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Pest Information

Bed Bugs

More About Bed Bugs

Belonging to the Cimicidae family, bed bugs feed on the blood of mammals, preferably humans. They get their name because they usually live in mattresses, sofas and any other furniture, and they are most active at night. When feeding, they penetrate their host’s skin with two hollow tubes and drink the blood for up to around five minutes before returning to their hiding place.

Bed bug bites normally present as small, hard, swollen, white welts at the site of the bite and they usually itch for several days before healing. These bites can often be treated with hydrocortisone lotion but individuals are advised to avoid scratching, as that can lead to skin infections and scarring. Evidence also indicates that repeated exposure to bed bugs could cause anemia or bacterial infections if left untreated. Many worry that bed bugs can pass blood diseases from one host to another but evidence has shown that this is not possible.

Although many people believe that bed bug infestations are a sign of unsanitary conditions, there are several common ways for a home or business to become infested. People frequently acquire bed bugs at hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts, and then inadvertently bring them back in their luggage when they return home. Sometimes, used or antique furniture can be infested and homeowners may unknowingly bring the pests into their home after buying a piece. Additionally, multi-dwelling units such as hostels and dorm rooms are quite conducive to the spread of bed bugs because these buildings are difficult to keep clean.

Once bed bugs are detected, quick and effective action is necessary because extermination of a widespread infestation is a frustrating ordeal. Sometimes even requiring the help of trained dogs, a large-scale extermination process usually involves disposing of all sheets, blankets and clothing that may be infested, followed by a fumigation of the entire area. In cases like these, completely eradicating the infestation demands the help of professional exterminators.