Bed Bugs FAQ’s

F.A.Q.’s About Bed Bugs

The following are some of the frequently asked questions and answers relating to bed bugs, that we get asked by many of our clients at Bed Bug Exterminator Pro in Toronto.

How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?

The symptoms caused by bed bug bites aren’t typically long lasting. Allergic reactions might remain for a few days or in some cases, a few weeks. Most commonly, bed bug bites disappear in less than 3 days but there have been rare occasions where bed bug bites took three weeks to disappear. Usually scratching the bed bug bite will cause tears and bleeding, in effect taking the bed bug bite longer to disappear.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Bed bug bites appear as itchy and red bites on the skin. They usually appear on the shoulders or arms, however they can appear anywhere on the body that is exposed while sleeping. One of the most distinct features of bed bug bites is that they usually happen in rows and are usually not isolated. To read more please check out our Bed Bug Bites page.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live?

Enough research hasn’t been done on bed bugs to determine exactly how long they live. According to samples that have been conducted, adult bed bugs have been reported to survive for as long as five months without feeding. In cold temperatures, when their metabolisms have been slowed down, they have been reported to live as long as one year without food. New born bedbugs, called nymphs, require food within a few days of hatching, otherwise they will die.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are parasitic insects belonging to the cimicid family. These insects feed on blood. In Canada and North America, the commonly found bed bug is Cimex lectularius, which solely feeds on human blood.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites – How to Treat Bed Bug Bites?

Severe allergic reactions can be treated with an antihistamine, epinephrine, or corticosteroid injection. Infections are usually treated with an antibiotic, whereas antihistamine liquid or pill can get rid of the itch. However, most bed bug bites are not severe and can be treated with over the counter anti-itch creams. Doctor attention is not required for the majority of bed bug bites.

How Big Are Bed Bugs?

Adult bed bugs are as small as 5-6mm, but they can swell up to 10mm (1cm) after feeding. Bed bug nymphs (babies) are as small as 1-4mm.

How Do Bed Bugs Spread – How Do Bed Bugs Travel?

Bed bugs can travel into households via ordinary items such as suitcases, bags, commercial vacuum cleaners, furniture, camping gear, clothes, used electronics or other items picked up from the street or bought from someone else who had bed bugs, etc. If you are ever moving any such objects into your home, make sure they are not infested by giving each item a thorough inspection. If you suspect that an item may be infested with bed bugs, take it to a professional dry cleaner near you for cleaning.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs?

You can prevent bed bugs from hitchhiking into your home by carefully inspecting each item you bring home, and if you suspect that bed bugs got into one of your belongings, take it to the dry cleaners first and have them professionally eradicate any bed bugs before bringing the item(s) home. If you are coming back from camping, a hotel, motel, hostel, or a movie theatre inspect your belongings and your clothing to make sure no bedbugs enter your home.

How Common Are Bed Bugs in Canada?

Bed bugs are quite a common problem in Canada nowadays as they are found across all 10 provinces and 3 territories. They do not choose, poor over rich or dirty over clean homes, anyone can pick-up bedbugs as they are after human blood and aren’t picky. Many people are surprised to find out that bed bugs are able to survive in cold climates for long periods of time without food. Bed bugs have been reported to survive in cold climates without food for up to one year! Toronto and Vancouver are the most bed bug infested cities in Canada.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come from?

These bugs can be found in all places where it is convenient for them to feed. As such, households, hotels, hostels, motels, commercial buildings, public transports, are all some of the places where they can come from. Bed bugs are not picky and are only after human blood. They do not care if you are dirty or clean, rich or poor.

Where Do Bed Bugs Live?

Bed bugs reside in small places and dark crevices. These areas will usually be near a place where the host sleeps, such as the bed or the couch. If you are searching around for these insects in your house then it is advisable that you look in all possible crevices and holes for bed bugs. A professional bed bug exterminator will be able to locate bed bugs better than a non-professional so it is recommended to seek professional help as soon as you suspect you have a bed bug problem.

Where Do Bed Bugs Bite?

Bed bug bites are generally on the shoulders and arms, although they are also known to bite elsewhere on the body that is exposed to them. Other areas where bed bugs tend to bite include the face, neck, and back. They bite their human host in most cases while they are sleeping in their bed.

What to Do If You Have Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs can occur in any residence regardless of how clean or well-maintained it may be. This is mostly because bed bug infestations are independent of clutter or sanitary conditions. In case of an infestation, it is strongly recommended that you consult a professional bed bug exterminator near you as bed bugs are really hard to get rid of by DIY products and methods.

