Most Unwanted Pests: Bed Bugs Banner

Bed bugs – a hard-to-kill havoc

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed exclusively on blood and are generally nocturnal. They are reddish-brown, ¼ inch long (nymphs are much smaller), wingless and flat. Bed bugs hide during the daytime in cracks, crevices and other protected sites close to where people sleep. Their flattened bodies help them hide in seams and folds of mattresses and cracks and crevices in box springs, bed frames, headboards, etc. They can survive about 70 days without feeding.

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Females lay eggs in batches of 10-50 and can produce 200-500 eggs during their lifespan. Eggs are cemented into hard-to-reach cracks, crevices and voids, which enhances survival by creating harder detection. The growth from egg to adult can take 5-8 weeks or up to eight months – with their lifespan ranging from 6 months to 1.5 years.
/// Bite symptoms
  • Symptoms may not appear immediately or in many cases, not at all
  • Severe itching lasting several hours or days – caused by a reaction with the bugs’ saliva
  • Large oval/oblong shaped inflammation or swelling of the skin
/// Inspection/Identification
Inspect cracks and crevices:
  • Bedding, attached headboards, nightstands, bed frames, electrical outlets and switches, molding and trim, floors (cracks in hardwood, loose tile, & where carpet meets the wall), wall hangings, wallpaper that is loose, thermostats, ceiling tiles and window frames
Bed bugs cluster together and early detection is crucial for elimination. Look for:
  • A bug the size and color of an apple seed, but flattened
  • Blood marks
  • Dark fecal spots
  • Eggs and eggshell casings
/// Preparing for bed bug treatment
  • Strip bed; launder sheets, pillowcases, mattress pad and blankets
  • Remove all items from closets, dressers, nightstands and place in plastic bags
  • Launder or dry clean all clothing and fabrics, using the hottest temperature that is safe for your items
  • If it is safe to do so, run any item that is or is suspected to be infested through a 10 minute cycle in a clothes dryer on medium heat
  • Vacuum all infested rooms and furniture with a PC rated vacuum; steam mattresses and chairs
  • Discard torn or heavily infested items and dismantle bed frames and furniture
  • Begin heat treatments and combine with residual insecticide and/or dust treatments for greater results
  • Encase contaminated items in certified ‘bed bug proof’ encasements only
/// After treatment
  • Open as many windows as possible (weather permitting)
  • Leave home for four hours or until the spray has dried
  • Keep pets and children off treated surfaces until the spray has dried
  • Allow mattresses to dry completely before covering with mattress covers
  • Do not wash floors for 2-3 weeks, carpeted areas can be vacuumed
/// Prevention and monitoring
Steps may be taken to prevent the spread of bed bugs and include:
  • Educating customers that sanitation will NOT eliminate bed bugs
  • Advising customers to have a clutter free environment before and after treatment
  • Moving furniture from contact with walls and infested furniture
  • Initial vacuum of mattresses, beds, harborages, etc. (removes bugs/debris)
  • Treating harborages with properly labeled residual
  • Dusting electrical boxes and voids
  • Sealing harborages shut
/// Temprid® FX – the #1 product for bed bugs
Temprid FX has a powerful co-milled formulation that helps ensure pests are evenly exposed to both active ingredients at the molecular level. This dual mode of action controls bed bugs that are resistant to pyrethroids and also kills bed bug eggs. Plus, its flexible labeling allows applications indoors and directly to mattresses. It makes Temprid the easy answer for hard-to-kill bed bugs.
Learn more about Temprid FX
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Read more about other notoriously unwanted pests.

Check out PCT Magazine's "Guide to Hard-To-Kill Pests" supplement.