilled as they are today by sitting on their thumbs in the office. No, they’ve been through rigorous training. They know what and what doesn’t work. All that rambling aside, we see nothing at all wrong with trying to save money. Maybe it is just a matter of pride. Whatever the situation, if you are going to sus out a bed bug problem, you’ve got to know where these little creepy parasites like to hide.
Why You Must Know Their Hiding Spots
The first and most important thing a homeowner must understand about bed bugs is that they are unlike any other insect you’ve ever battled before, hence quickly becoming a worldwide epidemic. Mice, rats, and other rodents have gotten smarter over years of avoiding and evading traps. Some rodents can now even circumvent standard “snap traps” while successfully removing the cheese. Despite this, they are still a substandard species when it comes to bed bugs.
Bed bugs have not only taken their time on earth to grow wiser, but they always have a bit of wit on their side. In terms of pesticides and insecticides, these treatments are becoming less and less effective. There honestly is nothing spectacular about this, as this is just evolution at work. Think of it as taking the same kind of liver medicine for 20 years. Eventually, somewhere after the 5-year mark or so, you will likely build a tolerance. This is what’s happened with bed bugs and common chemical treatments.
The thing that really makes bed bugs smart is their innate nature to hide. That’s right, these creepy parasites will go to extra lengths or take extra measures just to avoid being detected. They aren’t like a cockroach with the brain the size of a flea. Although their brains are smaller, they know what will happen once they are detected. Therefore, they’ll remain in the shadows and feed when you less suspect it. That’s the main reason you must know where they hide!
These bloodsuckers are so smart that they will completely rearrange their lifestyle to oppose that of yours so they can feed when you sleep. If you work during the day and sleep at night, the parasitic insect will sleep during the day and be fully rested for nighttime feeding. If you were to switch to a night shift for a month or so, the brood would be smart enough to start sleeping at night and feeding during the day.
Can Bed Bugs Hide On Humans?
Now, there is no mistaking that bed bugs gravitate towards the sleeper. They want to get their meal and get out as quickly as possible while leaving behind little or no evidence. It’s also a well-known fact that bed bugs are more inclined to feed on humans as opposed to pets. Fleas are the total opposite, but it should be known now that both species will deviate if and when necessary.
Even though both are little parasitic invaders, that is about all the two have in common. Fleas like to attach themselves to their host and stay there. This is not in the nature of the bed bug at all. The bed bug is far too smart for that, as staying attached to the skin would only guarantee that’s it a matter of time before being detected.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t instances when bed bugs won’t use humans or pets are transportation. This is extremely common, as they must get into the home initially. In a lot of cases, bed bugs will hitch onto accessories like suitcases, shoes, clothes, or even purses, but they certainly aren’t opposed to riding on a human or pet. Along with being sleuths, these miniature vampires are also adept travelers.
The only assuring thing about this scenario is that bed bugs will eventually unlatch from their host. Bed bugs like to get in, feed, get out, and go back to hiding. That’s the main reason they usually reside near their host’s sleep quarters. They want to be able to come out of hiding, feed, and go back into hiding. One probably likes to think that they would feel it if they were being fed upon. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
While bed bugs feed while you are asleep, you likely wouldn’t even feel it when you are awake. It’s nothing even similar to a mosquito bite, although there have been reported instances of itching around feeding sites. To make the troubling situation even more troubling, some people never even become aware of being fed upon. When a bed bug attaches itself to the human host, it releases saliva as a numbing agent to block the initial injection. Some people have reactions to this saliva. Fortunately, there have never been any reported cases of major allergic reactions.
If you do have a reaction to the saliva, it would likely produce nothing more than an itch or mosquito-like welt. This is usually how homeowners discover they have an insect problem. They wake up in the morning with welts. Another thing that should be here is, blood meals are not just a means of sustenance for these creepy crawlers. The females of the species need the protein from the host’s blood to reproduce.
Speaking Of Reproducing!
Speaking of reproducing, things are only going to take another turn for the worse. If you weren’t already troubled by the feeding and sleuth-like abilities of this parasitic insect, prepare to be astonished! Once a female bed bug is full of blood and back in the confines of her safe hiding spot, the next task is reproducing.
A mature bed bug only comes out to about the size of an apple seed, so with a little bit of imagination, you just imagine how small eggs would be. The only comforting thing about this theory is that there will be nearly a hundred, which should make detection easier. However, the female of the species sometimes produces a sticky substance around the eggs, which will securely hold the eggs on nearly any surface.
Under desired conditions, females usually like to range five to fifteen days between their feedings. At which time they can lay anywhere from 10 to 50 eggs per cycle. A standard female will lay hundreds of eggs in a lifetime. The eggs are extremely small, white, and only measure about the width of a spaghetti noodle. In desired temperatures above 70 degrees F, a batch of anywhere from 10 to 50 eggs can hatch in 7 to 10 days. At lower temperatures, the process is more drawn out.
When the brood hatches its first goal will be seeking out a meal. As you’ve likely already imagined, females tend to locate their brood near their preferred hiding spots. It doesn’t take a professional pest exterminator to see how quickly a problem can become a disaster.
With their smart and innate ability to avoid detection, it usually requires a pro to even determine if a home has been invaded. Don’t wait another second and contact our offices for a free consultation!