The more you know about the behaviour of bed bugs, the more it sounds like the plot of a horror movie: bed bugs lurk in the dark, waiting for you to fall asleep so that they can feast on your blood. That explanation may be an oversimplification, but to some extent, it is the truth. While they rarely cause significant health problems, bed bugs can be difficult to eradicate without professional pest control services. Here are the answers to your pressing questions about these critters, from nocturnal habits to bed bug removal.
How Do Bed Bugs Know You Are Asleep?
Like fleas, ticks, or lice, bed bugs are parasites that need human or animal blood to survive. Unlike the other bugs, however, they are not able to live on your body. That is why they like to hang out in places with easy access to their food source, including beds, couches, office chairs, curtains, rugs, and other nooks and crannies where they can hide.
What are they hiding from? Bed bugs are not big fans of light. While they may not be truly nocturnal, they have adapted to a nighttime feeding schedule. The good news is that bed bugs cannot tell time, and they do not know much about your sleeping habits. They just wait for night to fall to make their appearances.
What bed bugs want is for you to stop moving around. When you go to sleep, your body relaxes and stays still, making a perfect buffet for bed bugs. They eat for about five to ten minutes at a time, and most people do not feel the bite when they are asleep. Bed bugs also can snack on you while you sit and watch television or take call after call at your desk. So, it is less about your sleep patterns and more about your lack of movement.
Bed bugs can also smell carbon dioxide when you exhale. When you are sleeping soundly and breathing deeply, you are sending out another signal to these insects that it’s safe to come out and eat.
How Can You Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Not only have bed bugs learned to adapt to your sleep schedule, but they also have other behaviours that allow them to survive and thrive. For example, bed bugs can go months without feeding, although they prefer a regular food source.
Bed bugs can also handle some temperature fluctuations. What they cannot tolerate is extreme heat. Temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit can kill both adult bugs and eggs, but they may not die instantly. Either higher temperature or longer exposure may be necessary to finish the job.
Unfortunately, some species of bed bugs are resistant to certain common insecticides. Bed bug removal may require a multi-faceted approach to be effective, which is why professional pest control services work better than home remedies.
Homeowners do have steps they can take to minimize the risk of bed bug infestation, including these suggestions:
- Wash all bed linens, including sheets, blankets, and comforters, in hot water
- Vacuum upholstered furniture, rugs, and carpets regularly
- Avoid purchasing used bedding or furniture
- Use zippered mattress protectors and pillow bags to encase your mattress, box springs, and pillows
- Opt for metal bed frames instead of upholstered headboards
- Move beds away from walls or windows
- Repair cracks in paint, walls, and baseboards where bed bugs may hide
- Reduce clutter around your home
- Use washable duffle bags when you travel
Who Should You Call for Bed Bug Removal?
Trying to get rid of bed bugs on your own can be frustrating and time-consuming. Truly Nolan can take care of your infestation and help you get a good night’s sleep. Call us in Niagara or contact us online to schedule your inspection.