Are Bed Bugs a Health Hazard?

Bed bugs aren’t found to cause or transmit and diseases. They can, however, cause a considerable amount of annoyance due to loss of sleep and itching. Excessive scratching can lead to bruising and bleeding. Some individuals are known to have allergic reactions to bed bug bites.

Are Bed Bug Bites Itchy?

Yes, bed bug bites cause significant itching. In some cases, individuals injected with bed bug saliva can scratch excessively which leads to further problems such as skin breaks and bruises. This is why refraining from scratching excessively is advised in case of a bed bug bite. Over the counter anti-itch creams can do wonders when it comes to itch relief.

Can You See Bed Bugs?

Although bed bugs are large enough to be seen by the naked eye, it is still recommended that you use a magnifying glass while you are searching around your house for them as bed bug nymphs and other signs such as bed bug feces can usually go unnoticed to the naked eye.

Are Bed Bugs Contagious?

Bed bugs are not an illness; they are mere insects. As such, they aren’t contagious. However, bed bug infestations can indeed spread from one place to another quite easily. Therefore, despite the fact that they may not be contagious, it is still advisable to take necessary precautions for preventing them from spreading any further.

Do Bed Bugs Have Wings?

Bed bugs may have some similarities with their blood-sucking counterparts such as mosquitoes; however, these insects don’t have wings.

Do Bed Bugs Fly?

Since bed bugs don’t have wings, it is not possible for them to fly.

Do Bed Bugs Jump?

Other wingless pests including fleas find it easier to jump over long distances. However, when it comes to bed bugs, these insects are incapable of jumping. They do move from one host to another, but this is generally accomplished via crawling.

Can You Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Despite how bad an infestation may get, it can always be treated. Of course, extreme measures may need to be taken in such instances such as ongoing treatment from a professional bed bug exterminator over periods of several months. But bed bug infestations can be gotten rid of one way or another. It is highly recommended that you consider professionals for help in dealing with bed bugs. In most cases a single treatment from an experienced bed bug professional will get rid of your bed bug issue.

Do Bed Bug Bites Hurt?

Bed bug bites generally don’t cause any painful sensations, though they do itch considerably. Furthermore, they aren’t known to spread or cause infection. The bites can turn into itchy, small red welts however, that are similar to bites from mosquitoes but usually happen in bunches and in rows.

How Fast do Bed Bugs Spread?

A single bed bug can lay up to five eggs in a single day and a bed bug’s life span is roughly ten months, but some live up to one year. Which means that a single bed bug can create up to 1825 new bed bugs in its lifetime. This means that bed bugs can spread very quickly.

Where can I watch a bed bug extermination video?

There are many informative and educational videos online about bed bugs. If you want to watch our quick video on bed bug infestations you can view it on our home page www.bedbugexterminatorpro.ca. This video highlights what the government of Ontario suggests you do when you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home.

Should you choose bed bug exterminators using heat?

Bed bug heat treatment is the most effective bed bug extermination option available. However, it does come with a hefty price as it is also the most expensive bed bug extermination option. If your budget allows, heat treatment is your best option for exterminating 100% of all bed bug infestations. To read more about bed bug heat treatment services check out our bed bug heat treatment section.

What are the most popular bed bug extermination options?

Once a bed bug infestation is confirmed by our one of our certified bed bug exterminators or K-9’s, you will have 3 available bed bug extermination options. These include:
Insecticide bed bug treatment, green-steam bed bug treatment, and heat treatment.
To read more about our bed bug treatment options check out our professional bed bug treatment page.

Should I attempt do-it-yourself bed bug treatment methods before calling a bed bug exterminator?

At Bed Bug Exterminator Pro we never suggest to our clients to take matters into their own hands because bed bugs are notorious for being resilient and difficult to get rid of. We get calls from many Canadians who call us urgently because their bed bug infestation got out of hand after attempting to get rid of the problem with DIY products/methods. In most cases taking matters into your own hands without having the proper equipment, tools, experience and know-how will only scatter bed bugs around your home and make it more difficult and expensive to exterminate them completely. If you still want to attempt to get rid of bed bugs by yourself you can read this helpful article we put together called How to get rid of bed bugs.

Sources

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise, September 15, 2009

American Academy of Dermatology, Bedbugs: Diagnosis, treatment, and outcome.

Goddard, J; deShazo, “Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) and clinical consequences of their bites”. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009.

Centers for Disease Control and prevention, Parasites – Bed Bugs, January 2013

Megan Scudellari, Scientific American, a division of Nature America, Inc., 2011

Pest World, Bed Bug facts and statistics

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