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Latin name: Cimex lectularius
flat, oval shaped body, wingless and measuring from 3 to 7 mm long.
Shiny brownish color, will swell and become dark brown after a blood feeding.
You can see three different stages in the bed bug’s development cycle: the egg, the nymph and the adult.
White in color, the eggs only measure 1 mm long.
The nymph is almost translucent, it looks like the adult but it’s smaller.
the Bed bug is gregarious, the eggs, the young and the adults live together.
When there are many bedbugs in the same location, they start producing a particular smell.
When she is laying eggs, the female produces a kind of glue that allows her to glue them onto things.
When hatched, the young insects already looks like the adult.
Yellowish at the beginning, it becomes almost red after the first blood meal.
To become an adult, the young one will have to drink blood five times.
After reaching maturity, the male and female will mate and, after another blood meal, the female will start laying eggs.
Egg production :
• From 1 to 5 eggs per day per adult female
• Up to 500 eggs per female over its lifetime
• The eggs are glued to their support using a sticky secretion.
• They take 6 to 10 days to hatch
Life cycle :
• From egg to adult : 21 days at 30°C and 120 jours at 16°C (relative humidity 75-80%)
• 5 stages needing a blood meal to reach mature stage.
they will shed their skin at every stage
• Life expectancy in normal conditions : about a year
• From 3 to 4 generations per year
This insect is hard to detect because it usually lives at night.
During the day, it hides in the mattress’ seams (even on waterbeds).
When the infestation gets more important or humans and animals are not as available,
they travel to other rooms to get the blood they crave.
Then they go in small cracks in the walls, and in tight spaces in wooden objects
(bed base, box spring, furniture, floor door frames and window frames) to lay eggs
The bed bug can also hide behind base boards, under wallpaper or behind pictures on the walls.
It cannot spread as fast as cockroaches between apartments,
but it can follow pipes in the walls and travel between rooms, apartments and even houses.
Bed bugs don’t usually go far from their host if they can feed on it regularly.
However, if the infestation gets too important, they will migrate towards other rooms.
The absence of prey will lead to a spreading of the bed bug population.
So if the bugs are in a room with humans who sleep in it regularly, they will stay there.
But if you remove these people from the room,
the bed bugs will disperse in the whole house to look for food.
They will be drawn to other bedrooms and living rooms where people spend time on couches.
They will walk on the floor to get there or move through the walls.
The displacement of infested pieces items ( furniture, clothing, luggage) between
houses/apartments is usually the main way of propagating the bugs.
• Minimum temperature for development : 13°C
• Lethal temperatures : Min : -16°C for 4 consecutive days. Max : 50°C for 3 hours.
• Far prefers human blood but will settle for a warm blooded animal.
• Meals take about 3 to 12 minutes.
• Under specific conditions, an adult Bed Bug can survive for a year without eating.
For the great majority of people, the bites will look like little reddish hard bumps.
It is common to observe a tiny hole at the center of the inoculation site.
These lesions usually itch a lot, but some people hardly feel them.
The lesions are felt mostly during mornings and they fade over the day.
Most of the lesions are usually seen on exposed parts of the arms, legs and back.
If the person is not bitten again, the lesions usually disappear after two weeks.
The infestation can be confirmed by the discovery of eggs, youngs, adult specimens,
dejections and even shed skins around the mattress.
You can usually spot them along the mattress’ seams or on the box spring.
Sometimes you only see their feces ( dark spots that look like ink stains on the mattress or bedsheets ).
Using a vacuum cleaner is a very efficient way to remove Bed Bugs that are already there,
We recommend to use it on the mattress and the box spring, especially around seams,
bends in the fabric or small spaces in the bed’s structure.
If the mattress’ fabric cover has been torn, it’s possible that the bugs have colonized it
and in that situation, it’s essential to put it in a Bed Bug proof mattress encasement to
prevent their expansion.
You also have to vacuum the floor and the hard to reach places in the bedrooms.
Once you have vacuumed everything, you have to remove the bag from the machine
in a place that doesn’t risk further contamination and you have to throw it away in a sealed garbage bag ideally far from your home.
If you sleep in a place used by many travelers ( hotels motels airports),
you can pull the bedsheets to check for the presence of ”ink stains”.
If you see them, they are the proof you need.
You can also look for exuviae ( lost skins ).
You should always keep your luggage above the floor or have them
treated before leaving by a licensed exterminator.
Depending on the level of infestation ( ask a professional )
some treatments can be applied inside the house but this application
should always be made by professional and licensed exterminators to make sure
all sources of infestation are properly removed.
Integrated pest control remains the best way to fight this epidemic.
Use of pesticides alone is not enough, there is a whole set of procedures
to follow to make sure you get rid of these bugs.
Getting rid of these parasites is not an easy thing, make sure you ask a
Bed Bug specialist to help you.
Inappropriate use of pesticides creates a resistance in
the Bed Bug population and can cause serious health problems.
The spreading of inappropriate pesticides can also drive the bugs into the walls
instead of killing them, making your problem even worse.
Do it yourself kits are rarely useful because you need to coordinate
use of pesticides with a series of other measures for the treatment to be efficient.
Heat solutions are not really efficient because many bugs go in the buildings’ structure (walls ) and the heat applied to your house / appartment can’t be brought high
enough to take the interior of your walls to 50 degrees Celsius for three hours.
Obviously, at over 100 degrees Celsius, most of the items in the rooms would start to melt.
You do not need to throw away your furniture, anything can be treated.
If you still want to get rid of the items, make sure you destroy them
and make them unusable. ( IE cut a cross in the mattress tops).
The bedding should be hot washed and hot dried. You should put everything in the
washing machine directly from the bag it came from and put it in a brand new bag
when it comes out of the dryer to prevent spreading the problem and
contaminating your wash room.
Once the washing is done you should have your house treated by a specialist and put all
your mattresses in mattress encasement specifically designed to prevent Bed Bugs
from going in or out of it.
Ask a professional to help you with that problem.
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