Bed Bug Infestations Reach Record Levels
One of the most feared and misunderstood pests known to man is the bed bug (Cimex lectularius). How many of us have dozed off to sleep at night as children with the words of our parents in our ears ‘sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite’?
Bed bugs probably started to feed on man at about the time we moved into caves, the ‘bat bugs’ Cimex pilosellus and Cimex pipistrella primarily feed on bats and it is probable that bat feeding species of bug evolved to dine on human blood when our ancesters started dwelling in bat infested caves. You may want to check out topbedbugkillersofseattle.com for more.
Until the advent of DDT in the early 20th century bed bugs were common non-paying guests in most poor quality housing. The later part of the 20th century saw pest control companies dealing with very few bed bug infestations indeed, their presence being largely confined to cheap holiday camps and student accommodation etc.
Many people confuse dust mites, which are not visible to the naked eye, with bed bugs which certainly are. Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown, about a quarter of an inch in size and decidedly swollen after a feed of human blood.
They have an incomplete metamorphosis which means that the young are just smaller versions of the adult, they do not have a pupal stage like a flea or a fly. They typically feed on human blood every 7 – 10 days, coming out in the hours before dawn and sensing their prey by detecting the exhaled CO2 from respiration and when nearing in on their target, body heat.
In the absence of a convenient human to feed on they can lay dormant for periods of up to 18 months. Signs of a bed bug infestation are spots of blood on bedding and on the underside of mattresses and some people can react badly to their bites.The early 21st century has seen bed bug numbers explode across the globe, the cheap availability of global travel and economic migration have both been blamed for the resurgence. What is certain is that that are now making a major comeback not only in poor quality housing but high class hotels, schools and even hospitals. One London borough reported a doubling of bed bug infestations every single year from 1995 – 2001.
A single night away in an infested hotel is all it takes, they hitch a ride in your suitcases or bags. Pest control companies are also now reporting instances of transport related bug infestations on tubes, trains and buses so a simple journey to work on an infested tube or train can be enough to spread the infestation to your home.They are an expensive pest to eradicate as contrary to popular opinion they do not just live in beds. They infest any nook and cranny conveniently close to a sleeping human, beds, electrical sockets, televisions, bed-side telephones etc and eradication is both difficult and time consuming. They have even been found living under the toe-nails of infirm people and in the creases of flesh on grossly over-weight people.