Super Pest Control 

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Bed Bug Biology

Common Name: Bed bug

Scientific Family: Climex lectularius Linnaeus

Bed Bug Color:

Unfed adults bed bugs are mahogany to rusty brown color. Engorged bed bugs are red-brown color after a blood meal. Nymphs (baby bed bugs) are nearly colorless when they first hatch and become brownish as they mature.

Count of Legs:

Six legs

Bed Bug Shape:

Unfed bed bugs are flat and broad-oval. Fed bed bugs become swollen and more elongated.

Bed Bug SizeAdult bed bugs can reach a size of about 1/4 inch long. Nymphs range from 1.3 mm to 4-5 mm.

Bed bugs have infested offices, stores, hotels, gyms and homes throughout the Metro Detroit area . It is oftentimes difficult to detect bed bug infestations until the issue is widespread. They can be spread through carpet, luggage, pets, bedding, furniture or clothing. Given the small size of bed bugs, their nocturnal habits, and tendency to be found in crevices, an infestation can happen to any home or property. Whether you have spotted the flat, reddish-brown bugs or noticed recent bug bites to areas exposed while you sleep, you need to schedule an inspection by a professional exterminator.

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Bed Bugs Basics & History

Bed bugs probably received their common name from their habit of feeding on humans while they sleep in their beds. Bed bugs have also been called "red coates," "mahogany flats," and "wall-lice."

Bed Bug History

Bed bugs have been a household pest issue for more than 3,300 years, dating back to ancient Egypt. They were first brought to the United States by early colonists, where they thrived for many decades. However, by the 1950's, bed bugs had been all but eradicated in the developed world, thanks to the availability of new pest control products, coupled with the widespread use of vacuums and washing machines which helped to control the spread of infestations in living spaces.

Several factors led to the resurgence of bed bugs beginning in the late 1990's; increased international travel, more targeted pest control products and methods and a lack of public awareness about pest prevention methods.

Where do Bed Bugs hide?

If you're wondering where bed bugs come from, remember: bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and are easily transported. They will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply. They like to hide in small cracks and crevices close to a human environment. Bed bugs are most often found in bed parts, such as mattresses, box springs and folded areas.

They can also conceal themselves behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, picture frames, electrical switchplates, and in furniture crevices. Beg bugs are also known to survive in temporary or alternative habitats, such as backpacks and under the seats in cars, buses and trains.

Where else can they be found.

Bed bugs are found in many places, not limited to any one specific type of dwelling. Pest control companies have been reporting infestations everywhere including single family homes, multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, schools and college campuses, office buildings, retail stores, movie theaters and even public transportation. Nowadays, even five-star hotels and high-end clothing stores are susceptible to infestations.

Bed Bug Feeding

Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted by their hosts. For this reason, they tend to feed at night on bare skin that is exposed while sleeping. However, they are opportunistic insects and will consume a blood meal during the day, especially in heavily-infested areas. Although bed bugs prefer to feed on humans, they will feed on other warm-blooded

Possible Signs of Bed Bugs:

The following are common signs of bed bugs and can be symptoms of a possible infestation:

Small red to reddish brown fecal spots on mattresses, upholstery or walls

Molt bed bug skins, their white, sticky eggs or empty eggshells

Very heavily infested areas may have a characteristically sweet odor

Red, itchy bite marks, especially on the legs, arms and other body parts exposed while sleeping

Although the actual bite of bed bugs is painless, most people develop an allergic reaction to the saliva (which also acts as a numbing agent) injected by the bug as it feeds. Swelling and itchy, red welts can be signs of a bed bug infestation. However, some people do not have reactions to bed bug bites at all. In addition, bites from other insects, such as mosquitoes, are often mistaken as bed bug bites. Unlike many other pests, bed bugs are not known to spread disease to humans.

If you notice signs of bed bugs or suspect you have a bed bug infestation,  it is important to contact a licensed pest control professional to confirm the infestation and recommend a course of treatment.

Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bed bug biology naturally promotes infestation. Female bed bugs lay one to five eggs per day, or an average of 540 eggs in a lifetime. They typically lay their eggs in cracks or rough surfaces. Bed bug nymphs grow to full adulthood in about 21 days and go through five stages of development before they reach maturity. A bed bug will molt once during each stage of development, though a blood meal is required for a molt. An adult bed bug can live for several months without a blood meal.

