Adult bed bugs measure only an eighth of an inch in length, and are reddish-brown in color, with oval-shaped and flattened bodies. The immature nymphs resemble the adults but are smaller and lighter in color. Nymphs must molt five times before maturing and require a blood meal between each molt. Females can lay about five eggs a day and up to 500 in a lifetime. Eggs take 7-10 days to hatch. Without the aid of magnification, newly hatched nymphs are hard to see, and they are small enough to crawl through the stitching hole in a mattress. Development from egg to adult takes approximately 30-60 days, under normal conditions (it can take much longer if adequate food is not available). If a blood host is not found, newly molted nymphs can survive close to two months, and adults can survive for an entire year without a blood meal.
Bed Bug Treatment
Proper bed bug control should always start with a detailed inspection. It should be a multifaceted approach with strong lines of communication between the technician and the client. Application of residual insecticides. ie cleaning all items infested with bed bugs. Reducing clutter where bed bugs are able to hide. And raising awareness through education and prevention of bed bugs.
- All bedding including pillows must be removed and laundered in hot water (›60°C or ›140°F) or put in the dryer at a temperature greater than (›40°C or ›104°F) for a minimum of 30 minutes. It is also best not to load the dryer more than 50% capacity.
- Heavily infested bed components (example, box spring, mattresses, head/footboard, and bed skirts) may need to be discarded. The technician will advise. Also, it is strongly recommended to cover mattress and box spring with certified bed bug cover.
- Look through all bedroom drawers. Clean clothes should be put in a dryer at the highest temperature setting for a minimum of 20 minutes. Store all clothes and drawer contents in tightly sealed plastic containers or tied garbage bags throughout the consecutive treatment process.
- Flooring should be vacuumed frequently and vacuum bags should be cleaned and discarded on the exterior of the premises immediately after each vacuum.
- Leave empty all dresser and nightstand drawers. They will be inspected and treated during each treatment. Empty all shelving and clear floor areas of all closets (Example, in bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms including any items on hangers).
- Take all pictures, mirrors, posters, etc., down from walls.
- Upholstered chairs and sofas will be inspected and treated. Please keep these areas clear.
Pull all furniture a minimum of 6 inches to about one foot away from the walls throughout the home. This will allow access to the baseboards of the entire home.
- Please remove all light switch covers and plug (outlet) plates.
- All occupants, including pets, will need to be away from your home for 4 hours each time a treatment is done. Cover and unplug any fish tanks if applicable. If you have any serious health conditions, consult with your doctor and follow his/her recommendations
At Least Two Treatments Will Be Required
After inspection, two treatments minimum are most often recommended – the initial treatment and a follow-up treatment in order to obtain the best results. The technician will advise you for any reason if he/she feels less or more treatments are required.
Bed Bug Prevention
It is not advisable to purchase used furniture, bedding or electronics.
When travelling be vigilant about bed bugs, check your hotel room particularly your bedding. When returning home, thoroughly launder all clothing and thoroughly inspect suitcases ideally on the outside of the home.