Bedbugs are small, brownish oval insects that live on the blood of humans. Adult bedbugs have a flat body about the size of an apple seed. After eating, however, their bodies swell and are reddish in colour.Bedbugs don't fly, but they can move quickly on floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs can lay hundreds of eggs, each about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.
Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, lose their skin five times before reaching maturity and require a blood meal before each shedding. Under favorable conditions, insects can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.Although they are a nuisance, they are not meant to transmit disease.
Here are some tips for managing and preventing bedbug infestations in the future.
- Be careful when traveling. Bedbugs love hotels and many people end up bringing the bed with them in their suitcase. The next time you enter a hotel room, immediately put your luggage in the bathtub. Pull the sheets and look for signs of bedbug droppings and blood. To be extremely careful, keep your luggage in the bathtub during the whole trip, except when it is in use and put your dirty clothes in a bag if you cannot wash them on the spot.
- Vacuum your luggage when you return. After returning from a trip, vacuum your luggage and wash your clothes immediately before putting them in your room. You can also keep your luggage away from your bedroom if you don't need it anytime soon.
- Throw away your mattress? Seal it first. If you have decided to throw away your mattress and / or box spring because of the infestation, be sure to seal it completely before transporting it to your home! They make special bags for this. You don't want bedbugs popping out of the mattress anywhere in your house when you take it outside or come back inside in one way or another while the mattress is sitting on the sidewalk .
- Inspect before buying used furniture. If you are buying used furniture, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for signs of bedbugs. You could inadvertently bring in a Trojan horse!