How Serious Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are reddish-brown nocturnal insects that feed on the blood of humans and pets. They are wingless and have flat, oval bodies that allow them to hide easily in tiny cracks and crevices of floors, beds, and other upholstered furniture.

Life Cycle

Bed bug eggs are milky white in color and about 1 mm long, the size of 2 grains of salt. Females lay between one and five eggs per day and may lie up to 500 in one lifetime. Eggs hatch within two weeks and the nymph begins to feed immediately.

Young nymphs shed their skin as they grow and must pass through five molts to reach maturity. They appear similar to adult bed bugs, but are not yet sexually mature. Young nymphs are yellow-white in color and become red after eating, and more reddish-brown as they mature. At room temperature these nymphs become adults in five weeks. Nymphs must have at least one blood feeding for each molt.

Adult bed bugs often make feedings weekly. Usually a mature bed bug lives from four to six months, although this can be considerably longer in cool conditions where they can go extended amounts of time without food.

Bed Bugs and Disease

Although bed bugs may carry disease, and they do bite humans, they do not transmit diseases to humans. So although having a bed bug infestation is unpleasant, the only side effect is the red welt like bites that come from where they have fed. Scratching bed bug bites to the point that the skin is scratched open or a failure to clean and disinfect the bites may result in a secondary infection and further redness and swelling. Children and the elderly are more prone to these secondary infections.

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Bed Bug Bites

Blood spots found on one’s sheets, and red bite marks or welts on the skin are some of the signs of bed bug bites. Bites are usually found on body parts that are exposed while sleeping such as hands, face, neck, legs, and arms. Bites normally look like small, flat or raised areas that may occur in clusters or lines. Bites can become itchy and red within a day or two of the bite, but not everyone reacts to bed bug bites in the same way. Bed bug saliva can cause differing reactions in people depending on their own sensitivities. People can become more or less sensitive with subsequent bites. Each person is different. Some people have no reaction at all, while the most extremely sensitive will develop red itchy blistering. If you are bitten, avoid scratching the affected area, and if the rash is severe, see a health care professional immediately.

What to do

If you or your family has symptoms of bed bug bites, there is no reason to panic. Bed bugs cannot make you ill. The best course of action is to call a pest removal expert immediately. The earlier you deal with infestation, the better. In Lexington, Kentucky call the family owned and operated IPM Pest and Termite Management. They have been in business for over 20 years and pride themselves on being members of and contributors to your community. Let them help you rid yourself of the nuisance of bed bugs.

Say goodbye to bed bugs.

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