ABC Blog

Battling Bed Bugs: A Pest Built to Reproduce

Until recent years, many homeowners and travelers believed that bed bugs were no longer a threat. Thanks to the use of DDT in the ’40s and ’50s, few bed bugs remained in the U.S. until recent years. Unfortunately, this troublesome pest has made a comeback. With the resurgence of bed bug infestations across the nation, many homeowners wonder what makes these pests so hard to eliminate.

What Makes Bed Bugs So Resilient?

Any homeowner who has dealt with a bed bug infestation knows that it can feel as if it’s impossible to get rid of these pests. If you’re facing bed bug problems, it’s important to understand this pest’s lifecycle. Though the bed bug lives a short life, it’s able to reproduce rapidly. This means that infestations can grow out of hand quickly, leaving so many bed bugs behind that it’s very hard to kill them all.

The bed bug’s life is comprised of cycles where it takes blood meals and molts until it becomes an adult, when it may feed on blood regularly for several weeks. Once they’ve reached maturity, female bed bugs lay five eggs a day until they die, meaning that bed bug populations grow by a factor of five every day. The warm climate in Austin also supports the growth of these bugs, which do best in temperatures of at least 70 degrees.

In layman’s terms, every day that a bed bug infestation is left unattended, five times more bed bugs are present than were the previous day. It takes between six and 17 days for eggs to hatch into larvae, so some homeowners who are returning from travel may not even know that they have a bed bug problem during that incubation period. Because of how quickly the bugs can reproduce once they become adults, it’s essential to call in pest control professionals as soon as you notice an infestation.

Managing a Bed Bug Infestation

The key to managing a bed bug infestation is to kill all adults to halt the reproductive cycle and then eliminate all larvae. If you’ve been traveling or hosting international travelers, it’s also important that you determine how the bed bugs entered your home and decontaminate or throw away suitcases, clothing or linens that may be harboring bed bugs. Because bed bugs are so resilient and so well adapted to Texas, most homeowners rely on professional exterminators to take care of bed bug infestations. Call us to make a service request or visit our Bed Bugs page to learn more about your pest control options.

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