Bed Bugs

Bedbugs (or bed bugs) are small nocturnal insects of the family Cimicidae that live by hematophagy, that is by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts.
There are several means by which dwellings can become infested with bedbugs. People can often acquire bedbugs at hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts, as a result of increased domestic and international tourism, and bring them back to their homes in their luggage. They also can pick them up by inadvertently bringing infested furniture or used clothing to their household. If someone is in a place that is severely infested, bedbugs may actually crawl onto and be carried by people's clothing, although this is atypical behavior — except in the case of severe infestations, bedbugs are not usually carried from place to place by people on clothing they are currently wearing. Finally, bedbugs may travel between units in multi-unit dwellings (such as condominiums and apartment buildings), after being originally brought into the building by one of the above routes. This spread between units is dependent in part on the degree of infestation, on the material used to partition units (concrete is a more effective barrier to the spread of the infestation), and whether or not infested items are dragged through common areas while being disposed of, resulting in the shedding of bedbugs and bedbug eggs while being dragged. In some exceptional cases, the detection of bedbug hiding places can be aided by the use of dogs that have been trained to signal finding the insects by their scent much as dogs are trained to find drugs or explosives. A trained team (dog and handler) can detect and pin point a bedbug infestation within minutes. This is a fairly costly service that is not used in the majority of cases, but can be very useful in difficult cases.
Bedbugs are very flat, which allows them to hide in tiny crevices. A crack wide enough to fit the edge of a credit card can harbor bedbugs (even in the ceiling). In the daytime, they tend to stay out of the light, preferring to remain hidden in such places as mattress seams, mattress interiors, bed frames, nearby furniture, carpeting, baseboards, inner walls, tiny wood holes, or bedroom clutter. Bedbugs can settle in the open weave of linen; this will often appear as a gray spindle a centimeter long and a thread wide, with a dark speck in the middle. Bedbugs can be found on their own, but more often congregate in groups. They are not social insects, however, and do not build or stay in nests. These groups of bedbugs are very often found in beds, usually either in the seams of a mattress (usually the seams closest to the sleeper such as those on the edging of a mattress or box spring), in the boxspring, or within the structure of the bed itself. They can also be found in a wide variety of locations in a home, such as behind baseboards, behind a picture frame, within books (near the bed), in telephones, or radios near the bed, and within the folds of curtains. When not feeding, bedbugs are likely to be found hiding in shaded areas such as the seam along which the floor and wall meet, or under the edge of the carpet. One may find a group of bugs in the seams, usually surrounded by black fecal matter and sometimes a reddish brown stain.
Bedbugs are capable of travelling as far as 100 feet to feed, but usually remain close to the host in bedrooms or on sofas where people may sleep. They feed every five to 10 days. The manner in which infestations spread throughout a home or within an apartment building is not entirely understood and differs from case to case.
It is important to inspect all adjacent rooms for infestation, as bedbugs travel easily and quickly along pipes and boards. In treatment, it is important to consider the insides of walls as potential places for bedbug infestation.
Atlantis Pest Management should be contacted immediately if you have observed or suspect an infestation of bedbugs.