What Are Bed Bugs ? McDonough - Griffin - Jackson, Georgia
Updated: Feb 11
FAQ’s about Bed Bugs
Why are we seeing more bed bugs than 20 years ago ?
Until recently, most households of this generation have never seen a bed bug
Bed bug infestations were common in the U.S. before World War II
With improved hygiene and widespread use of DDT during the 1940s & ‘50s the bugs all but vanished
This pest remained prevalent in other regions of the world
Bed bugs have made a comeback in the United States
Increased encounters in homes, hotels, motels, apartments, dorms, shelters, and modes of transport
International travel and immigration undoubtedly contributed to the resurgence of bedbugs
What are bed bugs ?
Bed bugs are small, brownish, flattened insects
Bed Bugs are sometimes called Red Coats, Chinches, and or Mahogany Flats
They feed solely on the blood of animals
Cimex lectularius, is the species most adapted to living with humans
Other species prefer to feed on wild hosts, especially bats and birds
Adult bed bugs are about ¼ inch long
Oval flattened bodies
Sometimes mistaken for ticks or cockroaches
Immatures (nymphs) resemble the adults, but are smaller and lighter in color
Bed bugs do not fly, but can move quickly over floors, wall, ceilings and other surfaces
Beginnings of an infestation, bed bugs are likely to be found only in the tufts, seams, and folds of the mattress and bed clothes
Bed bugs are mentioned in, medieval European texts and in classical Greek writings
Our Professional McDonough Inspectors know where Bed Bugs like to hide.
How Do Bed Bugs increase so rapidly ?
Females lay their eggs in secluded areas, depositing up to 5 a day and about 500 during her lifetime
The eggs are tiny, whitish and hard to see (individual eggs are the size of a dust spec).
When first laid, the eggs are sticky, and adhere to substrates
Newly hatched nymphs are the size of a pin head
Nymphs molt (shed their skins) 5 times before reaching maturity
Nymphs must have a blood meal between each molt
Under favorable conditions (70 - 90° F), these bugs can go from egg to adult in as little as a month
Cool temperatures or limited access to blood extends the development time
Bed bugs are very resilient
Nymphs can survive months without feeding and the adults up to a year
Infestations are unlikely to diminish by leaving the premises unoccupied
Why don’t I see bed bugs very often ?
Bed bugs are active mainly at night
Prefer to hide in daytime close to where we sleep
Their flattened bodies fit into tiny crevices
Bed bugs do not have nests like ants or bees
They do tend to congregate in habitual hiding places
Our Sensor Bed Bug Dogs can find even the smallest amount of evidence.
What should I look for when inspecting for Bed Bugs ?
Rusty or reddish spots of blood on bed sheets, mattresses, or walls
Heavy infestations may have musty smell, but the odor is seldom noticed, and should not be relied on for detection
Eggs, egg shells, molted skins of nymphs will be present
Bed bugs prefer to hide close to hosts
But if necessary will travel several feet to obtain a blood meal
They prefer cloth and rough finish wood. They don't like slick materials.
What do Bed Bug bites look like ?
Bed bugs bite people at night while they sleep
They feed by piercing the skin with an elongated beak
Feeding takes from 3 to 10 minutes
The person seldom knows they are being bitten
Symptoms thereafter vary
Many people develop an itchy red welt or localized swelling
Others have little or no reaction
Unlike flea bites, which occur mainly around the ankles, bed bugs feed on any bare skin exposed while sleeping (face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, etc.
The welts and itching are often attributed to other causes such as mosquitoes
For these reasons, infestations may go unnoticed for a long time, and become quite large before being detected
Should I be concerned about bites or diseases ?
Although bed bugs can harbor pathogens in their bodies, transmission to humans is highly unlikely
For this reason, they are not considered a serious disease threat
Their medical significance is mainly limited to the itching and inflammation from their bites
Antihistamines and corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce allergic reactions, antiseptic or antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
Infestations may cause anxiety, embarrassment, and loss of sleep
Everyone is different from a sensitivity standpoint. Some show no signals of bites at all.
How Do I verify it’s bed bugs ?
When bed bug like insects are found, its important to consider whether bats, swallows, chimney swifts, pigeons, or other wild hosts are involved
Although similar in appearance, bed bug species that normally feed on bats and birds can be differentiated from those that prefer humans
We can verify bed bug activity in McDonough, either visually or with one of our K9's. We never recommend treatment without verification.
What Type of Preparation do I need before treatment ?
Reducing clutter a must (items strewn about rooms offer many hiding places)
Infested bedding & garments need to be bagged and laundered (120° minimum)
Items that cannot be laundered can sometimes be de-infested by heating for several minutes in a clothes dryer
Other items can be wrapped in plastic and placed in the hot sun for a few days (120° F minimum temperature should be monitored in the centermost location with a thermometer)
With Heat Treatments very little prep is needed. Concentrate on making sure no infested items or clothing will be re-entered after treatment.
How are bed bugs controlled ?
Bed bugs are challenging pest to control
They hide in many tiny places
Inspections and treatments must be very thorough
Since bed bugs can disperse throughout a building, it also may be necessary to inspect adjoining rooms and apartments
In some cases infested mattresses and box springs will need to be discarded
Encasements for mattresses are very helpful in dis-allowing entry into and out of.
For instance, if you own an Airbnb I would recommend pre-installing mattress and box springs to disallow entry by a tenant bringing them into the unit. They are still brought in, but will be easier to identify quickly.
Our Heat Treatments are the very best way to exterminate and kill bed bugs in Georgia. Bed Bugs have no resistance to temperatures above 118 degrees.
They have no places to hide ! Our specially trained technicians use fans to distribute the heat evenly throughtout the structure. We hold it for many hours to insure complete extermination and removal of bed bugs and their eggs.
Can I treat it myself ?
You sure can, if you know the location of all of the harbor ages.
But be careful and don't do this stuff.
Using products against the label is dangerous for everyone involved.
Your level of success will also depend in the number of bugs present.
Inspection and treatment can take several hours in a single room
With a Chemical application, Beds must be dismantled and all areas of the bed must be inspected and treated (read the label before treating the mattress)
All furniture with hosts near must be emptied and examined inside and out (even turned upside down and inspected)
Inspect every crack & crevice (from floor to ceiling) (especially in host areas.)