Recent years bed bugs became a huge problem in Toronto and the GTA, so it is not very uncommon to find out a bed bug infestation in your home. However, you should know some facts about bed bugs in order to exterminate them. For example, do you know how often bed bugs need to feed? To answer this question you need to know following: wherein the lifecycle the bed bug is, availability of the host, indoor conditions and population size among others. Generally speaking, bed bugs do not have a strict feeding schedule and tend to feed more on a per-need basis. How much a bed bug feeds at any time may depend on when it last fed and how much blood it consumed.
Bed Bug Feeding Schedule
Ideally, a bed bug will feed 5 times from the first nymph to adulthood and then repeated once it becomes an adult. The bed bug nymph feeds about once a week, and once in each stage of its development. The nymph goes through five stages until adulthood and cannot moult and proceed to the next stage without a blood meal. Bed bugs in environment where food is scarce will take a lot longer to mature. In short, nymphs need to feed once a week and can only survive for a few weeks without a blood meal.
Under ideal conditions, adult bed bugs will feed every 3 to 10 days. Again, the regularly depends on the availability of food and even indoor temperatures and other conditions. Adult bed bugs can survive up to six months without feeding. The bed bug enters a kind of hibernation state if food is scarce which helps it survive long periods without a blood meal.
Female bed bugs cannot produce viable eggs without feeding. The female will retreat to its hiding place immediately after feeding to mate or lay eggs. Under ideal conditions, the female will lay up to 5 eggs per day and between 200 and 500 in her lifespan. This implies that the availability of a blood meal directly impacts the size and extent of the infestation.
Other Bed Bug Feeding Habits
One of the tell-tale signs of bed bug bites is linear bite marks. Bed bugs feed three times, moving from one spot to the next almost in a breakfast, lunch and dinner format.
Bed bug saliva also contains anesthetic and coagulant agents which stop you from feeling pain and prolong the clotting time respectively. The coagulant allows free blood flow for the 3 to 10 minutes the bed bug typically requires to feed and the aesthetic ensures that you never feel the bite while you sleep.
Bed bugs will also only feed on a live host and never a dead host or spilt blood. They also subsist only on blood and do not forage or consume any other food except blood. They will feed on pests, pets and other warm-blooded animals in the absence of humans.
Are Bed Bug Bites Dangerous?
Bed bug bites are harmless for the most part save for the itching and scratching that comes with it. Most people do not show any reactions to bed bug bites. A minority may develop severe reactions to the bite including open sores and respiratory problems. There are also reported cases of psychological issues caused by bed bugs including anxiety, withdrawal, depression and insomnia.
These pests are not known to spread diseases. Bed bug bites usually resolve on their own in a few days although antihistamines and topical creams may help to ease the symptoms.
Hire an Exterminator to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Hire a licensed bed bug exterminator in Toronto to get rid of bed bugs. This is one of the most difficult infestations to deal with. Many of the pesticides that were effective for treating bed bugs in the past are now illegal. The few with strong active ingredients that are left are restricted to licensed professionals such as exterminators.
DIY bed bug treatments have a high failure rate. The pests hide deep in crevices and appliances, reproduce effectively and are impervious to most household and over-the-counter pesticides. Only a professional with can deal with the pest problem effectively and permanently and take measures to prevent a future outbreak.