VACATIONS AND BED BUGS
VACATIONS AND BED BUGS
I know I have blogged about bed bugs several times over the years, however when you go on vacation and come home you don’t want to bring home unwanted guests that can infest your home. So here is more information about bed bugs and how to avoid them.
The common bed bug aka Cimex Lectularius is a small bug only approximately 3/16 of an inch long and 1/8 of an inch wide and has an oval shape. The bug is flat and the color is brown to reddish brown with a 3-segmented beak and 4-segmented antennae and vestigial wings. They emit a distinctive” musty sweetish” odor that usually comes from undigested parts of their last blood meal.
You can find bed bugs in all 50 states. Years ago the United States had very little bed bug infestations, however now we see bed bugs in all types of homes and hotels. The increased international traveling over the last 10-20 years is likely to be the cause of the resurgence of the bed bug population across the country.
The male bed bug can inseminate the female and is common for one male to fertilize several females in a twenty-four hour period. The female deposits the egg in her hiding spot and it sticks to the surface. Then the egg hatches in 6-10 days and the new bed bug is in its nymph stage and then turns into an adult after it goes through these instar phases 1st instar nymph, 2nd instar nymph, 3rd instar nymph, 4th instar nymph and 5th instar nymph phase. A blood meal is required between each of the stages from first instar to adult. Once egg-laying begins the female can deposit 1-5 eggs a day and over a lifetime can lay 200-500 eggs.
Bed bugs are nocturnal pests that feed on blood from mammals or birds. If you get bitten you most likely will not know it at the time since their bite is painless and this gives the bed bugs time to actively feed. This insect lives in loose groups and tends to live in cracks or crevices as well as headboards, bed frames and mattresses- basically all furniture near the food source (us)!
You can try to inspect your hotel room to look for bugs especially around the bed area – however they are very small and hard to see. After returning home inspect all your belongings before bringing them into the house. Wash all of your clothes in hot water to kill any bed bugs that decided to come home with you. You might not be certain if you were bitten by bed bugs since the bite mark or rash can take up to 10 days to show on your skin.
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