Bed bugs, like no other pest, strike fear in the heart of anyone who lives in a city where they prey on people. They hide in mattresses and in the cracks of crevices of sofas and chairs. They come out at night and feast on human blood.
If you’ve found bed bugs in your Portland home or the place where you work, you know the feeling. And you’re likely itching right now just thinking about them.
If you have bed bugs, you’re wondering how long does it take for bed bugs to spread, right? And you’d like them to go away now without too much ado.
Keep reading and learn about bed bug infestations, their life cycle, and how you can get rid of them for good.
Portland We Have a Problem
Back in 2017, Portland made the Who’s Who list for bed bug infestations. Granted, they were number 50 on the list of the top 50 cities with bed bug problems, but they did make the list. That’s something, isn’t it?
If you thought maybe the climate in Portland isn’t bed bug friendly, you couldn’t be more wrong. Bed bugs can and do live anywhere they can find food. They live in hot climates, cold climates, and climates where it rains all the time.
Wondering why bed bugs are on the rise after years of not hearing anything about them?
Blame it on the travel industry (and cheap airfare). More people can afford international travel to places where bed bugs thrive. As you’ll see next, the pests hitch a ride with travelers.
Bed Bugs on the Move
They’re a huge problem in homes, hotels, and even libraries. The library in Eugene, Oregon discovered an infestation in 2014. So, how do they get from there to here?
Unlike other biting pests, think flies and mosquitoes, bed bugs cannot fly. Instead, they crawl. Or, piggyback in suitcases, laptop bags, backpacks, purses, and yes, even clothing of unwary air travelers.
Once they get to a place where they can disembark, they crawl quickly. They find a safe place where they can lay eggs and then slowly spread to other rooms in a house, or business.
Bed bugs rely on us to provide transportation to locations where they establish infestations. In fact, humans are the number one way bed bugs get into any establishment, whether it’s an apartment, hotel, or library. Schools, hospitals, and retail establishments aren’t immune to infestations.
How Long Does It Take for Bed Bugs to Spread?
The creepy thing about bed bugs is they’re reclusive and by the time you realize you have them in your home, they’ve been there for a while.
These pests don’t start out in large numbers. Infestations take time to develop and you may not notice any evidence of their existence. Sometimes people don’t realize they have a bed bug bite because they blame bites on spiders or mosquitoes.
Once an adult lays eggs, it takes roughly 10 days for the eggs to hatch. Young bedbugs, called nymphs, go through 5 stages. During each stage—or molt—they shed their exoskeleton. Finally, they grow into adults and get about the business of feeding.
By the time you notice a problem, it’s likely they’ve already been living in the area for at least 3 weeks.
Bed Bug Infestation Timeline
Some people think baby mice are cute. Unlike baby mice, baby bedbugs are not in any way cute. In fact, you may not ever see a baby bedbug because they’re only between 0.09 inches and 2.5mm.
By the time you can visualize a bed bug, you likely already have an infestation. So, how long does it take for bed bugs to spread?
If you’re curious about the timeline, or lifecycle of the bed bug, keep reading.
Bed bug eggs look a little like tiny grains of rice. If she’s had a blood meal, the female lays 1-7 eggs every day for about 10 days. Then, she eats again and starts another round of laying eggs.
The female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime.
Baby bed bugs, called nymphs, go through 5 molts where they shed their exoskeleton. This shedding is necessary so that they can grow properly. Each molt requires a blood meal, so even baby bed bugs bite.
Nymphs resemble adults but they’re smaller and yellow,-white, or translucent in color. If the conditions are right, nymphs grow into adults by 5 weeks of age.
Once they reach adulthood, bed bugs look red in color. They eat a blood meal about once each week.
Most bed bugs live 4-6 months but some can live longer. With cool temperatures and no food, an adult can live up to 1 year.
No one wants bed bug eggs, nymphs, or adults creeping around, but how do you get rid of them?
Best Treatment for Bedbug Infestations
There isn’t only one treatment for bed bugs. Before deciding which treatment your infestation needs, a professional will come in and make an evaluation.
Depending on your unique situation, they may use spray or a combination of spray and heat treatments.
While spray treatments eventually get rid of bed bug infestations, you’ll need a series of treatments over a period of several months.
Heat treatments, on the other hand, kill bed bugs in one shot. Bed bugs hate the heat! When you choose heat treatment, the bed bugs in your home or business get a prolonged blast of heat between 120°F to 140°F.
Heat is the most effective treatment and the one guaranteed to get rid of bed bugs fast! All you do is leave the house for the day and when you come back—voilà, no more bed bugs!
Can I Do It Myself?
You may say, “hey, I’m a do-it-yourself kind of person, so let me find a few bedbug hacks online.”
Bed bugs aren’t like other bugs. You know, the ones you can get rid of by throwing down flea powder, hanging a fly strip, or mixing up a batch of baking soda and sugar.
We appreciate the DIY spirit, but bed bugs are tough little pests. In many instances, they’re resistant to pesticides. Homemade remedies are a waste of money because they just don’t work.
If you don’t want bed bugs hanging around, it’s best to call a professional.
Ready to Say Goodbye to Bed Bugs?
While bed bugs can infest your home, there’s no need for them to stay there permanently.
Like many other cities, Portland has bed bugs but Portland also has professionals who know how to get rid of them. If you’re still wondering “how long does it take for bed bugs to spread?” theprofessional have answers. Not only do they have answers to that question, but they also have the solutions to say goodbye to bed bugs for good!
Don’t waste time with store-bought or homemade bed bug treatments. If you’re ready to get rid of a bed bug infestation in your home or business, contact us today.