Bed Bug Identification And Control DC, Maryland and Northern …

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What is a bed bug?

Bed bugs are very small parasitic insects that are rising in number, making a strong comeback after nearly 50 years of limited activity in the United States. Adult bed bugs have a distinct reddish-brown color and have flat, oval-shaped bodies about 1/4 inch in length. In a protected area, an adult female will lay up to five eggs in one day. The eggs are small, approximately 1mm in size and are whitish in color, making them nearly invisible to the untrained eye. Bed bug eggs are slightly sticky when first laid, which allows them to adhere to surfaces to remain safe until hatching. Once hatched, bed bug nymphs are no larger than a pinhead, closely resembling the adults, but smaller and lighter in color until they reach maturity. The nymphs mature rapidly, shedding their exoskeleton as they grow larger after each feeding. Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood, preferring human blood, but will also feed on other warm-blooded animals if necessary. Signs of a bed bug infestation are:

Small spots of blood on mattresses and bed linens

Tiny brown droppings

Exoskeletons, or cast skins shed by growing nymphs

Tiny white eggs and egg casings

Bed bugs are very efficient hitchhikers, capable of traveling great distances with an unsuspecting host. The affordability and prevalence of mass transit and international travel is a major contributing factor to the increase in bed bug infestations. Travel to countries with less rigorous standards of hygiene and limited pest control practices has become more common and more detrimental as bed bugs have been found in airplane seats, cabs and hotel beds. They commonly travel in luggage, backpacks and even in clothing. Once the bed bug has hitched a ride, its destination could be anywhere, including health care facilities, public transportation and private homes.

Bed bugs are not known to carry or transmit diseases to humans, but their bites can cause skin irritation. Though many people have no reaction to bed bug bites, some experience small red welts that often appear in a line or cluster and may be itchy or painful. Serious health problems can occur if the bites become infected, at which point a medical professional should be consulted.

Bed bugs are very difficult to get rid of once an area of a home has been infested. They are nocturnal feeders rarely seen during the day and their flat bodies make it easy for them to hide in cracks and crevices in mattresses, linens, behind baseboards and inside furniture. American Pest offers EPA-approved bed bug control services including K-9 Detection, Thermal Remediation (Heat Treatments) and Conventional Liquid Treatments. We begin by scheduling a thorough and detailed inspection of your property to ascertain the extent of infestation. Armed with this information, our pest control team will customize a program to your specific needs, treating not only the infested rooms and furniture, but surrounding areas as well.

Do-it-yourself methods of bed bug removal are not often successful due to the naturally elusive and nocturnal nature of the pest. An experienced eye and training are essential to fully understand and eradicate the pests, using tried and trusted techniques. At American Pest, we employ 6 full-time entomologists and a highly trained staff of pest control experts, ready to assist whenever you need us.

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