Appearance and Diet
Bed bugs (also called mahogany flats, red coats, and chinches) are small, flat, oval, insects that grow up to 4-5 mm long (the size of an apple seed). The skin color of these nocturnal, wingless insects ranges from rust brown to a deeper red brown (after feeding, their bodies swell and become a reddish color). Bed bugs feed on blood from humans and other warm-blooded hosts. They prefer to feed on blood at night when hosts are asleep, every five to ten days. However, they are capable of surviving several months to a year without feeding.
Nymphs (immature bedbugs) shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a blood meal prior to each shedding. With normal room temperatures and an adequate food supply, they can fully develop in as little as a month, produce three or more generations per year, and live more than 300 days—with females laying hundreds of dust-speck sized eggs in a lifetime.
Bed bugs enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used furniture, and other items. Their initial hiding places are commonly mattresses, box springs, headboards, sheets, and any furniture that allows them easy access to people they can feed on. Bed bugs may scatter through the bedroom to gather behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates, and loose wallpaper as well as under carpets and in floor cracks. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments. Having bed bugs in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. Since they live solely on blood, bed bugs are found in homes of all degrees of cleanliness.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
- Visual proof of adult bed bugs
- Shed skins, exoskeletons, or shells
- An offensive, musty but sweet odor
- Droppings: After feeding, bed bugs hide and defecate, leaving black to brown stains on porous surfaces (mattresses, sheets, pajamas, etc) or black to brown mounds on nonporous surfaces (bed frames, walls, etc).
- Bites on your skin
For the safest and most effective elimination of bed bugs, trust the experienced pest control professionals at Truly Nolen. Bed bugs are sometimes sneaky and hard to find, but we are trained to know exactly where to look and what to look for. We will examine your entire home and provide you with a detailed assessment. If we confirm an infestation, our bed bug control program is your best chance of totally eliminating your home of bed bugs. Call us with any bed bug or pest management questions you may have or to schedule an inspection today!