Bed Bugs Are a Different Breed
Unlike most other pests, bed bugs are one of the few pests who exclusively feed on human blood. They are attracted to the CO2 in our bodies and smell the oil on our skin to locate where their nearest meal is.
Most bed bug bites happen during their growing cycle. And while their growing cycle is relatively short at only two weeks, they are very active during those two weeks, molting 5 times and feeding every 2-3 days. Comparatively, an adult bed bug only needs to feed every 7-10 days for mating and reproduction. The older a bed bug is, the longer they can go between feedings. A fully matured bed bug can live for up to 6 months to a year.
Bed bugs are a social insect and spend most of their time together. They are often found in clusters and do not travel far from their food source. Because they only feed on blood, that is why they are commonly found in places where humans rest like beds and furniture. Bed bugs are also great hitchhikers. Children and employees can bring bed bugs from home and start an infestation that spreads to others at work or school.
Key Risks with Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can be a very persistent pest to eliminate.
With social media, news of an infestation can spread almost as fast as the bugs themselves ruining a business’ reputation overnight.
Adult bed bugs can go dormant and survive without food for 20-40 days depending on humidity and temperature.
In the case of extreme infestations, bed bugs will also feed on pets, like cats or dogs.
Signs of Infestation:
- Black staining: Found on mattresses, furniture, and clothing dark colored staining are signs of bed bug droppings. This staining will appear anyway the bed bug travels.
- Finding bed bug skin casings: To grow, bed bugs must shed their skin, finding their old casing around is a sign that growing bed bugs are present.
- Crushed bed bugs: Signs of dead or crushed bed bugs is an immediate sign that bed bugs were once present and that eggs are most likely still around.
- Bites on skin: Bed bug bites can appear differently for every person, and persistent bites that are worse in the morning, are a sign that there are bed bugs.
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Preventing an Infestation:
Because bed bugs can be so difficult to eliminate, it is very important to prevent an infestation from starting.
- Don’t leave suitcases on the furniture or floor.
- Inspect bedding and furniture for signs of small, dark staining.
- When traveling, wash all clothes on highest heat settings to destroy any bugs.
- Tightly seal suitcase in an air-tight bag for a month to destroy any bugs.
- Do not pick up any used furniture.
Our trained, certified bed bug dogs will sniff out bed bugs (even when there is only one present) quickly and discreetly. If bugs are found, we follow-up with a visual inspection and treatment. Our dogs are available for one-time or ongoing inspection services. Service is available in select markets.
For smaller, more contained infestations, our teams utilize vacuums fitted with HEPA filters and insecticide, so that no bed bug can escape, and no long-term insecticides are left behind, protecting customers and furnishings.
High-heat treatments are effective at killing medium to large bed bug infestations. The high heat destroys all kinds of life – eggs, nymphs, and adults. These treatments are recommended for large infestations because they require a lot of prep-work and are only effective if the entire area is perfectly sealed, preventing any heat from escaping. In addition, washing clothes and laundry in hot water and drying on the highest heat setting can remove any bed bugs found on clothing, blankets, or other items.
Extreme infestations with thousands of found bed bugs are treated using different types of insecticides. These chemicals can be a dust and that is non-toxic to humans and pets and is applied to affected areas. It can also be a spray liquid application that is very effective but are not safe for humans and may cause fabric or furniture staining.
After a treatment has been applied, we deploy monitoring devices to ensure that all bed bugs have been eliminated. The most common device is the bed volcano, which is volcano shaped piece of plastic that is placed under the legs of a beg and traps bed bugs before they reach the bed.
Every infestation is different and spotting bed bugs can be a challenge for the untrained eye. At Sprague, we offer comprehensive training sessions for employees to better be able to identify signs of bed bugs and what to do when they are found.
What Our Clients Say
Bed bugs are a very sensitive issue for both the employer and employee. Being able to educate and set expectations is an important part of the process.