BED BUGS

Identifying bed bugs
The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is the species most adapted to living with humans. Bed begs are parasites that feed on humans. Often mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches, adult bed bugs are reddish-brown or mahogany in color and flat. Female bed bugs have a round body, while males are more oval shaped. Though their anatomy includes primitive wings, bed bugs cannot fly. They grow to about 1/4″ long and 1/8″ wide, or about the size of an apple seed.

Bed bug “hitchhikers”
Bed bugs do not fly or jump, but can move rapidly over floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces. Well known for their hitchhiking capabilities, bed bugs are brought into an environment from the outside and are often unknowingly transported and relocated as people and personal items travel.

Bed bugs can easily hitch rides on items such as:

* luggage
* backpacks
* briefcases
* clothing
* shoes
* handbags
* used furniture (chairs, couches, dressers, beds)

Hiding spots for bed bugs:

* seams of mattresses and box springs
* furniture such as bed frames, headboards, night stands, and dressers
* items such as lamps, clocks, telephones, etc.
* flooring, carpets, baseboards, and wood trim
* curtains and upholstery
* wallpaper and picture frames
* electrical switches and outlets
* clothing, clutter or objects near a bed
* sofas or chairs used for sleeping or long periods of rest

Habitat for bed bugs
Bed bugs are not the result of someone’s social status or cleanliness so no one is immune to getting them. Bed bugs are found anywhere people live and congregate and infestations have occurred in many different types of facilities, including:

* apartments/condos
* single-family homes
* hotels/motels
* schools/college dorms
* homeless shelters
* healthcare facilities
* retail stores/businesses
* public venues (e.g. movie theaters)
* various modes of transportation

Bed bug feeding
Bed bugs do not attach to hair or skin or live on people like lice, but generally come out at night to prey on their hosts and feed on any skin exposed while sleeping. Humans are the preferred host, but they will feed on other hosts, such as poultry, mice, rats, canaries, dogs and cats.


Bed Bug feeding on human

Bed bugs feed by piercing the skin with an elongated beak through which they withdraw blood. Their saliva contains a numbing chemical that prevents the host from feeling the bite and they also administer an anti-coagulant when they bite, allowing the blood to flow more freely. Bed bugs feed from 3–10 minutes and consume up to 3 times their body weight in a single feeding. Immediately after feeding, they retreat to their hiding spot to digest their meal. Bed bugs generally feed every 2 weeks and can live up to a year without feeding.

Identifying bed bug bites
A single bed bug can bite a dozen or more times in a night. Symptoms after being bitten vary with each individual, but many develop an itchy red welt or localized swelling. 50% of bite victims have little or no reaction to bed bugs, some reactions are delayed, and some bites can cause allergic reactions or rashes. Though bed bugs do not transmit disease, they can take a real emotional toll on their victims, causing discomfort, sleeplessness, anxiety, stress, and embarrassment.

How does Gunter Pest Management treat for Bed Bugs?
Rather than using harsh chemicals, sprays, or “bug bombs” to treat Bed Bugs, Gunter uses the proven effectiveness of heat treatments to kill Bed Bugs. Not only is this the most effective method, it’s also the most environmentally friendly!
Gunter’s technicians increase the temperature of the infested room or area to levels that are lethal to Bed Bugs; all stages die instantly at 122 degrees (eggs, larvae, and adults). In order to assure that every crack and crevice reaches lethal temperature, our heaters generate 135 degrees Fahrenheit and we hold the temperature for a minimum of half an hour.
We administer the heat using high velocity fans which are focused on crucial spots where bed bugs live. This eliminates bed bugs in all areas of the structure and its contents.

A distinct advantage of heat is that, unlike chemical treatments, heat can penetrate cracks and crevices and inaccessible areas where bed bugs reside. Wireless transmitters feed a remote monitoring station to assure every area involved in the treatment reaches lethal temperatures. For effective use of high temperatures to control bed bug populations it is essential to know the survival characteristics and behavior of Bed Bugs at various temperatures and exposure times. Also important is the rate of penetration of lethal temperatures on different types of materials within the structure being treated. Bed Bugs are stimulated by a rise in air temperature and tend to forage or feed as air temperatures rise near 100F to 115F. This draws Bed Bugs out of harborage areas and towards heated zones positioning them closer to areas where they will encounter lethal heat and farther from possible escape routes. The gradual rise in temperature never triggers an escape response; rather the bed bugs seek the closest thermal refuge and die within that arena. Ultimate elimination takes place when air temperatures reach 135F and our technicians manipulate the contents of the room exposing the last few refuge areas, proving fatal for any bed bugs within those locations.