Bed Bug Elimination Services
|Licensed and Regulated by: Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, TX, 78711-2847
Phone: (866) 918-4481 Fax: (888) 232-2567
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Fort Worth based Assassin
Exterminating is able to provide
superior Bed Bug Elimination and
control results by only using the
highest quality products available to
Pest Management Professionals. We
proudly utilize products from the
|Contact Assassin Exterminating today and schedule your free
pest control inspection and quote. Call our Fort Worth
based office at (817) 727-8149.
Bed Bug Identification and Control:
Most people of this generation have never seen a bed bug. Bed bug infestations were common in the United States
before World War II. But with improvements in hygiene, and especially the widespread use of DDT during the 1940s
and ‘50s, the bugs all but vanished. The pests remained fairly prevalent, however, in other regions of the world
including Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. In recent years, bed bugs have also made a comeback in the U.S. They
are increasingly being encountered in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, health care facilities, dormitories,
shelters, schools, and modes of transport. Other places where bed bugs sometimes appear include movie theaters,
laundries/dry cleaners, furniture rental outlets and office buildings. Immigration and international travel have
undoubtedly contributed to the resurgence of bed bugs in the United States. Changes in modern pest control
practice — and less effective bed bug pesticides — are other factors suspected for the recurrence.
Bed Bug Description and Habits:
Bed bugs are small, brownish, flattened insects that feed solely
on the blood of animals. The common bed bug, Cimex
lectularius, is the species most adapted to living with humans.
It has done so since ancient times. Bed bugs are mentioned in
medieval European texts and in classical Greek writings back
to the time of Aristotle. Other bed bug species prefer to feed on
wild hosts, especially bats and birds.
Adult bed bugs are about 3/16-inch long and reddish-brown,
with oval, flattened bodies. They are sometimes mistaken for
ticks or cockroaches. The immatures (nymphs) resemble the
adults, but are smaller and lighter in color. Bed bugs do not fly,
but can move rapidly over floors, walls, ceilings and other
surfaces. Female bed bugs lay their eggs in secluded areas,
depositing 1, 2 or more eggs per day and hundreds during a
lifetime. The eggs are tiny, whitish, and hard to see on most
surfaces without magnification (individual eggs are about the
size of a dust speck). When first laid, the eggs are sticky,
causing them to adhere to surfaces. Newly hatched nymphs are
straw-colored and no bigger than a pinhead. As they grow, they
molt (shed their skin) five times before reaching maturity. A
blood meal is needed between each successive molt. Under
favorable conditions (70-80°F), the bugs can complete
development in as little as a month, producing three or more
generations per year. Cooler temperatures or limited access to
blood extends the development time. Bed bugs are resilient.
Nymphs can survive months without feeding and the adults for
more than a year. Infestations therefore are unlikely to
diminish by leaving premises unoccupied. Although C.
lectularius prefers feeding on humans, it will also bite other
warm-blooded animals, including dogs, cats, birds and rodents.
Bed bugs are active mainly at night. During the daytime, they
prefer to hide close to where people sleep. Their flattened bodies
enable them to fit into tiny crevices — especially those
associated with mattresses, box springs, bed frames and
headboards. Bed bugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but
do tend to congregate in habitual hiding places.
Characteristically, these areas are marked by dark spotting and
staining, which is the dried excrement of the bugs. Also present
will be eggs and eggshells, the brownish molted skins of
maturing nymphs and the bugs themselves. Another telltale
though less frequent sign is rusty or reddish blood smears on
bed sheets or mattresses from crushing an engorged bed bug.
Heavy infestations may have a “buggy” smell, but the odor is
seldom apparent and should not be relied upon for detection.
Bed bugs prefer to hide close to where they feed. However, if
necessary, they will crawl several feet to obtain a blood meal.
Initial infestations tend to be around beds, but the bugs
eventually may become scattered throughout the bedroom,
occupying any crevice or protected location. They also may
spread to adjacent rooms or apartments.
Bed Bug Bites and Concerns:
Bed bugs usually bite people at night while they are sleeping.
They feed by piercing the skin with an elongated beak through
which they withdraw blood. Engorgement takes about three to
10 minutes, yet the person seldom knows they are being bitten.
Bed bugs normally do not reside on people like head or body
lice. Immediately after feeding they crawl off and reside
elsewhere to digest their meal. Symptoms after being bitten vary
with the individual. Many develop an itchy red welt or localized
swelling within a day or so of the bite. Others have little or no
reaction, and in some people the reaction is delayed. Unlike
flea bites that occur mainly around the ankles, bed bugs feed
on any skin exposed while sleeping (face, neck, shoulders,
back, arms, legs, etc.). The welts and itching are often wrongly
attributed to other causes, such as mosquitoes. For these
reasons, infestations may go a long time unnoticed, and can
become quite large before being detected. The likelihood of bed
bugs increases if the affected individual has been traveling, or
had acquired used beds or furnishings before symptoms started
to appear. Bed bugs also are suspect if you wake up with itchy
bites you did not have when you went to sleep. Conversely, it is
important to recognize that not all bites or bite-like reactions
are due to bed bugs. Confirmation requires finding and
identifying the bugs themselves, which often requires the help
of a professional.
