Good night; sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite! You may be familiar with this popular children’s rhyme, but hopefully you’re not personally familiar with bed bugs. Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of mammals, and humans are their favorite host. Bed bugs are quite small, but they can be seen with the naked eye. The newborns are only about the size of a poppy seed, but the adults can grow to be a quarter of an inch long.
Bed bugs get their name from their habit of infesting furniture in people’s homes. They are most often found in mattresses, but they also can live in sofas, pillows, and other soft furnishings. The reason they usually live in beds is because they feed on people when they are sleeping. Like many parasites, they can often feed on a person without them feeling a thing. That’s because they inject saliva, which acts as an anesthetic and numbs the skin. It only takes a few minutes for a bed bug to finish feeding, and it often won’t even leave a mark. Typically a single bed bug will feed every few days, but they can last for months without feeding if they need to and have been known to lay dormant when there is no food to be found.
Bed bugs usually get into your house by being carried in on another item. Sometimes they will stow away on your luggage if you’ve stayed somewhere that had bed bugs. Other times, they might be on a piece of secondhand furniture that you’ve purchased. Luckily, they are easy to spot. If you suspect that you might have bed bugs, you should check your bed carefully for visual signs of their presence. Check in the creases of your mattress and box spring, and look for dark brown or reddish spots, which bed bugs often leave behind. If you find evidence of a bed bug infestation, call us at Total Pest Solutions, and we can talk to you about ways to get rid of them for good.