Bed bugs details
WHAT ARE BED BUGS AND WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
Common bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, were a major concern in Quebec and the rest of North America before World War II. The problem was nearly eliminated in the 1940’s, when a then revolutionary insecticide, known as DDT, entered the market. In the late 1990’s, bed bugs began to re-emerge around the world due to the banning of several pesticides, an increase in globalization, a lack of public awareness and bed bugs’ resistance to the remaining legal pesticides.
Today, no single approved pesticide can kill the entire lifecycle of bed bugs. This is the main reason why they are spreading at such a rapid pace. They even spread beyond homes and hotels, reaching subways, buses, trains, airplanes, movie theaters, clothing stores and more. Bed bugs are great at soliciting free rides from their hosts, which means that they can easily travel to entirely new locations.
Awareness is the best defense against potential bed bug infestations. Bed bugs are so challenging to detect, that knowledge of their characteristics and behaviour is essential. Axon Extermination and Pest Control™ specializes in bed bug detection and can help you identify an infestation at its earliest stage. If you hesitate and give them an opportunity to breed, they will do so at an unusually rapid pace.
At Axon, our field experience has taught us that bed bugs can be found in all environments, even the cleanest ones. They reach your property by hitch hiking on clothes, suitcases, makeup cases, second hand furniture and more. Though bed bugs are wingless and cannot jump, they are capable of crawling very quickly to find new sources of food. Holes in walls, ceilings and floors are common gateways for bed bugs.
Adult bed bugs are of a reddish brown colour and can grow to be more than 4 mm in length. They generally hide in the seams of upholstered furniture, mattresses, sheets, box springs and headboards, only coming out at night to feed on human blood. This explains why a bed bug infestation can sometimes go undetected for several weeks.
Bed bugs may be small, but they pose a highly serious threat. Since a female bed bug can lay three to five eggs per day that hatch in less than two weeks, the potential for spreading is enormous. They can disrupt the life of all family members, causing high levels of anxiety, sleeplessness, stress, embarrassment and even depression.
When a bed bug bites, it injects a small amount of saliva that triggers an allergic reaction that can cause swelling, itching and redness. Like the mosquito, bed bug bites are painless and vary based on the affected individual. Some people react immediately, while others do not experience a reaction or are subject to a delayed reaction that can be visible only weeks following a bite.
The sole factors that can allow you to prevent the risk of a bed bug infestation or even help you treat one at its earliest stage are awareness and education. If you think you may have bed bugs present in your home, don’t hesitate to contact Axon’s certified exterminators.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE BED BUGS?
Do you suspect you have bed bugs? Here are 5 signs that can help you determine if bed bugs are lurking in your property. If any of these signs sound familiar, don’t hesitate to contact the Axon Team immediately.
The look of bed bug bites varies widely based on the affected individual. The reactions can range from simple redness to swelling, itching and severe inflammation. So why can’t you feel them bite? Like the mosquito, the bed bug injects an anesthetic in its saliva that numbs the skin, making its bites painless.
Bed bug bites generally come in clusters, appearing in small sequences of three or four across the body. This typical row of bites may be caused by multiple bed bugs or by the simple fact that bed bugs are very sensitive to their hosts’ movements. A “restless sleeper” may cause the bug to momentarily withdraw its mouthparts and reinsert them in a new location to continue feeding. This explains why the number of bites a person experiences cannot be equated to the number of bugs that fed upon him/her.
Bed bugs are generally attracted by the CO2 that a person produces while sleeping. This may also explain why, in the early stages of an infestation, one may only be bitten on the upper torso. The neck, shoulders, arms and back are generally first bitten. As the infestation progresses, legs and feet are targeted.
SMALL BLOOD STAINS ON YOUR SHEETS
Bed bugs feed on blood. As the blood enters their digestive system, they swell in size. A drop of blood is often extruded from the anus as the bug completes its meal. It is therefore highly common to see small blood stains on pillowcases, mattresses and sheets. Some of these red stains also originate from the host that continues to lose blood after a feeding has occurred. The punctured skin will often bleed before eventually closing up or scabbing.
Adult bed bugs feed every three to four days, while the nymphs take ten to twelve days between each meal. Therefore, you may not experience bloodstains every day, but rather every few days. At Axon Extermination and Pest Control™, we recommend that you keep a reference log and mark down where and when you are observing bloodstains. If you notice a consistent pattern, contact us immediately to find out if bed bugs are present in your property.
BLACK FECAL STAINS AND SKIN CASINGS
Bed bug feces are black and may be found in the folds of upholstered furniture, mattresses, bedding, cushions and small crevices surrounding the bed. They highly resemble a series of black pen marks. As an infestation progresses, one is more likely to observe these trails of feces.
Furthermore, bed bugs will shed their skin five times before reaching maturity. During an infestation, a large number of discarded skin casings will be visible in areas beyond the bed. Look for them in wall corners, in areas close to heating boards, on your carpet, on secluded floor areas and more.
