Bed bugs, once thought by many to be a mythical bug, is a very real and growing problem here in Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Quincy, Leavenworth and Chelan. They are a blood feeding, parasitic bug that primarily are only active only at night. The peak of their attack period is an hour before dawn. They produce red, itchy bite marks and cause a great deal of discomfort and stress.
Adult bed bugs grow to around 1/8 inch. They are reddish-brown, oval and flattened. They look very similar to an apple seed. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent and lighter in color and they will molt five times during their lifetime. They will usually seek a blood meal every 5-10 days but can live up to 18 months without feeding! After feeding the bed bug will hide close to their food source but hidden behind baseboards, picture frames, electronics, dressers, clothes and even inside books. A female bed bug will lay her eggs in secluded places such as in cracks and crevices, under baseboards or deep in the weave of a carpet. They will lay up to five eggs per day and up to 500 during her lifetime. The eggs will take up to two weeks to hatch and are unaffected by insecticides.
Signs of bed bug activity include:
- Reddish brown fecal spots on the sheets, mattresses or walls. Their fecal matter look like small bits of black pepper.
- Blood spots on the sheets.
- Live bed bugs in the seems of the mattresses and around the bed frame.
- Bed bug bite patterns are somewhat distinct in that they are often clustered together. It is very common for there to be three or more bites in a row from where the bed bug detached then reinserted itself when it was disturbed.
Because of their ability to hide in cracks and crevices and their ability to hide their eggs, effective treatment of a bed bug infestation almost always requires the help of a professional pest control expert.