Though they were thought absent from the U.S. for the past 50 years, bed bugs have made a big comeback across the nation. Much to the chagrin of travelers and homeowners, these pests can establish colonies quickly. For homeowners in the Bryan-College Station area, getting rid of these troublesome pests can seem impossible. Before you tackle a bed bug infestation, you’ll need to know a little about how this pest is built.
Why Are Bed Bugs So Hard to Eliminate?
One of the big reasons bed bugs have shown up in the news so much recently is that they’re very difficult to get rid of once they’ve established a colony. It’s the bed bug’s unique anatomy that allows this pest to establish itself so quickly and cause problems for homeowners.
These flat, oval-shaped, reddish-brown bugs often make their way into homes via the luggage and clothing of travelers. Once they reach maturity, bed bugs can live between 12 and 18 months. Female adults lay one to 12 eggs every day with the eggs hatching six to 17 days after being laid. After hatching, the bed bug larvae must take a blood meal to molt. A total of five molting cycles are completed before the bed bug reaches maturity. Adult bed bugs continue to feed on human hosts throughout their lifetimes.
In addition to its many molting cycles, the bed bug is also a bother to humans because of how its body is designed to handle feeding. During a blood meal, the bed bug’s body expands to allow the pest to take in more blood. The body becomes long and engorged before the bed bug finishes feeding and moves away from its human host.
Turning the Heat Up on Bed Bugs
If your home or apartment is infested with bed bugs, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. In most cases, it’s necessary to work with a professional pest control technician who can assess the infestation and take action. One of your best options is steam or heat elimination, which doesn’t require chemicals. Instead, bugs are killed with steam heated to at least 115 degrees.
Heat treatment is also the best way to get rid of bed bugs that have infested clothing, linens or luggage. Any small items in your home that are infested should be washed in warm water and dried with heated air. Heat treatment kills both bed bugs and larvae to ensure that colonies won’t establish themselves again.