Bed Bugs by M12IRjh7


									                                            Bed Bugs
These pests, once common in the United            developmental time from egg to adult ranges
States, are now making a comeback. They           from six weeks to four months or more
can occur in the most luxurious residences,       depending on conditions.
motels, hotels as well as in modest homes.
Filth is not a source of bed bug infestation.
Any household or establishment can become
infested upon introduction of viable eggs or

                                                  Fig. 2: Feeding Beak Folded Under Legs

                                                  Bed bugs are very hardy insects, able to
                                                  withstand long periods of starvation and
                                                  adverse conditions. These insects are
                                                  nocturnal, moving to their hosts at night to
                                                  feed and leaving them for shelter upon
                                                  completion. In human bedrooms bed bugs
                                                  will hide in the joints and crevices of bed
Fig. 1: Feeding Beak Extended
                                                  frames and box springs, in the seams and
                                                  folds of mattresses and even in the
The bed bug is an ectoparasite of warm-
                                                  upholstery of furniture, hollow bedposts and
blooded animals including bats, birds and
                                                  behind wallpaper.
humans. The wingless, mature bed bug is
brown, flattish and between 1/4 and 3/8 inch
                                                  Bites are very irritating causing severe
long. When engorged with food (blood) the
                                                  itching. Bites are commonly seen as red
body becomes elongated and swollen, and
                                                  welts with a pin-prick at the center. It has
the color changes from brown to dull red.
                                                  yet to be proven that bed bugs are important
The change in size, shape and color is so
                                                  human disease carriers. Large infestations
great that bugs in different degrees of
                                                  are characterized by a distinct odor.
distention may appear to be of different
species. Nymphs are smaller in size but of
                                                  They avoid the light and are seldom seen.
similar color and shape.
                                                  Evidences of bed bug infestation (other than
                                                  itching bites) are black or brown spots on
Life History                                      surfaces where the bugs have been resting.
A female bed bug lays about two eggs per
                                                  These spots are digested blood. There
day and may lay approximately 200-400
                                                  usually is an offensive odor in rooms where
eggs. Eggs hatch in as little as four or up to
                                                  bed bugs are numerous. They are also
24 days. Upon hatching nymphs will
                                                  objectionable because they soil bed linens
immediately move to feed. There are five
                                                  and mattresses.
immature nymph stages, each one requiring
a blood meal to continue. Total
Sources of Introduction                                               repeated applications of selective
Bed bug infestations are the result of the                            insecticides will remove them. This is best
introduction of viable eggs or live bugs into                         left to the professional exterminator.
the household. Nesting rodents (including
bats), nesting birds, pests, guests and                               General sanitation will not eliminate bed
infected bedding are important hosts.                                 bug infestations but will greatly help prevent
                                                                      their spreading. Sanitation measures
Bed bugs are also carried from place to place                         include: washing all bed clothes (sheets,
in the baggage or on the clothing of                                  pillow cases, blankets, mattress covers);
transients and occasionally in packages.                              washing floors and walls (paying particular
They may be brought into non-infested                                 attention to cracks and crevices); rough,
houses with infested furniture. They may                              thorough vacuuming of floors, mattresses
crawl from house to house in thickly settled                          and box springs (pay particular attention to
neighborhoods. They are able to live                                  seams and folds), infested furniture and pet
without food for several months or possibly                           bedding (after vacuuming throw away or
feed on the blood of mice and thus maintain                           thoroughly empty the cleaner bag).
an infestation in vacant homes.
                                                                      There are no repellents effective against bed
Control                                                               bugs and as far as attractants, we are the
Bed bugs are very difficult to control. Once                          bait.
these pests enter an occupied house, only the

Prepared by: Norman L. Gauthier, Associate Professor and Entomologist, April 2004
Revised by: UConn Home & Garden Education Center, 2005.

Barile, U. 1981. Bed bug. Cooperative Extension Service Fact Sheet. USDA and University of
   Massachusetts Suburban Experiment Station, Waltham, MA.

Turner, N. 1949. Control of Common Household Insects. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment
   Station, New Haven, CT. Circular 171, 15 pp.

Metcalf, 1962. Destructive and Useful Insects. In Insects Injurious to Domestic Animals
   (Chapter 20). Fourth Edition. McGraw Hill Book Company, New York, NY. 1088 pp.

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