Are bed bugs a summer time pest? That is the million-dollar question that has many pest control companies across the nation at odds. Bed bugs are found all year long, however, when Summer hits there is an increase of calls pertaining to bed bugs. This is not due to them coming out of hibernation for the Winter, but rather an increase in travel and the fact that bed bugs prefer warmer weather. When the kids get out of school for the Summer, families travel. Bed bugs travel the country and make themselves right at home wherever they end up, by traveling on luggage or in clothing. They don’t only travel by luggage though. They can be introduced into your home by hitching a ride on used furniture you have recently purchased. Bed bugs can be hard to detect until the bites start to occur. How do you know if you have bed bugs present and how can you identify a bed bug? A Five Star Termite & Pest Control offers helpful tips below.
How Can I Identify a Bed Bug?
These parasites grow to be the size of an apple seed at maturity. They are a brownish color and have flat tiny bodies. Bed bugs feed on blood, and after they have scored a blood meal they become swollen and turn a reddish-brown color. This is when they are mostly found. They become sluggish after they eat and can be found lingering on walls or the sides of mattresses and other furniture. Because of their preference for blood, finding them in our homes does not indicate a messy or dirty environment. In fact, they are found in some of the most pristine hotel rooms and homes. Unlike eusocial pests such as ants or bees, bed bugs do not have nests or colonies. They do however, prefer to live in groups close to a food source. They can be found hiding in tight, dark spaces on and under mattresses, box springs, headboards or even couches. They like to stay close to their food sources and come out at night to feed. If you wake in the morning to find little red blood splats on your sheets, check around the stitching of your mattress to look for bed bugs. Many people roll over and squish them while they sleep.
Can Bed Bug Feces Make You Sick?
Being bitten by bed bugs produces raised welts on your skin that can appear in a row or cluster. These bites can be itchy and annoying to say the least, but there is not real danger in being bitten by a bed bug. Bed bugs do not carry pathogens such as HIV or Hep B. Their bites are simply a nuisance. The danger of having bed bugs in your home comes from their feces. Bed bugs defecate an organic compound called Histamine. We naturally produce histamine in small amounts in our systems in response to allergens, pathogens, or to repair damaged cells. When produced in small amounts it is not dangerous to humans. But the effects of histamine made by the human body and the effects of histamine spread by bed bug feces are not the same. Research is still being conducted in Universities across the country, so we may gain a better knowledge on the subject. What we do know, is clinical tests have proven that Histamine exposure can aggravate our immune systems or cause respiratory distress, especially in those who suffer from Asthma or COPD. Scientists and the University North Carolina conducted a study at various apartment complexes that were known to be infested with bed bugs just 3 months prior. They tested Histamine levels in these apartments and found Histamine levels to be 20x higher than those that were rendered bed bug free for three or more years. This research verifies that even after an infestation has been exterminated, the effects bed bugs leave behind are still present and dangerous.
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Early intervention is important- If you have an inkling that bed bugs are present in your home, call A Five Star Termite & Pest Control right away. Our technicians are specially trained in performing visual inspections and perform custom treatments to exterminate these pests. Give us a call today!