Hide & Seek!

Hide & Seek!

(By Dr. Stuart Mitchell)  

Bed bugs hide and seek their blood meal victims with ease. For the pest management professional, bed bugs hide and are hard to seek!.

Hide & Seek!

Effectively locating these CO2 and heat-seeking suckers begins with a bugs’ life basics. With many sizes as they grow, adult bed bugs are about 3/10 inch long, reddish-brown-colored, and look sort of like an apple seed. Antennae come out from the head next to compound eyes.

Under cover of darkness and with well-developed legs and feet, bed bugs climb many surfaces and cling to the skin for fearsome feeding as someone snoozes. Being so secretive to snoozers, the nagging nuisance of bed bugs may cause bodily blood shortages. The more common bite plights are itching and a sometimes-secondary infection from significant scratching.

Bullying female bed bugs protectively place 2 to 3, 1/25-inch long, whitish eggs per day each throughout their lives. Eggs are placed in many locations within the buggy background. Young bugs (smaller than the head of a pin) come out of hidden eggs after about 10 days and quickly seek blood meals.

Time taken to go through five bed bug growing stages depends upon stable temperature, relative humidity, and plenty of snoozers. Bed bug nymphs and adults rest and relax in selective sites. “R and R” sites (refugia) allow young bugs to get gut micros that are needed to survive.

Seeking the sites where bed bugs hide is hard. Look carefully for bloodstains on surfaces, feces, eggs (hatched or un-hatched), and “skins” shed from growing bugs.

With a flashlight and magnifier and/or blue light and orange goggles (as bed bug eggs glow or fluoresce), inspect an area 10 to 20 feet in and around the potentially buggy bed.

Inspect to detect:

  • Mattress, including buttons, seems, and cords (look for tears)
  • Box springs
  • Bed frame
  • Headboard
  • Furniture next to bed turned over and inspected (inside and under drawers-screw holes)
  • Electrical fittings and appliances (wall outlets, light fixtures, switches, telephones, clocks, HDTVs, computers, etc.)
  • Cable, computer, and phone lines
  • Underneath carpet edges and tack strips
  • Floorboard seems
  • Behind loose or torn wall paper and coverings
  • Door and window frames
  • Picture frames, wall mirrors, blinds, curtains, curtain rods, books, cracks and seams in ceilings and moldings, smoke/CO2 detectors, and thermostats
  • Coat hangers, shelves, under counter tops, behind toilets, under sinks, shower areas, etc.
  • Animal cages
  • Clutter piles and areas
  • Carts and wheelchairs
  • No space within a structure should be overlooked as a potential bed bug site
  • Ask people living in the structure about bed bug sightings
  • Write down findings for documentation!

When seeking where bed bugs hide, do not mistake carpet beetles, cockroach young, mites or other potential pests for bed bugs. The better we understand where bed bugs hide, the easier they are to seek and suppress.

To download “PestWest Newsletter 411- Issue 22” in print ready format, please click HERE
or on the image below.

PestWest Newsletter 411 - Issue 22

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