This bug probably received its common name of bed bug from its close association with human sleeping beds where it often seeks refuge during daylight, only to come out to feed on the bed's occupants at night. The bed bug is an ectoparasite of primarily humans but will also attack poultry and other mammals and birds. It was introduced into the United States with the early colonists. It is found throughout the United States and the world. Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about 3/16 to 1/5 inch long. Their flat shape enables them to readily hide in cracks and crevices. The body becomes more elongate, swollen, and dark red after a blood meal. Bed bugs have a beaklike piercing-sucking mouthpart system. The adults have small, stubby, nonfunctional wing pads. Newly hatched nymphs are nearly colorless, becoming brownish as they mature. Nymphs have the general appearance of adults. Eggs are white and about 1/32 inch long. Bed bugs superficially resemble a number of closely related insects (family Cimicidae), such as bat bugs (Cimex adjunctus), chimney swift bugs (Cimexopsis spp.), and swallow bugs (Oeciacus spp.). A microscope is needed to examine the insect for distinguishing characteristics, which often requires the skills of an entomologist. In Ohio, bat bugs are far more common than bed bugs.
Bat Bug compared with Bed Bug
Bat bugs typically feed while the host is sleeping. The bug pierces the skin with its extended mouth parts, and it injects saliva as it probes for blood vessels and feeds on blood. Immature bugs can acquire a blood meal in a few minutes, whereas an adult will feed for ten to fifteen minutes. They then crawl to a hiding place to digest their meal. When they are hungry, bugs will again travel to find a host.
Humans experience varying degrees of immunological reactions to bug bites, but a welt or lump at the site of the bug bite and severe itching are the most common reactions. Bug bites cause a colorless welt that may become inflamed; in contrast, mosquito- and flea-bites have dark red centers. Often, a series of two to three welts occur in close proximity to each other. Scratching the welts may cause them to become infected. Discomfort from bug bites may last a week or more. Bat bugs apparently are not natural vectors of human pathogens.
Bat bugs feed on all of the common bats in Ohio, but they are most frequently associated with the big and little brown bats, which roost in colonies. Although bats are their primary host, these bugs also may feed on alternative hosts including birds and rodents. Bat bugs will bite humans in the absence of their primary hosts. Bat bugs hide in dark, protected sites and they prefer tight, narrow retreats. Bat bugs typically are found in cracks and crevices in bat roosting areas, rather than on the hosts themselves, but they make repeated visits to the host to obtain a blood meal. The main means of dispersal for bat bugs is phoresy (hitching a ride on a bat to a new location). Bat bugs enter homes by clinging to the fur of their host animal. Typically, bat bug infestations originate from bat populations established in attics, wall voids, unused chimneys, or uninhabited portions of the house. Bat bugs typically do not wander far from occupied bat roosting sites where they have easy access to food. If their normal hosts are eliminated or vacate the area, bat bugs will seek other sources of food and may crawl about and invade living areas within the house. In several cases where bats had been recently excluded (1-4 weeks) from a home or apartment, bat bugs were observed crawling out of either cracks or openings in the ceiling; or from a wall void next to a window. These bugs apparently were harboring well above floor level. Bat bugs may eventually move to harborage sites that are much closer to sleeping humans. These potential harborages include cracks and crevices in the mattress, bedding, and bed frame. Bat bugs also may seek harborage within gaps in woodwork, trim, and furniture, or inside drapery pleats, or behind peeling wallpaper, picture frames, and wall hangings.
There are a few things that you will have to do when you are trying to get rid of bed bugs. Prep work will be the key in making sure that you do not have a reoccurance of bed bug infestion after the extermination process. After your schedule your service you will recieve a prep list sheet. It is important that you preform the tasks involved to avoid futher infestation and repeat infestation.
First grab a flash light and check the seams on your mattress. You will be looking fecal stains. The look like black dots that are smeared. We suggest starting with the mattress because that is where people sleep and are unconcious. While people are in a state of unconciousness the bed bugs feed on their blood while the host in unaware.
Think of when your first saw the bed bugs. What was going on at the house. Did you have someone over? Did you go on vacation or travel recently? Chances are they were introduced because of something similar.
Winter has come! Now is the time when our desire for indoor warmth increases. Rodents, squirrels and raccoons also like to sit by the fire and warm their hands! Call us today if you hear scurrying or scratching in your home.