Bed bugs have been bothering people while they sleep for over 3,000 years. These blood thirsty parasitic insects are believed to have been brought over to North America during the 1800s by colonists. Starting in the 1950s, however, there was a considerable decrease in bed bug related issues. Thanks in large part to new pesticides, better household cleaning methods and regulations on the sale of used furniture, bed bug problems dwindled for many years.
Within recent years, however, bed bug populations have been on the rise. This can be attributed in part to several factors including increased international travel, a general lack of awareness regarding ways to prevent bringing bed bugs home, and a shift away from heavy spraying of pesticides to more targeted pest management strategies.
About Bed Bugs & Infestations
Bed bugs feed during the night and prefer to hide out in dark protected areas during the day. Most often, they can be found hiding in the seams of mattresses or around the tags in addition to crevices and small areas around the bed frame. As a bed bug infestation starts to become larger, you can also find them hiding in areas that have fabric, paper or wood surfaces including in the folds of curtains, beneath wall-to-wall carpeting, behind electrical outlets and under loose wallpaper, among other places. While humans are the primary hosts for bed bugs, they can (and will) feed on other animals, including cats, dogs, birds or rodents.
The typical life span of a bed bug can range from a year to up to a year and a half. It doesn’t take very long for a few bed bugs to multiply and create an infestation! One female bed bug can lay between 1 and 5 eggs in a day and will sometimes lay up to 12 eggs. Eggs can usually be found in protective crevices and as soon as a bed bug hatches, it will begin searching for its first meal. To grow from an egg to an adult, it can typically take a bed bug between 21 to 120 days, and the warmer the temperature, the quicker the development.
Identifying a Bed Bug Infestation
There are several different signs you can check for in order to determine if you have a bed bug infestation. Tiny blood spots on your pajamas, small bites on your skin or small dark stains from excrement or crushed bugs on your bedding and mattress are indicators of a bed bug problem. Often, with large bed bug infestations, you can smell a very distinct sweet odor, which they excrete from their scent glands.
Bed bug bites are typically found in clusters of three and usually form itchy welts. The initial bite is usually painless and after they bite, they release saliva into the wound that prevents the blood from clotting. A bed bug will typically feed for about 15 minutes before it falls off and nestles into a crevice or other small space to digest its meal.
Professional Bed Bug Extermination by OPC Pest Control
If you notice bed bugs in your home or think you might have a bed bug infestation, call the pest management professionals at OPC Pest Control at 518-877-6425. Improper treatment of a bed bug infestation can make the problem worse by causing the bugs to move to other areas in your house or hide in deeper cracks and crevices, making them harder to eliminate. Whether you’re located in Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, Malta, Ballston Spa, Latham, Schenectady or elsewhere in Albany’s greater Capital Region, contact OPC Pest Control now to schedule a consultation and discuss your bed bug issues.