Bed bugs are small but very annoying insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They normally have a flat and brown body the size of an apple seed, but after they feed, they swell up and turn a reddish colour. They cannot fly, but they do move really fast over walls, ceilings and other surfaces – which makes them hard to catch.
The female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs over her lifetime, and these are very tiny. So these nasty insects can multiply very fast and quickly invade your home. They need about 1 month to develop fully and be able to produce a new generation.
Luckily for humans, they do not transmit any diseases. Yet they are still unpleasant and nobody wants to have bugs in their home, sucking the blood of their family members and pets.
WHERE DO BED BUGS HIDE?
There are many ways for these tiny insects to reach your home, whether that is through clothes, luggage or used mattresses that are already infested. Thanks to their flat bodies and small size, they can easily fit into tiny spaces. Compared to other pests like ants or termites, they do not build a nest, but they do like to live in groups.
They prefer to have their own hiding place, which is usually the mattress of the bed, thus their name. They may also be found in box springs, bed frames and other hiding spots on the bed or near it. This allows them to have easy access to humans and bite them during the night.
If they are not taken care of in time, they can spread through the entire room, and even apartment. They will hide in any small hole or protected area. Some people associate bed bugs with dirty homes, but that is just a myth. They only feed on blood and they can be found both in very clean and very dirty rooms.
WHEN DO BED BUGS BITE?
As already mentioned, these tiny creatures like to crawl out of their hiding spots during the night, when people are sleeping. Once they reach a host, they pierce the skin and use their long beak to suck blood. Their feasting lasts between 3 and 10 minutes, and once they are full they go back to their hiding spot.
The bites of bed bugs do not hurt, but they do transform into itchy welts. Unlike fleas who prefer to bite around the ankles, bed bugs are not fussy eaters and will feed on any exposed parts of the body.
The bites of fleas have a red spot in the centre, but those of bed bugs do not.
Bed bugs bites are usually mistaken with mosquito bites. In order to identify the source and be sure about it, you must find the insects first. So if you wake up with red itching spots on your body, make sure to search on the bed, the mattress and nearby hiding spots.