Bed bugs are no one’s fault. They don’t discriminate – anyone can have them. The important thing is to act fast — before they have time to multiply. Early detection and prompt response will avoid larger problems.
Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They are easily moved from room to room on infested objects. Bedbugs cannot easily climb metal or polished surfaces and cannot fly or jump.
Adult bedbugs can be as long as 10 mm. They have an oval, broad, flat body and a short, broad head. Adult bedbugs are brown, but darken to a blood red colour after feeding. Young bedbugs are shaped like adults, but are smaller (1.5 mm long) and lighter in colour. They also darken after feeding.
Bedbug eggs are white, about one millimetre long, and are almost impossible to see on most surfaces. The female bedbug lays at least 200 eggs in her lifetime, at a rate of about two to four each day. The eggs have a sticky coating and are laid in cracks and crevices, behind woodwork and other hidden locations. They usually hatch in 6 to 17 days.
Bedbugs come out at night to feed, attracted by the carbon dioxide we exhale. They will feed on both people and pets. Bedbug bites may not be noticed right away because bedbugs typically feed at night when people are asleep.
Bedbugs prefer locations where they can hide easily and feed regularly, like sleeping areas. Their flattened bodies allow bedbugs to hide in extremely small locations: under wallpaper, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets, inside box springs, in mattress pads, and in night tables.
Newly hatched bedbugs feed as soon as food is available. Bedbugs can live from several weeks to up to a year and a half without feeding. Older bedbugs can go even longer without feeding.
Adults usually live for around 10 months, but can live for a year or more in a home where the environment is good for reproduction (with temperatures ranging between 21°C and 28°C).
A bedbug bite can take as long as 14 days to appear, depending on the person. While bites can happen anywhere on the skin, they are often found on the face, neck, arms, legs, and chest.
Some people do not react at all to the bites, while others may have small skin reactions. In rare cases, some people may have severe allergic reactions. To avoid infection, try not to scratch the bites and keep the bite sites clean. Using antiseptic creams or lotions, as well as antihistamines, may help. Talk to your health care provider for advice.
Because bed bugs are small and flat, they are able to squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices in mattresses & box springs, behind headboards and baseboards, inside light switches, receptacles, and furniture. They prefer to live in groups and are often found in clusters where the adults, nymphs, and eggs are together in a protected area.
Bed bugs are adept hitchhikers. They travel in luggage, on clothing, and inside furniture. They are found in hotels, movie theatres, airplanes and many other public places where people are at rest for a period of time.
Hitman uses the latest products and techniques in the battle against these blood-sucking arthropods. While individual circumstances vary from household to household, we may use a combination of techniques that include traditional insecticide treatments and eco-friendly, green alternatives.
Typically, at least two treatments are needed. This is because bed bug eggs, which are very small and hard to locate may survive treatment and hatch into tiny nymphs that are often unaffected by the pesticide residue of prior treatments.
Pesticides alone generally will not eliminate bed bugs; effective bed bug control requires Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is an environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on knowledge of the pest, plus common-sense practices, such as inspection, monitoring, reducing clutter, the use of physical barriers, and the judicious use of pesticides.
Do you travel a lot?
Do your kids go to camps?
Do you go to the movies?