Bed Bug Prevention

Looking to avoid bed bugs? Bed bug prevention is a lot easier than eliminating an existing infestation. According to the 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, bed bugs remain the most difficult pest to treat - more difficult than cockroaches, termites and ants!

Depending on the scope of an infestation and the type of treatment used by a pest professional, it can take several treatments to completely eliminate bed bugs.

Fortunately, there are many things that one can do to prevent bringing bed bugs into the home. Vigilance is the key to bed bug prevention. When out in public - whether at a hotel, store, movie theater or work place - it is important to be conscientious of all surroundings.

As the public's awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, focus on bed bug prevention has also grown. Many Americans are modifying their behaviors to minimize their risk of an infestation. According to the 2011 Bed Bugs in America survey, 27 percent of respondents have inspected or washed clothing upon returning from a trip; 25 percent have checked a hotel room for bed bugs; 17 percent have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip and 12 percent have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs.

Regular bed bug inspections are the best method of prevention to avoid bed bug infestations.

Bed Bug Info & Facts:

-Bed bugs can lay one to five eggs in a day and more    than 500 in a lifetime.

-Bed bugs can survive for several months without eating.

-Bed bugs can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Bed bug draw blood for about five minutes before retreating to digest.

-Bed bugs hatchlings are so small they can pass through  a stitch-hole in a mattress.

-Bed bugs can ingest seven times their own weight in blood, which would be the equivalent of an average-sized male drinking 120 gallons of liquid.

-Bed bugs are found in all 50 U.S. states.

Rounding out the top 15 bed bug cities in the United States are:

1. Detroit, Mich. (previously 4)

2. Philadelphia, Pa. (previously 1)

3. Cleveland-Akron, Ohio (previously 15)
4. Los Angeles, Calif. (previously 14)
5. Dayton, Ohio (previously not ranked)
6.Chicago, Ill. (previously 5)
7. Columbus, Ohio (previously 8)
8. Cincinnati, Ohio (previously 2)
9. Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas (previously 7)
10. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. (previously not ranked)
11. Denver, Colo. (previously 12)
12. Toledo, Ohio (previously not ranked)
13. Oklahoma City, OK (previously not ranked)
14. Baltimore, Md. (previously 9)
15. New York, N.Y. (previously 3)


Below are the top five findings from the 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey

  1. Nearly all (99.6 percent) pest professionals have treated bed bugs in the past year, unchanged from 2013, but higher compared to five, 10 and 15 years ago.
  2. The top three places where pest professionals report finding bed bugs are apartments/condominiums (95 percent) and single-family homes (93 percent) and hotels/motels (75 percent). Past surveys have shown these environments to consistently be the top three where bed bugs have been encountered.
  3. However, bed bugs are also found seemingly everywhere else and in higher numbers, such as nursing homes, college dorms, offices, schools and daycare centers, hospitals, public transportation and others:
    • Nursing homes – 58 percent (46 percent in 2013)
    • Office buildings – 45 percent (36 percent in 2013)
    • Schools and day care centers – 43 percent (41 percent in 2013)
    • Hospitals – 36 percent (33 percent in 2013)
    • Doctor’s offices/outpatient facilities – 33 percent (26 percent in 2013)
    • Transportation (train/bus/taxi) – 29 percent (21 percent in 2013)
    • Retail stores – 20 percent (15 percent in 2013)
    • Movie theaters – 16 percent (10 percent in 2013)
      • NOTE: Percentages denote professionals reporting treating bed bugs in specific locations.
  4. In addition to the environments above, pest professionals also report finding bed bugs in some very unusual places, results which illustrate how problematic this pest really is: A prosthetic leg; in a casket with a deceased body; vent above the bathtub; dance club; 911 Call center; and in a tow boat on the Ohio River.  Bed bugs remain the most challenging pest to treat according to 68 percent of survey respondents, slightly lower than the 76 percent who said so in 2013, showcasing the industry’s greater understanding of ways to effectively combat bed bugs.
  5. Although not a seasonal pest, 61 percent of respondents said they received more calls at certain times of the year. Of those, two-thirds (66 percent) said summer was the busiest season. People may unknowingly be transporting more bed bugs back home during the summer due to increased travel, use of public transportation and hotel stays compared to other times of the year.