Mobility of Bed Bugs

From dawn to dusk, bed bugs remain mostly in their harborages. Understanding their movements after the lights go out can provide useful insight.

Running on Empty.
Bed bugs are mostly nocturnal, but will adapt to the sleep cycle of their host. For example, if a person works the night shift and sleeps during the day, the bugs will adjust and feed during daylight hours. Hungry bed bugs may feed regardless of the time of day — an occupational hazard experienced at times by service technicians. Hungry bed bugs also tend to move around more than satiated bugs, presumably in order to locate a food source. However, if host absence is prolonged (as might occur in a vacant apartment), their search activity may be reduced in order to conserve energy.

Video recordings of adult bed bugs in laboratory test arenas showed they can travel over 16 feet in five minutes, even in the absence of host-orienting cues. Given that the hunt for a meal could last for hours, it is understandable that wandering bed bugs can sometimes end up in suitcases and other belongings.

Recently we had an opportunity to study bed bug movement in a heavily infested house and an apartment. Interceptor-style (pitfall) monitors were placed in several locations, near and far from where occupants slept and bugs were observed. Most of the pitfall monitors were placed along baseboards and in corners of rooms — rather than beneath bed and furniture legs — which is more typical in commercial practice.

To further assess bed bug mobility, groups of bugs in various locations were marked with paint. Different colors were used to distinguish where the bugs initially resided vs. where they were subsequently found.

Each dwelling was re-inspected a week after the bugs were marked and monitors installed. The number of bed bugs captured in each monitor was recorded along with where marked bugs were found relative to their previous location.

Lesson Learned.
These tests clearly reinforce that bed bugs move around during their nighttime forays.

Bed bugs congregate near sleeping or stationary hosts, especially during early stages of infestation. As populations grow larger, they often disperse beyond the usual beds, sofas and recliners to other areas of refuge. Why this happens is still under investigation. One theory is that bed bug dispersal is initiated by adult females seeking to avoid repeated, potentially harmful mating attempts by males. Another hypothesis is that dispersal has little to do with “fleeing” females, and has more to do with refuge availability. Rather, as numbers increase and harborages near hosts become occupied, bed bugs (comprised of all life stages) gradually form new clusters farther away.

Another question researchers are attempting to answer is whether blood-seeking bed bugs return to their former harborage locations.

Bed bugs probably feed at least weekly in the presence of a host.

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Fact Sheet on Bedbugs!

Bed bus are parasites that preferentially feed on humans. If people aren’t available, they instead will feed on other warm-blooded animals, including birds, rodents, bats, and pets.

Bed bugs have been documented as pests since the 17th century. They were introduced into our country by the early colonists. Bed bugs were common in the United States prior to World War II, after which time widespread use of synthetic insecticides such as DDT greatly reduced their numbers. Improvements in household and personal cleanliness as well as increased regulation of the used furniture market also likely contributed to their reduced pest status.

ticks

In the past decade, bed bugs have begun making a comeback across the United States, although they are not considered to be a major pest. The widespread use of baits rather than insecticide sprays for ant and cockroach control is a factor that has been implicated in their return. Bed bugs are blood feeders that do not feed on ant and cockroach baits. International travel and commerce are thought to facilitate the spread of these insect hitchhikers, because eggs, young, and adult bed bugs are readily transported in luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture. Bed bugs can infest airplanes, ships, trains, and buses. Bed bugs are most frequently found in dwellings with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, motels, hostels, dormitories, shelters, apartment complexes, tenements, and prisons. Such infestations usually are not a reflection of poor hygiene or bad housekeeping.

Distribution.
Bed bugs are fairly cosmopolitan. Cimex Lectularius is most frequently found in the northern temperate climates of North America, Europe, and Central Asia, although it occurs sporadically in southern temperate regions. The tropical bed bug, C. hemipterus, is adapted for semitropical to tropical climates and is widespread in the warmer areas of Africa, Asia, and the tropics of North America and South America. In the United States, C. hemipterus occurs in Florida.

