Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.
Whoever came up with that sing-songy phrase parents use to tuck in their children must be a bonafide nutcase. How could anyone think that instilling young minds with the thought of tiny, blood-sucking insects that hide and defecate in our furniture would be a good method of putting kids to sleep?
Of course, bed bugs haven’t always been the nuisance they are today. In the mid-20th century, they were all but eradicated in the United States due to long-lasting, highly effective (and highly toxic to humans) pesticides like DDT.
But the popularity of air travel after WWII, paired with stricter regulation on heavy pesticides, have made paved the way for a bed bug resurgence in the U.S., and they’re back with a vengeance. Occurrences of bed bugs in the U.S. nearly double every year, and sightings in San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties proves that Southern California is no exception.
The itchy 411 on bed bugs
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) get their name from their reputation as being the worst bedfellows. These insects lay dormant during the daylight hours in small cracks and crevices, including mattress seams, furniture, sheets, behind baseboards, and electrical outlets. And like all parasitic vampires, bed bugs emerge at night (peak activity being between midnight and 7 a.m.) looking for warm bodies on which to feast.
Bed bugs are tiny bloodsuckers – only about an eighth on an inch in length. They’re recognizable by their reddish-brown color and flat, oval-shaped bodies. Apart from being good hiders, they’re also good travelers, adept at jumping on clothing and luggage – which is the reason they’re so prevalent in hotels. And how many nights will you be staying with us, Mr. Bug?
Nymph bed bugs molt five times before reaching adulthood, and require a blood meal each time they molt. The process from nymph to adult lasts from 30-60 days. If a blood host is not found (by the way, if you’ve come to this page for ideas on what to name your metal band, you’ve come to the right place), nymphs can survive up to two months; adults can live for an entire year.
After each feeding, bed bugs return to their location of harborage to defecate. In fact, some of the most obvious indications of a bed bug infestation (well, besides all those itchy red spots that have begun showing up on your body) are the black and brown stains that show up in porous surfaces and piles that show up in non-porous surfaces. Did we mention that these guys are gross?
A female bed bug can lay five eggs a day and up to five hundred in her lifetime. These eggs are white, very small (about 1/32″) and deposited one by one in cracks where they secured with a sticky glue-like substance. A population of bed bugs can reproduce quickly and exponentially, so early detection is the best way to rid them from your home
DOES THIS LOOK LIKE THE NOSE OF A FIERCE HUNTER?
Lloyd Pest Control leads the industry in bed bug eradication, providing:
- Certified canine inspections
- Targeted chemical treatments
- Vac-removal of live bed bugs
- Sealing of beds with encasements
- Fumigation chamber for infested items
- Clean Heat treatments
- Personalized guidance from prep to completion
How Lloyd Pest Control can protect you against bed bugs
Unfortunately, bed bugs present one of the most difficult challenge facing the pest control industry today. Early detection is key to protecting you against bed bugs, and our trained professionals will provide a thorough inspection. They will be able to inspect target areas to identify bed bug fecal matter, molted skin, and hiding places where these bloodsuckers like to hang out.
Once an infestation has been identified, the bugs will be removed with a vacuum-chambered device and sealing the mattress and box spring in bug-proof encasements. Contact insecticides are also administered to the targeted areas. But even that’s not enough, and follow-up visits are crucial. Nymphs emerge from eggs after seven to ten days, so the follow up treatments should be scheduled to coincide with the birth of those little a-holes.
As you can see, bed bugs are extremely difficult to deal with, and the sooner you detect them, the easier it is to get rid of them. Otherwise, it’ll be a long time before you sleep tight.
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