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Pest Library

Bed Bugs

bed bug on skin. Bed bugs bite.

Description

Small, oval, flattened body; six legs, two antennae; adept at hiding in narrow spaces.

Size

Adults measure about 4 to 5 mm, roughly the size of an apple seed.

Colour

Reddish-brown, darkening after feeding; abdomen shows noticeable color change as blood is digested.

Habitat

Favors dark, secluded spots close to sleeping areas, like mattress seams and furniture joints.

Diet

Exclusively blood; prefers humans but will feed on other mammals if necessary; nocturnal feeder.

Lifecycle

Undergoes incomplete metamorphosis: eggs, several nymph stages, and adults; requires blood meals to grow.

Types of Bed Bugs in Canada

In Canada, the Cimex lectularius is the predominant bed bug species found. These pests thrive in environments with consistent human activity, such as homes, hotels, shelters, and apartment buildings. They are highly adaptable and can spread quickly in urban settings with high population densities and frequent turnover, such as hotels and apartment complexes. Understanding the common types of bed bugs is essential for implementing effective control and prevention strategies.

Problems caused by Bed Bugs

Bed bugs cause itchy, red bites that can lead to allergic reactions and secondary skin infections. Their presence often results in significant psychological distress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Economically, managing a bed bug infestation can be costly, requiring professional extermination services and sometimes the replacement of infested furniture and bedding. These pests can also cause reputational damage to businesses like hotels and rental properties.

Appearance and identification

Bed bugs are small, wingless insects, measuring about 4 to 5 mm in length, comparable to the size of an apple seed. They are reddish-brown, turning darker after feeding on blood. Their flat, oval-shaped bodies allow them to hide in narrow crevices, such as mattress seams, bed frames, and furniture joints. Identifying features include their segmented antennae, six legs, and a distinctive, sweet but unpleasant odor in larger infestations.

Why do I have Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers, often entering homes via luggage, clothing, or used furniture from infested locations. They are attracted to the warmth and carbon dioxide humans emit. Their flat bodies enable them to hide in small spaces, making detection difficult. High-turnover environments like hotels, hostels, and apartment buildings are particularly vulnerable to infestations due to the frequent movement of people and belongings, allowing bed bugs to spread easily.

How can I prevent Bed Bugs

To prevent bed bugs, regularly inspect sleeping areas, mattresses, and furniture, especially after traveling or receiving guests. Use protective covers on mattresses and pillows to deter infestations. Keep living spaces decluttered to reduce hiding spots. Be cautious when bringing second-hand furniture into your home. Regularly wash and dry bed linens at high temperatures to kill any potential bed bugs. Promptly seal cracks and crevices in walls and furniture.

How worried should I be about Bed Bugs

While bed bugs do not transmit diseases, their presence can cause significant discomfort, anxiety, and stress. They reproduce rapidly, making infestations challenging to control without professional help. Immediate action is crucial to prevent a small infestation from becoming severe. Professional extermination, combined with preventive measures, is necessary to effectively manage and eliminate bed bug populations, ensuring peace of mind and a healthy living environment.

Keep Up To Date

Latest Articles About Bed Bugs

Check out our blogs and articles to learn more about keeping your home pest-free and your family and pets safe! We’re sharing our expert advice and latest news from behind-the-scenes.