Identification.
Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about 3/16 to 1/5 inch long. Their flat shape enables them to readily hide in cracks and crevices. The body becomes more elongate, swollen, and dark red after a blood meal. Bed bugs have a beaklike piercing-sucking mouthpart system. The adults have small, stubby, non-functional wing pads. Newly hatched nymphs are nearly colorless, becoming brownish as they mature.

Life Cycle.
Female bed bugs lay from one to twelve eggs per day, and the eggs are deposited on rough surfaces or in crack and crevices. The eggs are coated with a sticky substance so they adhere to the substrate. Eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days, and nymphs can immediately begin to feed. They require a blood meal in order to molt. Bed bugs reach maturity after five molts. Developmental time (egg to adult) is affected by temperature and takes about 21 days at 86º F to 120 days at 65º F. The nymphal period is greatly prolonged when food is scarce. Nymphs and adults can live for several months without food. The adult’s lifespan may encompass 12-18 months. Three or more generations can occur each year.

Inspection.
A thorough inspection of the premises to locate bed bugs and their harborage sites is necessary so that cleaning efforts and insecticide treatments can be focused. Inspection efforts should concentrate on the mattress, box springs, and bed frame, as well as crack and crevices that the bed bugs may hide in during the day or when digesting a blood meal. The latter sites include window and door frames, floor cracks, carpet tack boards, baseboards, electrical boxes, furniture, pictures, wall hangings, drapery pleats, loosened wallpaper, cracks in plaster, and ceiling moldings. Determine whether birds or rodents are nesting on or near the house.

If you would like an inspection for bedbugs, call Action Pest Control today @ 90-318-1242

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Bedbugs beware: Microfibre net will snare you!

Think of it as a tiny, tenacious fishing net to trap bedbugs, inventor Shan He says. He developed nanotechnology that spins plastic polymers into microscopic netting exactly the right size to snare a bedbug’s leg or two.

“The parameters have to be perfect to trap the leg of the bedbug,” He explained to the Toronto Star. “The concentration of the plastic, the length of the fibre.” All of this is done with microfibers 50 times thinner than human hair, woven with “electro spinning.”

Laboratory tests at Stony Brook’s lab in Long Island, N.Y. found the material effective on bedbugs and termites, He said. Small pieces of the ultra-thin, very soft fabric were placed in corners and other typical bedbug hiding places and captured all of the insects.

The advantage of using microfibers is that it involves no potentially harmful chemicals which insects can develop a resistance to and immobilizes them so they can’t attack or reproduce. Nor do microfibers have attachments or accessories the way some bug traps do.

The disadvantage, He said, is that it’s still in the prototype stage.

“We’re working 24/7 to move this from the lab to the consumer,” He said. “The cost would very, very low. It uses cheap, recycled polymer materials and the spinning is low-cost technology.”

He sees two ways to use the nanotechnology to stop bedbugs: attaching the material to bedbug hiding places (wall corners, behind pictures) or injecting a thin film of it onto carpets during or after manufacture.

“It’s so light you won’t feel anything.”

The technology is unlike an old bedbug trapping method finding a new audience: bean leaves, which also ensnare the insects legs, He said.

“This is soft, very soft, and it collapses around the leg to entangle it.”

He had personal reasons behind his research: A friend in Boston found his apartment infested with bedbugs and threw out a mattress. A week later, the bugs were back and the landlord fumigated. Three months later, they were back and he moved out.

The State University of New York, Stony Brook, has applied for a patent for the technology and is working with Fibertrap, a private company, to bring it to market.

At Action Pest, we are always trying to stay on top of cutting edge technology to better serve our customers!

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Bedbugs Hamilton

Ontario Bedbugs is deeply committed to your complete satisfaction and we now offer up to one year guarantee in writing. In Hamilton, we are your number one choice for quality work, reasonable pricing with the best guarantee in the industry. We have been servicing Hamilton for bedbugs for over 30 years and have a unique and patented treatment that guarantees all bedbugs gone, safely and effectively. We use only unmarked vehicles for your discretion and provide service 7 days a week. Our technicians are all trained on the integrated pest management program designed at Purdue University. We inspect, identify, and eliminate.

