Phoenix’s most annoying pest!
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are oval shaped, brown or reddish brown, and about 4mm long as adults. They have six legs, with which they crawl and climb quite quickly. As juveniles, bed bugs are very small and translucent, making them barely visible. At all life stages their bodies are very flat, paper thin. Once a bed bug has fed it becomes a darker brown/red, and slightly elongated and engorged. Identification is important so that the right treatment can be applied. View our photos & videos if you dare!
Cimex Lectularius is the scientific name for the garden-variety bed bugs found in Phoenix today. They are also known as Chinches De Cama in Spanish, and in the past have been called “red coats” or “chinch”.
Bed bugs are often called a human parasite. The definition of parasite according to Miriam-Webster.com is: “An animal or plant that lives in or on another animal or plant and gets food or protection from it”
According to this definition, bed bugs would not be considered a parasite. Bed bugs do not live on or under the skin, however they do live in the human “nest”. In the pest control industry, bed bugs are sometimes referred to as a “nest pest”. Bed bugs hide in the joints of furniture, wall outlets, and linens when they sense activity and movement, then attack when their hosts are at rest. Once they are done feeding, they retreat to their hiding places. Humans are their favored host however they will feed on other warm-blooded animals.
Bed bugs are thought to be nocturnal, however our experience has proven otherwise. Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs will feed during the day or if the lights are left on. We have heard several reports from our customers (who work nights and sleep during the day) that they awoke to find bed bugs feeding on them during the day in a bright room.
Bed bugs hide during the day in cracks and crevices on and around your bed, couch, and places of rest. They also find many, many other places to hide. There is a stigma that bed bugs are only found in dirty homes or dirty beds which is not the case. Bed bugs cross social barriers, infesting zero star motels to five star resorts. The worst part about them are the bites, which can be painful and itchy.
Bed Bug Bites
When bed bugs sense you’re asleep, (by your breathing) they emerge form hiding and feed on your blood. The bites do not transmit diseases like mosquito. Although a new report about bed bugs found that they could transmit Chagas disease just like their cousins, kissing bugs. Go to our bed bug bite page to learn more.
Bed Bug Life Cycle
It doesn’t take long for the bed bug infestation to establish and grow. This is due to the short life cycle of bed bugs. The rate of the bed bug’s life-cycle development will depend upon the amount of food that is available to them. In Phoenix, bed bugs will be more active and reproduce more quickly in the summer. Once the female has mated, she will lay eggs for her entire life without another mating. The mated female bed bug will leave her nest to escape the males and will create a new nest nearby.
She will lay up to five eggs every day, and more than 500 eggs in a lifetime.
The eggs hatch after about ten days. What emerges is a tiny, translucent bed bug capable of feeding immediately.
The speed of their growth is dependent on the supply of food. The bed bugs will grow slower with less food, and faster with more. With enough food the population will explode to over 30,000 individual bed bugs in a few short months.
Bed Bugs – Indoor Pests
Bed Bugs prefer the same comforts that we enjoy: climate control, plenty of food (your blood), and a place to sleep. These pests do not come from the outside wilderness like bees or scorpions. You wont bring them home from a camping trip (unless you stay in an infested RV) Bed bugs come from other people. The higher the overturn of people in a structure, the more likely a bed bug infestation will occur and spread.
If bed bugs only live indoors, then how can they spread? Bed bugs are brought into the home by people. They can hitch hike on clothing, backpacks, luggage and purses. They can be on or within used furniture, beds, or couches. They can even be brought in by the maid’s vacuum.
There are two species of bed bugs in Phoenix that are found outside of homes and businesses, bat bugs and bird bugs. These species are almost identical in appearance and their MO is the same, they just have different preferred hosts. These are found in the nests of bats and birds. This is an important reason to eliminate any bats or birds nesting on your home. Bat bugs and bird bugs will also feed on humans if the population in the bat or bird nest grows too large.
Evidence of bed bugs may include:
- Bed Bugs. Dead or alive. Check seams of mattress.
- Musty odor, some describe as an almond smell.
- Small black spots on sheets, pillowcases, walls, window blinds, curtains.
- Small black spots found at the seams of the mattress or box spring.
- Small black spots in groups on walls and ceiling.
Sometimes there is no visible evidence, even if a bed bug infestation is present. Click here to find out if you have bed bugs to learn more about how to find them.