What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs, known scientifically as Cimex lectularius (Cimicidae), are small wingless insects that feed by hematophagy – exclusively on the blood of warm blooded-animals. As we are warm-blooded animals we are ideal hosts for them. Over millions of years bed bugs have evolved as nest parasites – inhabiting the nests of birds and the roosts of bats. Some of them have learnt to adapt to the human environment and live in our nests, i.e. our homes, and more specifically, our beds. Newborns, called hatchlings or nymphs, are tiny, about the size of a poppy seed, while adults grow to about ¼ of an inch long. Their shape is oval and flattened. Both nymphs, eggs and adults are visible to the naked eye.

They are called bed bugs because of their preferred habitat in human homes: sofas, bed mattresses and other soft furnishings. Bed bugs are seen as a growing problem within all types of dwellings, including private homes, dormitories, cruise ships, army barracks, and shelters. When seen close up they may have a white, light tan to a deep brown or burnt orange color. Just after molting most of them are plain white. When they have had their feed a dark red or black blob may be observed within their body. They will instinctively seek shelter in dark cracks and crevices when disturbed.

How dangerous are bed bugs to humans?

Most bed bugs feed on their hosts while they are asleep. The host supplies them with blood in a painless way, never knowing it is happening. While feeding they inject a small amount of saliva into the host’s skin. The more they feed on one particular host, say a human, over a period of several weeks, the more sensitized that human becomes to their saliva. Until eventually the host develops a mild to intense allergic response.

People who have become sensitive to bed bug bites – their saliva – have lesions similar to mosquito or flea bites. Most humans will think they have been bitten by some insect, such as a mosquito, and never realize who the true culprit was.

How do bed bugs get into your house?

Bed bugs may get into a new home as stowaways when luggage, furniture and bedding is moved into a new home – especially in the case of second-hand furniture. Perhaps we should be careful when purchasing second hand furniture at knock-down prices – a careful visual inspection should result in detecting them, if any are present.

Even vacant and seemingly clean homes may have bed bugs in them – they can survive for many months without any food. They can also move from apartment to apartment through hollows in walls and holes and tubes that wires and pipes go through. A bat or bird that flies into a home could introduce bed bugs, and some other bugs as well.

How to get rid of bed bugs?

Pests are becoming more and more resistant to EPA approved pesticides, but heat is a natural scientifically proven solution to winning the ever evolving battle against pests. Bedbug Equipment Rentals provides a non-toxic, thermal pest control treatment that works by raising the temperatures of an infected area to a level that is proven to kill the targeted pest(s). Heat is a non-toxic, environmentally friendly pest control method that can be used to treat specific areas as well as entire structures.

The process works by directing clean, dry heat into an infected area and slowly raising temperatures to safe “sauna-like” levels that are lethal to the targeted organism. Temperatures in the range of 122-143ºF for about one hour prove fatal to many of the pesticide resistant organisms that invade our buildings.

Bedbug Equipment Rentals allows you an alternative “Do It Yourself” form of pest control that is safe and effective. Use heat to rid whole or partial structures of bed bugs, drywood termites, insects, and other unwanted pests. If you’re looking for an effective pest control product without exposing your family to dangerous chemicals, consider HEAT!

How heat effects insects: 

95–107.6°F Lower survival; prolonged developmental time; reduced egg production; insects seek cooler environment

107.7–113°F Death in less than a day

114–122°F Death in less than an hour, eggs become non-viable

143.6°F Death in less than a minute