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Bed Bugs Aren’t Just On Our Beds!

The name “bed bugs” can be a bit deceptive. As anyone with a current or past bed bug infestation knows, the little insects quickly spread throughout your bedroom, then your home, then the structure (if you live in a multi-family dwelling). Why is this?

The answer is a little gross – and complicated. Let’s start with some basic bed bug facts, and work our way towards our answer.

  • Cimex lectularius, or bed bugs, have lived side by side with humans for millennia.
  • Bed bugs are a parasite.
  • Bed bugs can feed only on blood (they are hematophagous).
  • Bed bugs feed primarily at night.

This last detail- that bed bugs feed primarily at night- is what has led to them to be associated with the sleeping places of humans. Bed bugs seek out the warm bodies of their prey, wherever they may be – and at night, this is in our beds.

So how do they spread? Here’s the gross part – bed bug mating can be an aggressive event. The bed bug male essentially puncture the abdomen of the female in order to achieve fertilization. Bed bug males will also continually attempt to mate with any female they come across. This means that if a female were to hang out where they eat – the bed – they would encounter constant violence. Instead, they flee the bed for nearby safe havens – nightstands, bed frames, chairs, clothesbaskets, etc. Then they lay their eggs. This is how a problem that starts with your bed can result in a full-blown infestation.

What can you do about this? The first way to avoid spread is to keep your bed away from walls and furniture – pull it slightly away from the wall and nightstands. Keep your mattress off the floor – an elevated bed frame with “feet” is preferable. We here at Eden have a product we call “climb ups” – these prevent bed bugs from getting onto your bed – those females who have fled but need to come back to feed will be unable to. A bed bug mattress encasement, also available from us, will help keep your mattress from further infestation, and prevent attacks by the bed bugs already living on your mattress.

Lastly – call a professional if you think you have a true bed bug infestation. We can help give you tips, work with you to create a custom bed bug action plan, and help prevent future problems. If you, or an organization you know of, are unable to afford the service, we’re offering a donated service this holiday season – the following link has the details: /blog/post/donated-pest-services.

Thanks for reading!

Eden 

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