Bed bugs are a nightmare pest and a very difficult one to remove completely. There’s a lot of misinformation regarding bed bugs and like other pests, plenty of the information you know could be myth. Typically, insect fall into two categories. There are insects that rely on human beings as a host, and insects which rely on the habitats of human beings. Cockroaches are a common pest which falls into the second category. They eat food crumbs, live in homes and generally rely on the waste of human beings to survive. Bed bugs are the former and feed on human beings. But just how long can they survive without a host? And what exactly does their diet consist of?
What Do They Eat? Just Blood?
Bed bugs feed almost completely on human blood. This is one piece of common bed bug information which is no myth. Their mouths are tube-shaped and so they can’t chew or bite any other foods. Since they can only feed through their straw-shaped mouth, the liquid is the only option when it comes to mealtime.
They have also been known to feed on the blood of animals, but this is only when they’re truly desperate. Humans are a much easier food source and they can crawl along skin easier than they can with a full body of fur. Bed bugs will focus on feeding around your hands, neck, and back. All of these parts of your body are easily accessible while you sleep, and they struggle to crawl through fur and hair.
Is There No Other Food Source?
The simple answer is no, bed bugs feed on nothing except blood. They don’t turn cannibalistic when times are tough, and can’t process food crumbs or dead skin. They’re not designed to feed on human hair or clothing, and can’t chew through wood or paper. Unlike other pests which survive on basically anything, bed bugs feed on blood and blood alone.
The truth is that bed bugs get ample nutrition from your blood. It’s rich in vitamins and proteins and they get everything they need from it. In fact, human blood is so nourishing for bed bugs that they can survive for around a year without a host. They’re experts at retaining moisture and are built to last without meals for a long time. A waxy coat on their external shells keeps moisture in and doesn’t let any out.
Since they can survive for around a year without a meal, bed bugs obviously don’t need to eat too often. However, when a host is present they’ll happily eat every 5-10 days. When they’re adolescents and still developing, they’ll eat more frequently than that to make the most of the nutrition on offer.
The Problems Bed Bugs Can Cause
As you can see, bed bugs can live for a long time on very little. This makes it difficult to get rid of them. They’re expert crawlers and will find their way into all of your clothing and furniture. It’s not just your bed that you need to inspect. They’ll leave behind itchy bites and quickly take over your home.
Since they’re also nocturnal, you’ll probably be suffering from a bed bug infestation for weeks before you realize. If you have even the slightest suspicion that bed bugs have found a way into your home, call our Truly Nolen team today. We lead the way with our bed bug treatment and guarantee that we’ll leave your home pest-free. Not only that, we make sure that your home won’t suffer from bed bugs again, leaving you to get a good night’s sleep without having to worry.