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Common Bedbug
General Information;
Bedbugs are dark reddish brown, oval and very flat. Adult bedbugs are almost 1/4" long and can become mature in as little as four weeks, if host blood is available and the temperature, humidity and harborage are favorable. If no host is available a bedbug can survive for a year without feeding.
Hosts can include; humans, poultry, rodents, dogs and cats. Two other types of bedbugs can be found in bat colonies, these are called "bat bugs". There is also some indication that bedbugs may also use certain wild birds as hosts.
Bedbugs are silent hitchhikers. They are so well adapted that their bite is nearly painless. Adult bedbugs prefer humans as their hosts and although they have been known to harbor several human diseases, there are currently no records of disease transmission.
Harborages;
Normally bedbugs feed at night. Their flat bodies allow them to hide in cracks and crevices close to their food source. Such places would include, the seams on mattresses, bedframes, bedside furniture, dressers, wallboards, doors and window frames, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper. The bedroom is usually the center of an infestation, so all dark cracks and crevices are a potential harborage.
 
Habitat Alterations;
It is important to remember that bedbugs have alternative hosts including rodents and some birds so the first line of action is to exclude these animals.
Inside;
  • Tighten, caulk and screen routes of entry.
  • Store unused mattresses in protected areas, consider using the plastic mattress covers.
  • Inspect your mattress regularly, look for small dark spots along the seams.
  • Vacuum your mattress, paying close attention to the seams, discard bag OUTSIDE in a sealed container after each session!
  • Reduce the indoor humidity level, remember bedbugs like it warm and humid.

 

Outside;

  • Move woodpiles away from your home.
  • Keep weeds and shrubs away from the building foundation.
  • Eliminate garbage.

 

Tips for the Traveler;

  • Inspect your motel/hotel room (mattress, side tables, behind pictures, etc) before you bring in your luggage.
  • Consider storing your luggage in the large ziplocking bags.
  • Making yourself too much at home can cause problems, only bring in what you absolutely need to and avoid placing your clothes on beds, chairs or in the dressers.
  • Upon your return home, wash all your clothing in hot water (+120 degrees) or have it drycleaned if it can't be washed in water that hot.
  • Store your luggage in plastic ziplock bags, remember they went on vacation with you!
More Do's and Don'ts;
  • Skip those curbside freebies!
  • Wash everything you buy when you bring it home, throw away the packaging (outside).
  • Inspect everything thoroughly, before you buy it.
  • Used furniture can be more affordable, but often comes with a hefty price if it harbors an infestation of any pests. Use caution even when you know the source!