Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects with flat oval shaped bodies and are 1 to 5 mm long. Their color varies from gray to reddish brown. The abdomen represents the largest portion of the total size of the body and the head has two lateral antennae.
A female bed bug can lay between 1 and 5 eggs per day and up to 500 eggs during her lifespan. Eggs hatch after 7 to 12 days, depending on environmental conditions. Adult bed bugs can survive up to a year without feeding on blood.
Habitat and Food
Bed bugs are undesirable parasites that stay hidden during daytime in cracks and crevices in bedroom walls and furniture or close to mattress seams. They come out at night to feed on the blood of unsuspecting victims.
Lately, bed bugs have literally invaded the province. Bed bug bites can leave itchy rashes. They may also leave their droppings and blood stains on the bed and pillows.
Signs of Infestation
Bites on the skin similar to mosquito bites together with itching can be signs of the presence of bed bugs. Other signs of bed bug infestation are black spots on the seams of the bed and blood stains on the bed and pillows.
Preparation Steps for a Treatment
- Remove all bedding and pillows and wash them with warm water and dry them on high heat. Then put them in an airtight bag.
- Lean mattresses and box springs up against the wall. Disassemble the bed frame. If you decide to dispose of your old mattress and box spring, do not remove the plastic overlays of your new bed set until the infestation is completely eradicated.
- Empty all drawers, bedside tables, cabinets, closets and other places near the bed and put all the contents into bags or sealed containers. Clean everything, including clothing.
- Vacuum the floor, cracks in the mattress, bed frame, box spring, the baseboard and the objects in the vicinity of the bed and chair. Discard the vacuum bag in an airtight bag out of the house immediately afterwards.
- Plan to leave your home for the duration of the treatment and return only after 4 hours. Wherever possible, open windows for 20 minutes upon your return. It is also important to not walk barefoot on treated areas for 48 hours after treatment.