Bedbugs Bed bugs are pests of domestic animals, bats, wild
birds, and man. Climex lectularius is the only species in the north temperate regions that attacks man. Bed bugs are most commonly found in old hotels and boarding houses, but you can also find them in homes, apartments, restaurants, theaters, buses and offices. They are nocturnal insects, feeding at night and hiding in dark places during the day. Bed bugs feed only on blood, principally that of man. The period required to obtain a meal is anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes. Bed bugs are oval, lattened, wingless, and red-brown in color. Those full
of blood are red and slightly elongated. The adult is /4 to 3/8 inches long.
Bed bug infested rooms have a very characteristic
odor. It has been described as a musty odor, a sweet odor, and even compared to the smell of fresh red raspberries. Other signs of infestation include black spots that have been left on surfaces where the insects have been, and blood stains on sheets and mattresses. The latter is a result of the bleeding that sometimes occurs after the bed bug is finished feeding. Swellings may result from bed bug bites; they are small, hard and white (not red, as with flea bites).
A female bed bug can produce up to 200 eggs during its lifetime. It lays about 3 or 4 eggs per day,
cementing them in cracks and crevices nearby. The eggs are white and are about the size of a pinhead. The nymphs take in blood before they molt and reach maturity. This whole process takes place in 5 to 8 weeks. In cases where conditions are not ideal, maturity may be reached in 6 to 8 weeks. The adults live for 6 months or more; some living for 1 and 1/2 years. There are several generations per year, and all stages of growth are usually present within a single room.
There is a strong correlation between bedbugs found in the living area of a household and the presence of bats in the attic. Quite often a population of bedbugs feeding on bats in the attic migrate to the living area. If you have confirmed the identification of bedbugs in your household, check your attic for bats. If bats are eliminated, the source of your infestation will be eliminated.
Bedbugs in your living quarters are difficult to
eradicate. We advise that you consult with a professional pest control company.
For a complete listing of suggested control options
for all home, yard and garden insect pests contact your local Extension Service, found under local government in the phone book.
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