- Scientific name is: Parcoblotta pensylvanica
- Common to Eastern and central North America
- Grow to 1/4 of an inch
- Light brown to a reddish brown in color
- Flat oval shaped bodies
- No hind wings
- Can survive a year without feeding.
- Allows them to wait for hosts and to survive transportation.
- Females lay three to five sticky eggs every day.
- Feed on the blood of humans and other mammals such as pets.
- Will feed once and then retreat for a few days to allow the blood meal to digest.
- Their bite is painless and may leave no marking or a red sometimes swollen mark that appears a while after the bed bug has left.
- Bed bugs inject saliva that doubles as a pain killer and an anticoagulant.
- Use pheromones to communicate between nesting locations, feeding, and reproduction.
- Survive a wide range of temperatures.
- Can survive for ten days in a fourteen degree Fahrenheit environment.
- Using mattress covers or encasements can prevent bed bugs from hiding in box springs and mattresses.
- This is usually much less expensive than buying a new mattress and box spring.
- Vacuuming can remove bed bugs safely and easily, but the vacuum then needs to be emptied into a trash bag as they may survive the removal.
- Steam cleaning can dowse the bed bugs with 113 degree Fahrenheit steam that kills them.
- Heat can be applied by putting infested articles of clothing in the dryer.
- Some heat treatment options are labor intensive and require special equipment.
- Heat treatments can get rid of bed bugs, but do not provide a structure from being reinvaded.
- Freezing infested items has also proven effective as bed bugs cannot withstand abrupt changes in temperature.
- Some products distribute frozen carbon dioxide in the form of snow. This kills bed bugs immediately upon contact, but does nothing to prevent future invasions.
- Traps can be used as well, but there are only a handful that have proven to be effective. Many of them rely on carbon dioxide as this is the primary way to attract bed bugs.
- Bed bug pest control by pesticide includes liquid and dust formulations.
- Hiring an experienced pest management professional is preferred to do it yourself methods.
- Pesticides are applied to all residual surfaces, cracks, crevices, and voids.
We at Madison County Termite and Pest Control believe that relying on only one method of pest control is an integrated approach that relies on multiple methods has proven to be much more effective in dealing with these small, vampiric insects.