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What Attracts Bed Bugs? The Top Three Have Nothing To Do With Cleanliness
Article at a Glance:
What Attracts Bed Bugs - warmth, blood and carbon dioxide are the three leading attractions.
The average lifespan of a bed bug ranges from 4 to 6 months.
Bed bugs generally eat every 3 to 7 days.
Bed bugs that reach adulthood can live for up to 550+ days without feeding on a blood meal.
They’re called pests for a reason! Whether you inadvertently brought home one or two in your luggage or have a full-blown, long-standing infestation in your home, bed bugs are tough to eradicate. Unfortunately, there is no easy DIY hack for your bed bug problem, and you will need to hire professionals that specialize bed bug control. The earlier you do this, the better. Like most insects, bed bugs are prolific breeders. One female bed bug can lay up to 200 eggs in her lifetime. This means that left to themselves, your suitcase stowaways can grow to become a thriving colony in record time. But hiring a professional pest control company will cost you time and money — two things no one ever has enough of!
First things first, how do you know if you even have bed bugs at home? Bed bugs belong to the cimex family of insects, which means they subsist on blood. Bed bugs, in particular, live off human blood. They can feed off animal blood, too, but they generally prefer people. As gory as that sounds, they aren’t known to kill with their bites or be carriers of any blood-borne diseases. That being said, you should still do all that you can to prevent bed bug bites. Typically, bed bugs leave red bumps and itchy bites after they feed on people. But they have been known to feed without leaving a mark! That makes it even harder to detect these tricky little critters. If you don’t exactly know what to look for, they can be pretty easy to miss. But if you travel frequently and stay in different hotels, use public transportation, or buy second-hand furniture, it’s not unlikely that you already have them in your home. Luckily, bed bugs are not microscopic and are generally visible to the naked eye. Here are some easy ways to spot bed bugs.
Know what Bed Bugs look like
To an untrained eye, all insects might look the same. Indeed, bed bugs have nothing noteworthy to distinguish them. Bed bugs are flat, round, dark brown, and rather unremarkable creepy crawlies, and they share many a similarity to fleas and the brown-banded cockroach. You may want to take a specimen to a professional for reliable identification as different pests require different chemicals and methods for extermination. Knowing exactly what you’re dealing with is the first step in getting rid of them. Also, keep an eye out for what they leave behind. If your home is infested, you might come across exoskeleton body casings, fecal spots, and blood stains.
Check their common hiding places
Most people get bitten by bed bugs when they are sleeping at night. This is because our mattress is one of their favorite hiding places, and they do love a host at rest or sleeping. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re fastidious when it comes to mattress cleanliness. These parasites will thrive in a clean or dirty place all the same. Other areas to check are a pile of laundry, bedding, seams of couches, or even the cat feeder.
Lure them out and trap them
If you still haven’t seen any but you have good reason to suspect that your home is infested with bed bugs, you can always go for pitfall traps. You can easily hire exterminators to set it up for you. Researchers have gotten rather good at developing traps that successfully mimic what attracts bed bugs to their favorite source of sustenance (i.e., people). Some traps are pretty sophisticated, using high temperature, heat treatment, Egyptian oil, or blood meal to lure out, collect, and kill these parasites. It can trap adult or immature bed bugs alike. As for the eggs, you can dispose of them by regular vacuuming and keeping your home free from clutter, into which they can burrow and burrow.
Note that bed bugs don’t have wings and they can’t jump long distance either. However, they are excellent hitchhikers. They latch on to human or animal hosts and find their way to new homes, making bed bug infestation fairly common. So what attracts bed bugs in the first place? We’ve narrowed it down to four. Some are pretty easy to remedy, while others you can’t do anything about. Sorry!
People are bed bugs’ preferred source of food. They love our blood, and everything about people is attractive to them: the carbon dioxide we emit, our temperature, and our body and behavioral tendencies in general.
Clutter and Crevices
Cleanliness and good hygiene cannot prevent a bed bug infestation. However, they are known to make homes in cluttered areas. Keeping your home clutter-free will give them one less place to hide. Make sure to vacuum between cracks on the floor and the wall. You could have entire colonies living there and don’t even know it!
Warm and dry surfaces are conducive to bed bug infestations. That is one of the reasons why our mattresses, chairs, and couches are their favorite areas to nest and burrow. Body heat from people is also a good draw. Bed bugs tend to stay concentrated in rooms or areas in the house where people spend a lot of time, such as bedrooms and living rooms.
The Color Red
As strange as it sounds, it’s true. When it comes to color, bed bugs have a pretty strong preference. Studies show that bed bugs are drawn to the color red, but not because it reminds them of blood. They like the reddish brown color because it reminds them of themselves and bed bugs tend to stick together in groups. Initially, bed bugs were thought to be just irritating. However, in 2014 The Center for clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Penn State demonstrated that bed bugs can transmit Chagas disease. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, consider calling your nearest exterminator for a consult. Until then, apply rubbing alcohol on any suspected bites.
Initially, bed bugs were thought to be just irritating. However, in 2014 The Center for clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Penn State demonstrated that bed bugs can transmit Chagas disease. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, consider calling your nearest exterminator for a consult. Until then, apply rubbing alcohol on any suspected bites.
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