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What is a Bedbug?

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on blood. The term is used loosely to refer to any species of the genus Cimex, and even more loosely to refer to any member of the family Cimicidae The common bed bug, Cimex Lectularius, is the most infamous species of the family and prefers to feed on human blood. The name of the “bed bug” is derived from the insect’s preferred habitat of houses and especially beds or other areas where people sleep. Bed bugs are mainly active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal and are capable of feeding on their hosts without being noticed.

A number of adverse health effects may occur due to bed bug bites, including shin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. Diagnosis involves both finding bed bugs and the occurrence of compatible symptoms.

Bed bugs have been known as human parasites for thousands of years. At a point in the early 1940s, they were mostly eradicated in the developed world, but have recently increased in prevalance since 1995. Because infestation of human habitats has been on the increase, bed bug bites and related conditions have been on the rise, as well.

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6 Facts about Bedbugs Everyone Needs to Know

  1. Most people find bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) a most disagreeable houseguest. These parasites are usually no more than a ¼ inch in length in their adult state and can engorge themselves with human blood in less than 15 minutes causing their bodies to fill to as much as three times its usual size. Fully engorged bed bugs bear little resemblance to their original state and are often thought to be a different insect all together.
  2. Bedbugs can lay between one and five eggs per day with an incubation period of 10 days in warm weather (slightly longer when cool). These newly hatched bedbugs will require five significant blood feedings to reach adult size. They will molt in between feedings by shedding their exoskeleton. Once mature they will begin the process of laying new eggs.
  3. Adult female bedbugs can lay more than 200 eggs during their lifetime and the new generation of bedbugs will immediately seek a blood meal and they might be looking at you through hungry compound eyes. When they are finished eating they leave tiny sores to remind you of their midnight binge.
  4. There are other types of bedbugs including the bat bug, the chimney swift bug and the swallow bug. All of these relatives survive on blood feeding, however these secondary parasites thrive on either bats or birds as their primary victims.
  5. Bedbugs feed on the blood of human beings but can suck blood from other animals as well. Birds and mice are the most common animals. Bedbugs most often feed at nighttime when people are asleep. When they feed, they inject a salivary secretion into the wound to prevent coagulation. The fluid can cause a person’s skin to itch and even become swollen. Scratching can cause sores which often become infected. Bedbugs are not known to transmit any human blood-borne pathogens.
  6. An adult bedbug is about 1/5 inch long, oval in shape and flat. They’re generally brown except after sucking blood. Their body then becomes swollen and the colour changes to a dark red.
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Number One Reason for Bedbug Explosion

I may be aging myself but I have been in the pest control business for over 30 years and can still remember the problem we had dealing with bed bugs in the late 1970′s. However back then all pest control operators had a secret weapon we used. It was insecticides from the family of chemicals called Chlorinated Hydrocarbons. They had interesting names such as DDT, Lindane and Chlordane. They smelled awful but did they work. They worked so well in fact that bedbugs became almost a non issue and were mostly forgotten. Something else that we forgotten were the Chlorinated insecticides, as they were deemed too dangerous because they took an extremely long time to break down and had very serious side effects on humans and animals. They were replaced with safer insecticides from the family known as Organo Phosphates. We used products such as Diazanon  Chlopyrofos, and others which also worked incredibly well and they did not pose the same health risks as DDT as they broke down quicker. If used properly by licensed technicians they were very effective and safe to the customers we treated.
However with governments jumping on the the green bandwagon, in their infinite wisdom they decided to discontinue registering these pesticides  for use in Ontario and other parts.  these were replaced with a different class of insecticides that are either a pyrethrum base or a synthetic version called a pyrethroid. They come in liquid or powder form. Used properly they can be very effective but they have one major caveat…..there is virtually no residual effect like their predecessors. Hence bedbugs can hide in cracks in the wall and other tight paces until the residual effect of the insecticide has passed. This is the reason most pest control companies are doing two to three service treatments to eliminate and to guarantee the work. Ten years ago we rarely needed a second. Boy how times have changed…..

