Remember when “Sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” was just a funny thing parents liked to say to kids? A remnant of the days when it was actually an issue? You may not be aware, but past generations had such an issue with bed bugs, it seemed like we would be living with them forever.

That all changed in 1939, when the pesticide DDT was discovered. Suddenly, bed bugs became a thing of nursery rhymes rather than every day life.

Unfortunately, as we’ve now learned, many insects can build up a resistance to chemical pesticides – especially when they tend to be overused. And DDT was definitely overused in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. As a result, sometime around the turn of the century, pesticide-resistant bed bugs started coming back in force.

We thought we’d share 6 other facts about bed bugs you may not know. Spoiler alert: you might not want to learn them either!

1. Bed Bugs Are Smarter Than We Think

The carbon dioxide we exhale draws bed bugs to us, especially when we sleep. But when the sun comes up, even if they haven’t eaten their fill, bed bugs scurry away to their favorite hiding places – and because of their size, they have plenty! The corners and crevices of mattresses and their seams, baseboards, box springs, electrical switch plates, sometimes even behind those cheap-framed hotel pictures.

2. Bed Bugs Can Live Anywhere

Speaking of hotels… While those may be the most popular places for infestations, bed bugs can and do travel. They’ve been found in airplane seats, dis furniture, and even your dirty laundry! In fact, be careful when you’re repacking your clothes after a hotel stay. Even if you didn’t get bit, some dormant bed bugs might wake up and crawl into your smelly to be laundered clothes and come home with you! As scary as it may be to think of, pest control experts say that almost 90% of Cimex lectularius infestations are in single family homes, condos and apartment complexes.

3. The Suburbs Aren’t Safe

Another popular idea is that bed bugs hang out just in big dirty cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and maybe Miami – or in third world countries. But the fact is, pesticide resistant bed bugs can, and do, live anywhere! While the numbers appear to show higher concentrations in urban areas, that’s mostly because there’s more of us there too! But bed bugs have been found from the amber waves of grain to the fruited plains, and yes, even the mountain’s majesty. Wherever we are, they’re around too.

4. Bed Bugs Are Very Orderly

Bed Bugs follow a specific feeding plan. Just like our FDA-recommended three meals a day, bed bugs usually latch on and feed for 5-10 minutes – in a very distinct pattern of 3 bites at a time. Either in a cluster or in a row on your exposed skin, jokingly referred to as breakfast, lunch and dinner.

5. There’s a Reason They’re Called Bed Bugs

And no, it’s not just where they’re most likely to be found. Components in the bed bugs’ saliva act as an anesthesia on the host. Even though multiple bugs are biting down and feeding for 5-10 minutes, multiple times, we don’t wake up. AND blood flow increases to the bite area, so the bugs can drink their fill.

6. They’re Even More Resilient Than You Think

It’s not just that bed bugs can endure pesticides. After feeding, bed bugs hide, digest, mate and lay eggs for the next 5-10 days. But if need be, they can “hibernate.” Bed bugs can survive for months without feeding, lying dormant in your luggage or furniture before venturing out again. And they can endure a wide range of temperatures – from almost freezing to 122-degrees Fahrenheit – which is one of the reasons it’s so hard to get rid of them.

In fact, if you discover a bed bug infestation, don’t try and handle it yourself. This isn’t a problem that is easily DIY-ed. Call a professional. We’ve cleared up bed bug infestations in homes and hotels across the Gulf Coast of Florida, from Sarasota to Port Charlotte, and we know the best way to handle it. To learn more, or to set up an appointment for your bed bug problem, just give us a call!

WDO Inspection
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