Bed bugs are one of the most hated creatures on earth. Just the utterance of their name strikes fear and disgust into even the most insect-friendly people. No one wants them in their home, and everyone knows that once they arrive, they can be very hard to evict.
However, these little critters can actually be seen as quite fascinating. They are survivors. Their lifestyle and habits are intriguing. And although most of us don’t want them within a mile of us, they are interesting to learn about from a safe distance.
Our company knows a lot about bed bugs. We are bed bug only extermination professionals, and in all our years of battling these small nuisances, we have learned a great deal about them. Read on to learn some amazing bed bug facts. If you think you are experiencing bed bug infestation we know you’d probably like to know more about your new friends. Give us a call when you’re ready to get rid of them too!
Interesting Bed Bug Facts
How much do you know about bed bugs? Do you know a lot? Do you only know a little?
If someone you know seems to know a lot about bed bugs, chances are, they have experienced them themselves — up-close and personal. When a home is infested or an individual finds himself or herself covered with bites, he or she likely looked up bed bugs on the internet and has read a lot about them.
Much of the information on the internet about bed bugs is true and correct, but some of it isn’t.
Bed bugs feel like a very big deal when they make their way into your home, but their presence isn’t the absolute end of the world. They can be exterminated easily when done by a knowledgeable, experienced exterminator. However, for the average homeowner, they can be pretty hard to take on.
You may know some of the below bed bug facts already, but some may be a surprise to you, and others may even blow your mind.
1. Vampiric Diet
Bed bugs want to eat only one thing, and that is blood from a living host. They are not interested in eating spilled blood or blood outside of the body. They want to bite a mammal or a bird and suck fresh blood using their long, sharp proboscis.
It is the only thing they will eat. They can ingest seven times their own body weight in blood, which is unsettling to think about. If you squash one that is full, you will see exactly what that looks like.
2. Incredible Instincts
These little critters are smart. They know that they need to hide during the day, so they do. Their instincts tell them to stay hidden for survival.
Once it gets dark out, and you go to sleep, they sneak out from their hiding places. They know it’s time to eat because their host is asleep and vulnerable. When they smell a large concentration of carbon dioxide, they creep out and feast.
They consume your blood, and then they hide again. It is believed that most bed bug bites occur after you have been asleep only for a short while. Their instincts tell them that is the best time to eat and run.
3. Intense Mating Habits
Bed bugs reproduce through a process called traumatic insemination, and it does sound traumatic indeed. The male forcibly breaks into the female’s abdomen and inseminates her. From that point forward, she is pregnant for the rest of her life and will never need to mate again.
The female will then go on to lay an average of one to five eggs every day. During her lifespan, which is about a year in length, she will lay anywhere between two hundred to three hundred eggs.
They hatch quickly, too. Baby bed bugs will emerge in just ten days. They will grow to their full size in a short time, and then the cycle starts over. This is why infestations happen so fast.
4. Egging it Up
One sign that you have bed bugs is their eggs, but their eggs are so small they can be difficult to identify. They are only one millimeter long which is about the size of two grains of salt. You may not be able to see the eggs, but a pest control professional will be able to spot them for you.
5. Impressive Survival Skills
These little critters are very hardy. When a host is not available they can survive without a meal for months at a time and seem to come back to life when presented with a host. Further, they have no difficulty staying alive in a wide range of temperatures, from almost freezing to up to 119 degrees Fahrenheit.
For all of the above reasons, people dealing with infestations need to hire a professional to get rid of them.
6. Amazing Adaptability
When people find bed bugs in their home, they assume they got them at a hotel or at someone else’s house. In some cases that is true, but you can get bed bugs almost anywhere. They live in nature, hospitals, restaurants, and theaters. They are happy living anywhere they can find a host or hosts, and can hitch a ride home with you from anywhere at any time.
7. Built-In Anesthetic
If you experience bed bug bites, you may be surprised that you did not feel them biting you while you were asleep. The reason for this is simple and interesting. Bed bug saliva works to anesthetize the area where the bed bug bites you. This adaptation allows them to feed and then run away to safety before you even wake up to brush them off of you.
Also, not everyone reacts to bed bug bites. Just because your significant other doesn’t have any bites does not mean you don’t have bed bugs in your home.
8. Disease Free
Fortunately for anyone who has ever experienced a bed bug bite, studies show that they cannot transfer diseases between human beings or animals. Many people are fearful that bed bugs can spread diseases because their close parasite cousin, the tick, can. The way bed bug anatomy is designed, there is no cross-transfer.
For the most part, they are just annoying and gross. They will bite you and multiply and their offspring will bite you and eventually it will become unbearable. You may experience a skin infection because you have been scratching, but you don’t have to worry about catching infectious diseases from the bed bugs themselves.
Chances are, if you have read all of these bed bug facts, you are itching a little now – even if you don’t actually have any bed bug bites. However, if you really do have bed bugs in your home, don’t panic. Just pick up your phone and call an exterminator right away.
If you live in Idaho, Washington, Utah or Oregon and think you have bed bugs, we can help. We will visit your home to do a consultation and will move fast to eradicate them so you can go back to sleeping well at night. Contact us now to get started!