Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown insects about the size of an apple seed. They are round and flat or swollen and oval after they have eaten a blood meal. Bed bugs only feed on human blood and have been found to survive up to one year without food. Night time is when bed bugs are most active and searching for a host to feed on.
Mattress seams, sheets, furniture, cracks and crevices, baseboards and electrical outlets are often where bed bugs are found most. Often found in motels and hotels, bed bugs can travel from room to room and even follow guests home by clinging to luggage.
History of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have existed for thousands of years and are found throughout the world. There are several species of bed bugs, but the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is thrives well in human. Bed bugs were almost eliminated in the modern world due to certain pesticides such as DDT. After the ban of such products, bed bug infestations have increased all over the world. Bed bugs have a great worldwide distribution, due to increased means of global travel; humans are a large source of bed bug transportation. Humans can unknowingly transport bed bugs in luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture. While Bed Bugs can survive almost anywhere, they are most likely to be found in small cracks near a bed or box springs and bed sheets.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation in a Hotel Room
Seeing live bed bugs crawling around on the bed or furniture is the first giveaway to identifying a bed bug infestation. However, most times identifying bed bugs is not that simple. Fortunately, bed bugs leave other signs of their presence. As bed bugs feed, they grow larger. Similar to a lobster or a snake, bed bugs will shed their outer skins/shells. Bed bug case skins can be found anywhere in a hotel room. Most often they will be found on the mattress, box spring, under the bed, nightstand or headboard. After consuming a blood meal, bed bugs will defecate. Bed bug droppings, or fecal matter, will be found all over mattresses and box springs. Bed bug fecal matter appears as brown or black stains absorbed into fabrics. If a bed bug defecates on a night table or hard surface, the droppings will appear as small black mounds.
What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Apart from these visible signs of a bed bug infestation, bed bug bites are also a clear giveaway that bed bugs are present in the hotel room. According to experts, most of the population does not have a reaction to bed bug bites. Bed bugs crawl onto a host and use a small needle like appendage to pierce the skin. The bed bug saliva contains a compound that creates a numbing effect on the host so they do not notice the bite. Bed bug bites themselves are painless due to this compound. The pain and itching is caused by the host’s reaction to the compound in the form of an allergic reaction. When bed bugs shed their skins after a blood meal, they are left with a brand new needle to use on their next victim.
The bite marks can appear within minutes, hours or days after a bed bug bite. Most commonly, bed bug bites appear in small clusters or lines of bites on exposed skin. A single bed bug will likely bite its host once or twice, but no more. When a host has been bitten dozens of times, it is likely that a significant infestation has caused these bed bug bite injuries and that there are many bugs in the room. During the night, when a host is sleeping and still, many bed bugs will approach exposed skin and begin to feed. Bed bugs will crawl up to the host in a line and bite. The classic signature of bed bug bites is the straight line of bites appearing. Depending on the particular sensitivities of the victim, bed bug injuries can be rather mild or become severely swollen and painful.
How Serious are Bed Bug?
If you have traveled and brought bed bugs home with you, you could be facing a serious problem. Female bed bugs can deposit up to 5 eggs a day and lay thousands of eggs in their lifetime. Under ideal conditions, bed bugs can survive without food for up to one year all while laying eggs and crawling around your home. Due to the nature of their feeding habits, and shedding their needle during each shedding process, these pests are not well known carriers of diseases. Regardless of the rare instances of disease, bed bug injuries are incredibly painful and can cause permanent scar and skin discoloration.
Bed bug infestations are notoriously difficult to eliminate from a home. The cost of effective bed bug treatments can be thousands of dollars. Heat treatment is considered the best method of elimination of bed bugs. A heat treatment consists of specialized equipment being brought into your home and raising the temperature to over 125 degrees. This treatment is expensive and can damage your personal belongings.
How to prevent a bed bug infestation
Keeping your home clean and free of clutter gives bed bugs fewer places to hide and infest. Bed bugs are experts at hiding and can be difficult to identify without proper education. This is not to say that bed bugs only infest cluttered or unclean homes. Bed bugs will infest anywhere they can find a human to feed on. Bed bugs can infest a clean home just as fast as a dirty one. However, the cleaner your home, the earlier you may be able to identify evidence of a bed bug infestation beginning to take hold.
Contact Bed Bug Attorney
If you have recently traveled and were injured by bed bug bites, contact our office to discuss your potential claim. Visit www.bedbuglaw.com/do-i-have-a-case to upload photos, videos and a summary of what happened to you. Once received, we can begin the process of helping you file a claim. Thank you for contacting Bed Bug Law and we look forward to speaking with you soon.