Bed Bugs

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THE ONLY TERMITE AND PEST CONTROL COMPANY

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SERVING SOUTHWEST VA & EAST TN OVER 50 YEARS

 

COMMON BED BUG (Cimex Lectularius) 

Kingdom:  Animalia

Phylum:  Arthropoda

Class:  Insecta

Order:  Hemiptera

Suborder:  Heteroptera

Family:  Cimicidae

Cimex Pilosellus and Cimex Pipistrella primarily infest bats.  Haematosiphon Indora primarily infest poultry.

The Bed Bug lives by hematophagy which means they live on the blood of humans and other warm blooded hosts.

BIOLOGY:

The Bed Bug is reddish-brown to mahogany colored.  It has a flattened oval shaped, wingless body with piercing-sucking mouthparts.  The microscopic hairs give them a banded appearance that often looks like an apple seed.

The female Bed Bug lays two (2) eggs per day until she has laid about 200.  At room temperature the eggs will hatch in six (6) to seventeen (17) days.

The newly hatched nymphs are translucent and become browner as they molt and mature.

The Bed Bug can be seen with the naked eye especially after they have gorged themselves with blood.

FEEDING HABITS:

Bed Bugs are mainly active at night with the peak feeding period just before dawn about an hour before sunrise.  They will climb walls to the ceiling and jump down when they feel the wave of heat from humans or a warm blooded animal.

Once Bed Bugs are attracted by warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide they pierce the skin with two (2) hollow tubes.  With one tube the Bed Bug injects its saliva which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics, at the same time the other tube is withdrawing (sucking) blood from the host.

Bed Bugs typically feed for about five (5) minutes then retreat to their hiding places.  The person who is bitten usually cannot feel the bite until minutes or even hours later when they have an overwhelming desire to scratch the bitten areas.

REPRODUCTION:

All Bed Bugs mate by a process that is called traumatic insemination.  Instead of inserting their genitalia into the female’s reproductive tract, that is typical in copulation, the males pierce the females with hypodermic genitalia and ejaculate into their body cavity.

The Feeding Habits and Reproduction are mentioned here to point out that Bed Bugs have all the known prerequisites for being capable of transmitting diseases from one host to another, i.e., one person to another.  In laboratory testing Bed Bugs have been found to carry the “causative agents” for several diseases such as anthrax, plague, tularemia, yellow fever, relapsing fever and typhus.

However, there are no known cases of Bed Bugs passing diseases, thus making the Bed Bug less dangerous than the flea.

Anaphylactoid reactions produced by the injection of serum and other proteins in the saliva of Bed Bugs show that it is possible that a person could suffer anaphylactic shock.  The possibility of anaphylactic shock is increased with sustained Bed Bug feeding, which also may lead to anemia.

BITE INSPECTION:

Bites on humans consist of a raised red bump or a flat welt, with obvious itching marks on and around the bite.  Most Bed Bug bites are almost indistinguishable from a mosquito bite except they last longer on the skin.

Bed Bug bites do not have a centered “red dot” appearing bite like fleas.  Fleas also bite in “threes” referred to as colloquialism, i.e., three dots in a row.

However, the arrangement of bites from a Bed Bug may be numerous because the Bed Bug may be searching for a vein.  Once the vein is found there may be a single bite or multiple bites that follow a linear pattern marking the path of the blood vessel closest to the surface of the skin.

To further the problem, fifty percent (50%) of all bites leave no visible signs on people, thus making it difficult to identify and eliminate infestations if there is no apparent evidence in the surrounding environment.

MEDICAL NOTE:

For relief of visible bites or an area that is itching with no visible bite, apply hot water at an estimated temperature of 120 degrees.  Some believe that heat overwhelms the nerve endings that signal an itch, they believe that heat neutralizes the chemical that is causing the inflammation, or that heat triggers the body to release histamine which causes the histamine in the affected area to decrease. 

ENVIRONMENT INSPECTION – ALL LOCATIONS:

Bed Bugs generally hide in cracks and crevices during daylight hours.  With their flattened bodies they can hide in the seams and tufts of mattresses, coils of springs, hollow posts of beds, upholstery of sofas and chairs.  However, they are not limited to these places.  They can be found behind loose wallpaper, under door and window casings, behind baseboards, in light fixtures and storage areas including medicine cabinets.  Inspect employee lockers or clothes hanging areas.  The most noticeable signs of infestations are fecal spots and bloody spots left on sheets and pillow cases when Bed Bugs are crushed.

The inspector must be aware of all these areas and more when doing an initial inspection.  The success of the treatment depends on knowing the characteristics of the pest to be eliminated.

CONTROL AND ELIMINATION:

The first order of treatment (whenever possible) is to remove the food source from the area, (humans & animals) so the area can be isolated.  If food source removal cannot be accomplished and the dwelling must remain occupied during treatment, isolate areas in the dwelling then provide overall treatment with focused attention on isolated infested areas.

Bed Bugs are controlled using insecticide sprays, gel baits or dust applications, although in severe cases the entire premise must be fumigated.

 

LONE PINE EXTERMINATING USES ONLY EPA LABEL APPROVED INSECTICIDES.

 

The insecticides must be labeled for use in the treated area especially on bedding.  These include permethrin, resmethrin, synergized pyrethrins, silica aerogel or some combination of non-residual insecticides.

TREATMENT W/ NONRESIDUAL:

Mattresses and all furniture will be treated at seams, folds, buttons, tears, and folds along edges and tufts.

Note:

 Mattress should be dried, cleaned and covered with clean linens before being reused.

TREATMENT W/ RESIDUALS:

All locations away from human contact at bedding sites will be treated with a residual insecticide.

Residual insecticides such as Pyrethoids and emulsifiable concentrates are preferred.  These leave a residual that can readily dissolve the cuticle wax on the exoskeleton of the Bed Bug.

Treat all hiding areas and exposed surfaces in the environment.  Don’t overlook inside tables, bureaus and other furniture in the room.  A thorough application is essential to be successful.

LONE PINE EXTERMINATING TECHNICIANS ALWAYS:

-Inform owners, employees, renters, or managers in charge of location to leave treated areas unoccupied until area is dried.

-Once dried the room must be cleaned and vacuumed with clean linens covering the mattress completely.

-Remove the vacuum bag or water and remove from the premises either by flushing or disposal in an exterior trash can.

Note:

Steam, heat or an alcohol based material may be the first choice for Bed Bugs in an IPM program, however, if infestation is severe these are limited and time consuming.

Time consuming & thresholds are often ignored when people need relief from biting, blood sucking insects.  Ultimately, the choice is simply an immediate eradication, this is accomplished quicker with a chemical application that is EPA approved for Bed Bugs.  Follow up inspections are necessary from day two, which is the third day from treatment and continuing with applications at label rates, approved times and treatments, until the Bed Bug infestations are completely eradicated.

The current epidemic is proportionate to the public and physicians unawareness & unfamiliarity with Bed Bugs.  This has allowed infestations to increase and will continue until the proper diagnosis and identification is corrected & the correct treatment applied.

This information is brought to you by the owner, managers and technicians of Lone Pine Exterminating that have experience inspecting and treating Bed Bugs in a multitude of environments.