The bed bug is a pest that is typically found in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is also beginning to become more common in the United States, due to small groups of these animals coming into the country with international travelers. An infestation of bed bugs should not be ignored and usually requires professional pest control.
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that get their name from their tendency to attack while an individual is sleeping. These insects are a reddish-brown color with a flat, oval-shaped body. They also have a distinctive odor that has been described as “sickly-sweet.” The bed bug will feed on the blood of any endothermic, commonly called warm-blooded, animal which includes humans. They tend to stay close to their source of food, which causes them to infest bedroom areas.
The bite of a bed bug can be irritating as well as have an undesirable appearance. While they do not typically leave a wound, swelling and redness may occur at the site of the bite. This swelling is one of the first signs people notice of an infestation. Another common sign is small blood spots on the sheets and in front of the headboard.
Bed bug infestations should be dealt with as soon as possible, since reproduction can cause the colony to grow very quickly. One female can lay up to five hundred eggs. One should always hire a professional when dealing with these insects. They can be very difficult to detect and eliminate without pest control services. Not only are they small enough to hide in various hard-to-reach places, but can also slow down their digestive system if they are prevented from getting a blood meal. This makes it hard for the average homeowner to find and treat the problem. Professional pest control services use a variety of methods to eliminate bed bug colonies, including chemical treatments, steam, hot air, bedding encasements, and cold-cryonite. It is highly recommended that one contact a professional when dealing with a bed bug colony.