Everyone knows the old clich Dont let the bed bugs bite. The unfortunate truth is that those bites are becoming more common every day, right here in Saskatchewan.
Many people think that bed bugs have long since been eradicated. In fact, bed bugs have been around for centuries. Despite a significant decline in infestation rates during the last half of the twentieth century, bed bugs have never disappeared. Today, infestations across North America, including Saskatchewan, are showing marked increases. Just like the villain in a horror movie, bed bugs just keep coming back.
The small, reddish brown insects that create such significant problems feed on the blood of humans. The name bed bug comes from their habit of living in the mattresses and feeding on bed occupants at night.
Adult bed bugs have oval, flattened bodies, and are about 3/16 to 3/8 inch long. Their flat body allows them to hide deep in the cracks and crevices of any home or building. They are perfectly at home in mattresses and bedding, furniture, luggage and even vehicle upholstery.
Bed bugs come out of hiding at night to feed on humans, drawn to our body heat and the carbon dioxide we exhale with every breath. They inject an anesthetic into their feeding area, allowing them to gorge themselves for extended periods without being felt.
On average a bed bug will bite its human host up to five times before going back to the nest. Multiply that by 100 bed bugs and you may well be bitten 500 times in one night.
In addition to bites and the telltale red, itchy welts they leave, look for:
There are bed bugs in all countries and on every continent. There was a significant drop in bed bug infestations in the developed world during the second half of the twentieth century. Recently that trend has been reversed. Bed bug infestations can start from a host of different sources, but the insects are most often transported into buildings on furniture or other personal belongings
While bed bugs are extremely adaptable and can nest almost anywhere, they are most commonly found in:
Bed bugs are more than just an irritation or inconvenience. They can have a devastating effect on a broad spectrum of businesses, souring customer or client relations, severely damaging reputations, creating public relations headaches and even spawning legal issues. Commonly-affected businesses and institutions include:
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