What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are ectoparasites that feed solely on warm-blooded animal blood. They hide during the day, emerging at night to feed on their warm-blooded hosts. Bed bugs are biting insects that regularly invade homes and businesses because they prefer to be near their favorite food source: people.
Before consuming a blood meal, bed bugs have a flat, oval-shaped body that is reddish-brown. After feeding, the body expands and swells into a more capsule-like shape. Other physical features of a bed bug include short antennae, six legs, and a proboscis: an elongated, piercing mouthpart.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
When bed bugs bite to feed, they create an opening in their host's skin, potentially allowing for a secondary infection to occur. Those who are allergic to bug saliva may develop a red itchy rash, and excessive itching at the bite sites cause an even greater risk for a secondary infection.
People often suffer from a lack of sleep when there are bed bugs nearby; it is hard to sleep soundly knowing bed bugs are crawling around your home, seeking out you and your family to fill their stomachs with your blood. Having a bed bug infestation is an unwelcome and stressful problem.
Bed bugs also cause damage. As they feed, they leave behind drops of blood on linens, mattresses, pillows, walls, floors, and rugs. They also stain similar items with their excrement (dried blood). Unlike other biting, blood-feeding insects, bed bugs don't transmit diseases to people. Most diseases can't reproduce or survive in a bed bug's body.
Why do I have a bed bug problem?
Bed bugs mainly live indoors and are a problem for people throughout the entire year. A bed bug's life cycle can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on environmental conditions and food availability. These insects are most active and develop the fastest when the temperature is between 70 and 82 degrees.
Bed bugs spend their time where we do, making it easy to come into contact with these biting pests when at work, a friend's home, traveling, going to school, or running daily errands. These pests don't fly or jump, but they are efficient crawlers and easily move from place to place by crawling onto our personal belongings or our clothing.
Where will I find bed bugs?
When not feeding, bed bugs will take cover in a variety of areas throughout a home, such as:
- In the seams of mattresses and box springs.
- In the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains.
- Closets and drawers.
- In electrical outlets, electronics, and appliances.
- Under loose wallpaper and behind wall hangings (clocks and pictures).
- In cracks in walls, along ceilings, behind baseboards, and between floorboards.
How do I get rid of bed bugs?
If bed bugs have found a way into your Ohio home, the best course of action to take is to contact a professional. Bed bugs are tough to eliminate without a professional's trained eye and proven treatment methods.
At Ohio Pest Control, we can provide the services needed to eliminate bed bugs from your home or business. Our family owned and operated company will protect your family and property from problems with bed bugs and other pests. To learn more about our bed bug control options, call the local professionals at Ohio Pest Control today.
How can I prevent bed bugs in the future?
In conjunction with our effective services, our prevention tips will help you defend your home against bed bugs:
- Regularly vacuum your floors and upholstered furniture; doing so helps to pick up any stray bed bugs.
- Bed bugs like to hide in clutter; reduce clutter in your home to minimize hiding spots.
- Place bed bug proof covers over mattresses and box springs.
- Wash bedding regularly and inspect mattresses for signs of bed bugs during the process.
- Check secondhand furniture, mattresses, and box springs for signs of bed bugs before bringing them into your house. If possible, avoid purchasing used furniture and beds.
- When spending time in public, make sure to keep your personal belongings up off of the ground. Bed bugs are efficient crawlers, and laying items on the ground will provide them with easy access to your belongings.
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