I found a bed bug crawling on my sheets this morning; in a panicked voice they ask, am I infested?
That is a question often asked of me by our callers. One bed bug does not constitute an infestation I reply; you need to find out if there is more hiding as well as not waiting to do something about it because they can and will reproduce and can lead to an infestation over time.
Some people are luckier than others and find a single bed bug brought in from a recent trip outside their homes. It doesn’t always have to be a vacation or business trip that one goes on in order for a bed bug to find their way on to your personal self, belongings or in your home.
A single bed bug can be picked up by any family member at work, school, the store, a bus or subway, being an overnight guest at a friend’s, a maintenance worker that entered your home for repairs; just about anywhere or on anyone.
The loudest message I do my best to drive home with people is if they have found one bed bug they need to find out if there are more. In many cases it’s the first sign but not always does a person get bites to let them know if they have more. In many of these cases the person may be one of those who don’t show a reaction or get affected by the bite of a bed bug.
I then explain the life cycle of the bed bug starting with one pregnant female on day one. She starts to lay eggs. A female can produce from 2 to 500 eggs in her life time. These eggs start to hatch in approximately 7 to 10 days. They now go through their development stages from first instar to adult that takes approximately 22 – 36 days – the time for complete development is all dependent upon regular blood meals and ambit temperatures. You now have a bunch of new generations of bed bugs producing eggs and the journey begins! Within approximately 90 days you now have enough bed bugs that if not addressed immediately will start growing at exponential rates.
Sometimes I wish I had x-ray vision but because I cannot see over the phone; it is then that I ask them if they can recall any possible previous sign of bed bugs that may include all or some of the following: Blood stains or smears on their sheets or bed clothing, cast skins (when they outgrow their previous skin and grow to the next stage of development), clusters of eggs (very difficult for the average person to see if not completely trained) or small bugs at any time in the past month or so.
Once in a while I get a reply where it seems like a “light bulb” goes off in their heads and they say Oh! I remember seeing a bunch of smears on my sheets but I thought it scratched a mosquito bite. I am always getting bit by a mosquito and I just figured… Crap! That has happened a few times.
The reality check is something that no one wants to hear but needs to hear. Luckily many people hear it loud and clear and jump on getting it solved right away. But sadly, there are those who don’t take it serious enough and ignore it; only to find what we call “an infestation” a few months down the line.
My intention and passion in every call I take is making sure that people fully understand the amount ofvigilance needed on a daily basis in order to acknowledge the risk factors of bed bugs. By keeping a careful watch on where you go and what you do pertaining to the possibilities of picking up a bed bug hitchhiker; and inspecting the items you take out of and bring back into your home, will help you realize sources of bed bugs that you never knew before.
EARLY BED BUG DETECTION IS EVERYTHING AND EDUCATION GETS YOU THERE!
Educational Books on Bed Bugs https://www.amazon.com/author/denisedonovan
SPANISH version now available!
Keep the time bed bugs are around from “introduction to discovery” the shortest time possible! Learn all the signs of them and where to look for bed bugs and don’t forget to do regular inspections.
We are here to help!