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6 facts you may not know about bedbugs

1. Bedbugs were once known as bat bugs as they mainly began feeding off bats..
2. Females can lay well over 200 eggs in her lifetime….
3. Other than humans the most common blood source is mice and birds
4. Case studies have shown some children became anemic after multiple feedings on them by a bedbug…..
5. Use calamine lotion on bites to relieve itching……
6. A scientist with Rollins Corporation in the U.S. kept a bedbug alive for almost 15 months….

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7 top ways to avoid taking bed bugs home

1. Learn how to identify bed bugs.
2. When visiting, bring in only what you need and avoid placing bags close to walls or furniture (if this is unavoidable place belongings in a closed white plastic kitchen bag and examine if for any bed bugs before leaving).
3. If possible, stand rather than sit, or avoid sitting on furniture with fabric – wood or metal chairs are better.
4. Inspect shoes, clothing, and belongings after leaving.
5. If you find any bed bugs kill them immediately.
6. Put work clothes in the dryer for at least 30 minutes on high heat when you get home.
7. Use disposable protective clothing such as shoe covers and coveralls.

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Bedbugs Are Violent Sexual Predators

It’s common knowledge that bed bugs are easily classified as the worst insects on the planet.  They have been on the rise in tremendous amounts over the last 10 years, they troll you bed at night looking for blood, the social stigma of bed bugs is terrible and add to the list

They are now sexual predators.

No, no, you read correctly…male bed bugs are sexual predators.  How you ask?  Well the male bed bug takes part in a rather disturbing mating practice called “traumatic insemination.”  In this horrid practice, the male bedbug stabs the female bedbug through the abdomen and inseminates her directly into her body cavity.

Can we say ‘ouch!’

There isn’t much explaination for this rare and brutal form of insect mating and the female bed bug often suffers greatly as a result.  She often gets infected from the wound and dies.  Traumatic insemination in bed bugs is, according to Cornell biologists Alastair Stutt and Michael Sive-Jothy, “a coercive male copulatory strategy that results in a sexual conflict of interests.”

Seriously?!  A ‘conflict of interest’ is how they describe it?!

A bed bug male reproductive organ. via Stutt & Sive-Jothy, 2001

Studies over the years have shown that sex in the animal kingdom isn’t always beneficial to both parties and that males and females don’t always share similar reproductive goals.  Females generally want to ‘best candidate’ and males just want to get their first.  (You’d think they were studying humans.)

Some even say that this forced insemination is just another way to ensure that a mating bug can impregnate a female that another male has already tried to mate with.  Scientists have even gone as far as to try to alter their hormone levels so that they would eventually self destruct by piercing other males instead of unsuspecting females.

No wonder their presence worldwide has increased as fast as it has over the last 10 years.

Whatever these scientists come up with, one things for sure…BED BUGS ARE VILE LITTLE CRITTERS!

 

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Its on the curb for a reason!

Ever think about picking up that great couch, nightstand, dresser or even mattress that is sitting curbside?? It might not be the bargain that you were after. In fact, you might get more than you bargained for.

You’ve probally wondered why someone would throw out a (seemingly) perfect piece of furniture. Most times, those items have been tossed aside by people with bedbugs who need to get the furniture out of their home.

The Ontario government is spending about $5million to educate citizens of the risks of bedbugs. Which is well needed as there is a huge problem with bedbugs and contrary to popular belief, it is not just effecting those in lower income housing. It effects all of us, no matter where you live or how much money you have.

In Toronto alone, a 38% increase of bedbug cases were reported in 2010 (an increase from 1528 in 2009 to 2016 in 2011) and those numbers are sure to rise for 2011 and beyond. And those are just the reported cases.

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Finding Bed Bugs

Finding this little critter that lurk in your home is not always the easiest thing to do… especially if you don’t know what you are looking for.  It isn’t always obvious what the symptoms are with an untrained eye.

A complete inspection requires you to take apart your bed and standing the components on  thier side.  What you are looking for are the bugs themselves and the light-brown skin of the nymphs.  Dark spots of dried bedbug feces would be present where ever the bugs have been residing.

