Facts about bedbugs
What are bedbugs?
A bed bug is a skin beetle and not a louse. A fully grown bed bug is brown in color, about 5mm long and completely flat when not feeding. A bedbug that has sucked blood becomes almost twice as big and has a cone-shaped body.
A female wallflower can lay 1-5 eggs a day and can lay 200-500 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are white, cone-shaped and about 1mm long. It takes about 10 days for an egg to hatch at normal indoor temperatures. In colder weather, this process can take longer.
A bed bug goes through 5 different stages before becoming a fully grown individual. For it to grow and shed its skin, it must eat at least once. It takes about 5 weeks for a nymph to become fully grown. A bed bug cannot reproduce until it reaches the adult stage. Bedbugs cannot reproduce on their own.
A bedbug does not need to eat every night but needs to eat at least every 10 days to continue to reproduce.
Bedbug bites can cause a red and very itchy rash.
Where do bedbugs live?
A common misconception is that bedbugs are in the walls. The English name ‘bed bugs’ is more accurate as they prefer to settle in beds and other upholstered furniture. They can also take up residence behind bedside tables, paintings and moldings near where we lie or sit for long periods of time.
Bedbugs are not inherently dangerous and do not spread disease. Bedbug bites, on the other hand, can cause tremendous itching and discomfort. If you have never been bitten by a bedbug before, the first reaction can take up to 10-14 days. It is important to note that very many people do not react to bedbug bites. People who have had reactions in the past may also stop reacting.
Bedbugs can run relatively fast but cannot fly or jump. Thanks to their flat body shape, bedbugs have the ability to hide extremely well and can therefore be very difficult to find with the naked eye.
Bedbugs are true survivors and often tolerate cold better than heat. Trying to get rid of bedbugs yourself is often doomed to failure as dealing with these pests requires knowledge and experience. It is therefore important to always contact a decontamination company if you know you have bedbugs in your home.
What do bedbugs eat?
Bedbugs are bloodsuckers and live close to humans. Bedbugs can feed and breed on animal blood but are very poor at penetrating fur and therefore prefer humans.
Bedbugs prefer to be active at night but can emerge during the day to feed. After a meal, it quickly runs back to its sheltered nest.
If food is not available, bed bugs can hibernate and survive for up to 18 months. However, this is not a common occurrence in our experience.
Getting rid of bedbugs
Trying to get rid of bedbugs yourself is very difficult and not recommended.
There are a number of different decontamination methods used by pest control companies to decontaminate bedbugs. The following methods are very effective but usually need to be combined for the best results: heat, steam, cold, silicon, mattress covers (specially designed for bedbugs) and poison.
If you decide to throw away furniture, it is very important to talk to your pest control company first!
Did you know that...
A full-grown bedbug is about
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It may take up to
The sooner the better!
If bedbugs are detected at an early stage, it is usually very simple and easy to decontaminate. If the bedbugs have been settling and trying for a long time, there is a risk that the decontamination process will be long and expensive.
Signs of bedbugs
- Recurrent itchy bites on the body
- Black dots on sheets resembling ink stains
- Blood stains on the sheets. The blood stains are not from the bite itself, as many people think, but are caused by accidentally crushing a blood-filled bedbug.
- Something crawling in the bed. Take a picture with good sharpness and send it to us for assessment.
Studies show that about 30-40% of the population does NOT react to bedbug bites.
The safest way to find out whether or not you have been affected by bedbugs is to hire a bedbug dog from a company with extensive experience and knowledge of bedbugs. Want to book a dog search right away? Email or call us.
…not all bites are caused by bedbugs and not all black spots on furniture are bedbug droppings.
How do you get bedbugs into your home?
It can sometimes be difficult to find out with certainty how you got bedbugs into your home. Bedbugs can exist and thrive in all sorts of places where people sit or lie for short or long periods of time. They are good at hitchhiking in our clothes, bags or other belongings and can therefore spread relatively easily and quickly between different locations.
Here are the most common causes of bedbug infestation:
- From vacations, staying in hotels, Airbnb, or sleeping cars on trains.
- Via a spread from a neighboring apartment or another apartment in the stairwell.
- From the workplace. People working in healthcare and in other people’s homes are particularly vulnerable.
- You buy a house where the previous owner had bedbugs.
- From a used piece of furniture.
Have you found a bedbug in your home?
The first thing to do is to get a professional assessment of your find. The easiest and fastest way to have your find assessed is to take a close-up picture with good focus and send it to us via text message. You will get an answer within an hour if it is a bedbug or something else. You can find our contact details further down the page or under the contact us tab.
Once you have confirmed your findings, you need to get in touch with a remediation company.
This is what you need to do:
- If you live in rented accommodation, contact your landlord.
- If you live in a condominium, contact your housing association.
- If you live in a house, contact your home insurance company.
Under the Environmental Code and the Land Code, it is the property owner’s responsibility to remove vermin and pests. The division of responsibilities between landlord and tenant is regulated by the Land Code. As a landlord, you are obliged to take measures to eradicate vermin and pests in residential apartments in your property.
Remember that as a tenant or right-of-occupancy holder, you have an obligation to notify the property owner of a confirmed pest problem in your home. In cases where you fail to address the problem or inform the property owner and the infestation spreads to more apartments, you may be liable for damages to the property owner.
In many cases, you may need a professional assessment to confirm a bedbug infestation. We can help with this.
Book a search dog with Quality Detection Dogs!
We help both individuals and businesses with pest control.