Bed bugs have made a comeback in Toronto recently and seem to be the scourge of people everywhere including the cities. People have several questions about bed bugs. Where did bed bugs come from? They also want to know how long can bed bugs live without feeding. Is it worth waiting and isolating a room instead of having a professional bed bug treatment?
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that are about a few centimetres across. Their source of food is blood. They make their meals on the blood of humans and animals. They will eat on a semi regular basis but have been known to go a long time in between meals, consequently if individual have no bed bug bites does not mean they are free from bed bugs.
They have traditionally been found in developing countries but most recently they have been spreading rapidly throughout the US and Canada. Frequently they travel in luggage which explains their spread from place to place. One of the unique things about bed bugs is that they can go several weeks without a blood meal. Bed bugs will digest a small amount of blood when they feed. Laboratory experiments with bed bugs show that they can go from 20 to 400 days without feeding.
Younger bedbug varieties or nymphs require feeding more often than do older species of bed bugs. Older bed bugs according to experiments, have lived as long as 400 days when the temperature is low. Consequently, individuals who have not been bitten by bedbugs do not know for certain that they don’t have them. Feeding of the bed bugs is irregular.
The best way to determine whether you have bed bugs is to notice a sweet musty smell. You should also look for the presence of rust colored stains on bedding. The bed bugs frequently live in the seams and crevices of mattresses. An insecticide and laundering in hot, soapy water should rid you of your bed bug infestation.