I Found A Few Bed Bugs – Does That Mean I’m Dealing With An Infestation?

The bed bug “Cimex lectularius” is a small but mighty insect species. As a parasite, the bed bug utilizes living vectors to survive. The diet consists of blood from animals and humans, with the latter being the more preferred. It is rare for a single bed bug to be detected, as the insect is deceptive in avoiding detection. One specific deceptive practice of the bed bug is its ability to adapt to its vector’s sleeping pattern. If the human vector sleeps at night, the bed bug will feed at night. If the human vector is a day sleeper, the bed bug will be a day feeder. Sounds strange, but bed bugs have a special way of adapting to varying environments.

Social Bed Bug

A bed bug meets the criteria to fit into the social insect category. Social insects like the ant, termite, cockroach, ladybug, flea, box elder bug, and honeybee live in colonies. The ant, termite, and honeybee are unique social insects, as they have a queen, workers, soldiers, and drones. The termite is potentially the only insect species, with a queen and a king. The bed bug does not have a queen or king, but it does live in colonies. The social insect may travel alone but it will not live alone for very long. Following a blood meal, about three days later, the female bed bug begins laying eggs. She lays her eggs inside of cracks, holes, crevices, and other imperfections in proximity to her host. The eggs will not immediately hatch. In warm environments, the eggs will begin hatching 21 days after they are laid. When the egg hatches, it becomes a larva. There are five larvae stages, all in which the bed bug larva steadily grows from 1-1/2 millimeters in length to 4-1/2 millimeters in length.

Does One Bed Bug Warrant A Pest Management Inspection?

Yes, any bed bug sighting warrants a visual inspection. Why? First, and foremost, the bed bug is a social insect, meaning it lives in colonies. If only a single bed bug is detected, it has likely just arrived at your home. Bed bugs are tiny hitchhikers that travel with the help of humans and animals. The most common setting, where humans encounter bed bugs is a travel accommodation. In other words, most bed bug infestations begin at a hotel, country inn, or bed & breakfast. If the lone bed bug is a female who has recently mated, an infestation is inevitable, with one exception. If the bed bug is detected soon after its arrival, it may be possible to prevent an infestation. A visual inspection of your home should always begin in the area, where the sighting was reported is a must.

Can The Human Eye Detect Bed Bugs?

Yes, the bed bug can be detected through the human eye. However, the small size makes it easy to overlook the insect. This is especially true for those who do not know the physical characteristics of a bed bug. In the first, second, and third larva stages, the bed bug is much harder to detect. During the stages, the larva is translucent, pearlescent, or off-white. If you know where to look and what to look for, there should be no issue detecting mature bed bugs and larva with the human eye.

How To Conduct A DIY Bed Bug Inspection

It is recommended to choose the area, where the bed bug was detected as the starting point for your DIY investigation. The bed is most likely where you saw the insect because you sleep there. Gently pull the bed linen back to expose the mattress and box springs. Look for the following signs:
  • Dark red stains (dried blood)
  • Tan or dark crusty parties (dead skin)
  • Translucent eggs
  • Tiny black fecal matter
  • Red, edematous, itchy bites on the body
  • Unusual, sweet, and moldy odor (only when an infestation is present)

When Is The Best Time To Call A Bed Bug Expert?

There is no rule when it comes to calling in the bed bug experts. Homeowners, businesses, tenants, landlords, rental property management companies, and property owners should not hesitate to take action upon the detection of one or more bed bugs. Our customer support is waiting to take your call.

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