A common concern with bed bugs is whether they transmit
diseases. Although bed bugs can harbor pathogens in and on
their bodies, transmission to humans is considered unlikely.
Their medical significance is chiefly limited to the itching and
inflammation from their bites. Antihistamines and
corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce allergic reactions,
and antiseptic or antibiotic ointments to prevent infection.
Though not known to carry diseases, bed bugs can severely
reduce quality of life by causing discomfort, sleeplessness,
anxiety, and embarrassment.
How Bed Bug Infestations Start:
It often seems that bed bugs arise from nowhere. The bugs are
efficient hitchhikers and are usually transported in on luggage,
clothing, beds, furniture, and other items. This is a particular
problem for hotels, motels and apartments, where turnover of
occupants is constant. Bed bugs are small, cryptic and agile,
escaping detection after crawling into suitcases, boxes and
belongings. The eggs are especially tiny and are usually
overlooked. Acquiring secondhand beds, couches and furniture
is another way that the bugs are transported into previously
non-infested dwellings. Bed bugs also can be carried in on a
person’s clothing or shoes, resulting in an infestation.
Once bed bugs are introduced, they often spread throughout a
building. The bugs can travel from room to room or floor to floor
either by crawling or via a person. Unlike cockroaches that feed
on filth, the level of cleanliness has little to do with most bed
bug infestations. Pristine homes, hotels and apartments have
plenty of hiding places and an abundance of warm-blooded
hosts. Thus, they are almost as vulnerable to infestation as are
places of squalor.
Where Bed Bugs Hide:
Bed bugs can live in almost any crevice or protected location.
The most common place to find them is the bed. Bed bugs often
hide within seams, tufts and crevices of the mattress, box
spring, bed frame and headboard. A thorough inspection
requires dismantling the bed, and standing the components on
edge so that upper and lower surfaces can be examined. Things
to look for are the bugs themselves, and the light-brown, molted
skins of the nymphs. Dark spots of dried bed bug excrement are
often present along mattress seams or wherever the bugs have
resided. Box springs afford many places for bed bugs to hide,
especially underneath where the fabric is stapled to the wooden
frame. Oftentimes the underlying gauze dust cover must be
removed to gain access for inspection and possible treatment.
Successful treatment of mattresses and box springs is difficult,
however, and infested ones may need to be discarded or
encased in a protective cover. Cracks and crevices of bed frames
should be examined, especially if the frame is wood. (Bed bugs
have an affinity for wood and fabric more so than metal or
plastic). Headboards secured to walls should also be removed
and inspected. In hotels and motels, the area behind the
headboard is often the first place that the bugs become
established. Bed bugs also hide among items stored under beds.
During the early stages of a bed bug problem, the pests tend to
congregate mostly in beds and other sleeping areas. As
infestations grow larger, they tend to move beyond beds into
other locations making control more difficult. Upholstered
chairs and sofas should be examined above and beneath,
especially seams, tufts, skirts and crevices. Sofas can be major
bed bug hot spots, especially when used for sleeping. Like beds,
they can be difficult to treat and may need to be discarded.
Nightstands and dressers should be emptied and examined
inside and out, then tipped over to inspect the woodwork
underneath. Oftentimes the bugs will be hiding in cracks,
corners, and recesses. Other common places to find bed bugs
include: along and under the edge of wall-to-wall carpeting
(especially behind beds and furniture); cracks in wood molding;
ceiling-wall junctures; behind wall-mounted picture frames,
mirrors, switch plates and outlets; under loose wallpaper;
amongst clothing and clutter stored in closets; and inside
clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors.
Bed bugs are challenging pests to control. They hide in many
tiny places, so inspections and treatments must be very
thorough. In all cases, it will be prudent to enlist the services of
a professional pest control company. Our experienced
technicians know where to look for bed bugs, and have an
assortment of management tools at their disposal. Owners and
occupants will need to assist our professionals in
important ways. Affording access for inspection and
treatment is essential, and excess clutter should be
removed. In some cases, infested mattresses and box springs
will need to be discarded. Since bed bugs can disperse
throughout a building, it also may be necessary to inspect
adjoining rooms and apartments.
Contact Fort Worth Based Assassin Exterminating Today
To Schedule Your Free Inspection & Quote and Rid Your
Home Or Business Once And For All!
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