True Facts About The Bed Bug


Bed bug infestations are no joke. They can be extremely difficult to eradicate, especially if you don't undertake the services of a qualified exterminator. Just the thought of bed bugs is enough to send some people into an itchy furor as if they can feel them creepy-crawling around on the sly. Much as with any other battle, knowing your enemy is half the fight. In this article, you'll learn some of the strangest and most interesting facts about these tiny little bed denizens--helping you to prevent or treat them should they occur.

Bedbugs Have a Seven-Stage Growth Cycle

In almost all cases, visibly detectable bed bugs are considered to be in the final adult growth stage. These are fairly easy to identify, although they tend to hide in crevices and the inside of furniture. Seems easy enough, right? If you see them, call the exterminator. Unfortunately, what you aren't always seeing is what can make the problem so difficult to eradicate.

Bedbugs have a seven-stage growth cycle as follows:

  1. Egg stage
  2. Nymph stage 1
  3. Nymph stage 2
  4. Nymph stage 3
  5. Nymph stage 4
  6. Nymph stage 5
  7. Adulthood

There is a difference in appearance depending on the age of the bug. Adult bedbugs tend to be about the size of a match head or an apple seed. Younger bed bugs, however, can be much smaller and are often semi-translucent in color. This is what makes earlier growth stages so difficult to identify. Eggs are so small and poorly colored that most people cannot identify them with the naked eye.

Most importantly, you should understand that if you have one life stage present, you probably have them all and should move forward with a full treatment plan.

Bedbugs are Proven to Cause Psychological Distress

Alright--this may seem like an obvious thing at first. After all, bed bugs can be extremely annoying. However, research has shown that they may cause even more mental harm than originally thought. In fact, PTSD-like reactions are very common. In some cases, infestations have even led to suicide in individuals with comorbid mental health concerns.

A study in the American Journal of Medicine quotes related psychological distress symptoms as:

  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Hypervigilance
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Personal dysfunction

Each of these is also tied to PTSD, suggesting that bed bugs may, in fact, be able to trigger post-traumatic stress disorder. While not everyone reacts the same way, the percentage of individuals affected is significant enough that all people should closely monitor moods and behaviors after an infestation. Any signs of depression, anxiety, or unusual behaviors should be addressed with a physician or psychologist immediately.

Bedbugs Multiply Faster than Rabbits

Part of the reason infestations are so difficult to treat also relates to the fact that they multiply at a rate thousands of times greater than even the proliferate rabbit. Consider this: each female bedbug can produce up to five to 20 eggs per day. New eggs reach maturity at about 37 days, and may then add 5 to 20 eggs per day to the infestation.

And now, the math: 

Say you have a single pregnant female that delivers five eggs on day one, and five eggs every day after until the 37th day. That's 188 bed bugs! Going from one bug to 188 is a massive increase, but after the 37th day, each of the five new eggs matures and begins to add five or so new bugs, too. That means the shear rate of reproduction is multiplying by an average of five each and every day.

Now, consider that most people will be starting with tens or hundreds of bugs instead of just one. The numbers are often staggering, and it's common for exterminators to find bugs in the thousands when the issue is finally addressed. Warmer temperatures, plenty of blood to feed on--pets and humans provide this--and a lack of immediate action can all increase the reproduction rate, too.

Recovering from a bed bug infestation can be difficult, time-consuming, and lengthy. Above all else, immediate action will help to keep the issue from worsening. After all, a bed bugs ideal home is anywhere they are given the time to grow and thrive. This is why it's so crucial to call the exterminator as soon as you know you have a problem. For more information on this or any other pest, contact your local exterminator today.


8 July 2015

Protecting Your Family With Pest Control

How often do you double check your front door or make sure that your garage door is closed? Although installing a home security system and giving your children instructions about stranger danger might seem like second nature, some people forget that there are real safety threats sitting around their windowsills. My child was bitten by a poisonous spider a few years ago, and ever since then, I have worked to increase awareness about the importance of pest control. A little pesticide can keep dangerous bugs from seeking refuge in your home and threatening your family. My website discusses different ways to keep your kids safe.