After WWII bed bugs were nearly extinct in the USA but over the years have made their way back. Bed bug infestations have made a tremendous comeback, especially in the past decade. An estimated 1 in 5 people will have a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed exclusively on warm blooded mammals. They don’t live on the skin of their host; but hide in small dark places and come out at night to eat. They primarily feed on human blood, but will feed on animals if there is no human host available. Adults are about the size of an apple seed and have flat bodies allowing them to fit into tight crevices. After these bugs have eaten they become engorged, longer, and fatter.
These pests can pretty much infest just about any items that are inside a home (i.e. clothing, luggage, mattresses, picture frames, furniture, backpacks, etc.). Apartment or attached residents should be aware that these insects can travel room to room under baseboards, through air ducts, or false ceilings. Since they live exclusively on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of uncleanliness.
These insects inject an anesthetic into the skin while they bite so the host doesn’t feel themselves being bitten. Most bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts that can cause scaring. Symptoms of bed bugs are bites on the skin, fecal spots and blood smears on bed sheets and pillow cases, and evidence of their empty exoskeletons.
Bed bugs are little hitch hikers. A person can pick them up virtually anywhere but travel is the most common denominator among homeowners experiencing a bed bug infestation. It’s almost impossible to avoid picking them up if they are present in a public place, but you can look for them first. See below for a video on how to inspect your hotel room for bed bugs.
If you think your home is infested by bed bugs or are being bitten give us a call at 760-737-6810 for a free pest inspection.