STRANGE SMELL IN BEDROOMS AND LIVING AREAS
The smell of bed bugs has often been described as sweet or pungent, and has even been compared to that of almonds. They release an unusual odor that can sometimes be detected by humans. However, not all infestations result in a noticeable smell.
SEEING BED BUGS WITH YOUR OWN EYES
One of the most important ways of accurately diagnosing a bed bug infestation actually lies in seeing them. If you have seen bugs in areas close to your bed or sofas, you should immediately have them examined. As industry leaders, we know that the sighting of a single bed bug could signify the presence of an established infestation. If you have seen or captured what you believe to be a bed bug, contact us immediately for pest identification.
If you recognize a combination of these signs in your home or if you have seen bed bugs in your property, we urge you to take action and call Axon’s certified exterminators now. Don’t give bed bugs a chance to breed!
WHAT CAN AXON DO TO HELP?
Axon Extermination and Pest Control™ specializes in the entire bed bug management cycle. If bed bugs are part of your reality or if you wish to implement the proper measures to keep them at bay, we have the solution. From detection to extermination and prevention, Axon is Montreal’s leading and most trusted source for bed bug management.
At Axon Extermination, we recognize the importance of early pest detection. This is why we employ all available tools to detect your infestation at its earliest stage, when it is easier to control. Since bed bugs are elusive and like to hide in areas where they cannot be found, visual inspections are not always accurate and only render a success rate of 38%. This is why we offer canine scent detection. Our dogs are trained on a continuous basis using live bed bugs and ultimately have 98% success rate in bed bug detection. Superior scent receptors allow our trained dogs to recognize the smell of bed bugs, a scent too weak to be detected by the human olfactory system. By combining our dogs’ most dominant sense to our certified inspectors’ visual inspection, we offer the best detection services in Montreal and Quebec.
If the presence of bed bugs has been confirmed in your home, we will tailor the treatment based on the severity of the infestation, the type of property affected and its residents. No two problems are the same, so why should they be treated identically? Axon’s customized solutions may comprise the use of Thermal Remediation (pesticide-free heat treatment), a traditional insecticide approach or a combination of both. Our certified exterminators will select the optimal treatment to quickly and effectively eliminate all bed bugs.
FOLLOW UP & PREVENTION
When choosing Axon Extermination, you also benefit from our follow up services to monitor and ensure that bed bugs do not return to your property. If bed bugs are not your reality but you want to keep them at bay, we offer a number of precautionary programs to help you prevent them from invading your space.
For successful bed bug control, choose Montreal’s leading bed bug extermination company. Call Axon today!
WHAT CAN I DO UNTIL AXON ARRIVES?
At Axon, our goal is to help you eliminate bed bugs and their eggs. The goal is more likely to be reached if you are able to help contain the infestation by following our instructions. Please be cautious and make sure you do not spray any product that could make the bugs scatter to other areas of your property.
VACUUMING AND INSPECTING
Diligently vacuuming the seams of your mattress, box spring, upholstered furniture and other surfaces where bed bugs may be lurking is key to help prevent another breeding cycle. Don’t forget to place the used vacuum bag or accumulated dust in a tightly sealed plastic bag and dispose of this bag in a garbage bin outside your home or business. Left in the vacuum, bed bugs can easily travel to new rooms inside your home.
TAKE CAUTION WHEN DISPOSING OF YOUR INFESTED FURNITURE
When people discover that they have bed bugs, they often move their furniture to an empty room or garage, or even dispose of certain items. However, if the infested items are not properly wrapped or sealed, you will have a greater chance of spreading the infestation rather than containing it. By dragging an unsealed mattress down a hallway, bed bugs may fall onto the floor or carpet and infest new areas of your home, thereby creating a larger problem to treat.
AVOID SPREADING BED BUGS TO OTHER RESIDENCES
If you are experiencing bed bugs, you may be tempted to make other sleeping arrangements, such as staying at family member’s house or renting a hotel room. However, doing so will only intensify your problem. Not only can you spread bed bugs to your new residence, but these invasive pests will be waiting for you upon your return. Bed bugs are resistant and can survive up to twelve months after consuming their last blood meal. It is therefore best to continue sleeping in your property until the infested areas are treated.
Limiting the spread of bed bugs to other locations is essential. Bed bugs can cling to your clothes and travel with you to your favorite coffee shop, friend’s house, family member’s residence or even your place of work. In order to avoid becoming a hub for the spread of bed bugs, drying the clothes that you will be wearing under hot settings for twenty to thirty minutes is key. Also, bed bugs can easily hitch a ride on shoes. Therefore, rigorously brushing your shoes or boots with a brush will help limit the spread. If you leave with a knapsack or purse, we also recommend that these items be thrown in the dryer before leaving.
Should you have any question regarding these interim measures, contact the Axon team right away!