Most times if you get bedbugs in/on your mattress you will need to replace it as treating it completely is extremely difficult.

If you have a wood bed frame you should have it checked thoroughly as bedbugs enjoy wood and fabric more than metal or plastic.  Check all cracks and crevices for bedbug sightings.  If you have a headboard attached to the wall, be sure to remove it and inspected.

Don’t forget about checking the furniture in your room as well.  Dressers and nightstands should be emptied and inspected inside/out and upside down.

Remember bedbugs LOVE to hide in cracks so be thorough when your checking your furniture.

The trick is to find and treat all areas of the home that could possibly be infected with bedbugs and/or eggs.  Bed Bugs tend to be concentrated in certain areas, but to be sure that you  have completely eradicated them, you need to treat the entire home.

And as always, when in doubt, call the experts.  We know how to quickly and correctly identify the pest that is in you home, or office, and we know how to exterminate them correctly and completely.

 

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It’s on the curb for a reason!

Ever think about picking up that great couch, nightstand, dresser or even mattress that is sitting curbside?? It might not be the bargain that you were after.  In fact, you might get more than you bargained for.

You’ve probably wondered why someone would throw out a (seemingly) perfect piece of furniture. Most times, those items have been tossed aside by people with bedbugs who need to get the furniture out of their home.

The Ontario government is spending about $5million to educate citizens of the risks of bedbugs.   Which is well needed as there is a huge problem with bedbugs and contrary to popular belief, it is not just effecting those in lower income housing.  It effects all of us, no matter where you live or how much money you have.

In Toronto alone, a 38% increase of bedbug cases were reported in 2010 (an increase from 1528 in 2009 to 2016 in 2011) and those numbers are sure to rise for 2011 and beyond.  And those are just the reported cases.

Be wise when it comes to bedbugs.  Be careful when you are shopping for new furniture, especially when shopping in thrift or antique stores. you can never be too sure.  And leave that curbside furniture where it belongs….CURBSIDE!

 

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Bedbugs in the Ritz Carlton in NYC

Recently there was a case of bedbugs at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City.  I mentioned before that bedbugs have no respect for person or places so they will show up just about anywhere, especially nowadays where travel is very easy.  Who knows, someone could have very well been in New York City, and brought some back here to Oakville.

If you or anyone  you know in the Oakville, Hamilton or Toronto area have recently travelled to the Ritz Carlton, I would advise you to have your home and office checked fro bedbugs.  it’s better to be safe than sorry.

What’s troubling about the situation at the Ritz Carlton, is that there were workers in contact with the bedbugs and they were not informed by the hotel staff.  That employee could have been spreading the problem and not even know it.

When dealing with bedbugs, it’s best to be transparent.  Be upfront about the problem and seek a solution.  I know there is still a stigma attached to having bedbugs, but when you’re open and honest about it…..the easier it is to clean up and move on!

 

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Now What About The Bugs In Your Head???

NO NO NO….I’m not talking about literally having bugs crawling in your head, or am I?

If you’ve never had a bug infestation in your home, I’m sure you’ve never thought of sleeping with mosquito netting every night,  wrapping your bed in double sided tape before laying down for the night, or even, spraying yourself with pesticides in order to keep the bugs off your skin.

Imagine going to work after a sleepless night filled with nightmares of bugs crawling all over your body or simply not sleeping to keep an eye out for bedbugs crawling on your bed.

From the outside looking in the examples I mentioned above seem extreme, but, to people who have had bedbugs, this is how they live.

One Hamilton resident who had bedbugs told me: “My bed is the one place I like to relax and unwind.  How can I relax when as soon as I lay back on the mattress I feel like they (bedbugs) are crawling all over my skin?  I can’t relax. It’s terrible.”

I think it’s that loss of ‘control’ over your circumstances that has people on edge.

I remember one Oakville couple who told me about missing a family reunion 20 years in the making because they didn’t want to spread those pesky critters to their relatives home.

Having bedbugs is more than just some bugs that you need to call an exterminator to kill…it effects your whole life!

 

 

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