Most Woodlands Homeowners are not Familiar with Bedbugs
Most of Woodlands, Texas homeowners having never a bedbug. Even among pest control professionals, a bed bug spotting was a rarity. Prior to World War II, in the United States bed bug infestations were quite common. However, as hygiene improved the bugs disappeared, especially with the use of DDT in the 1940s and 1950s.
Recently bed bugs have emerged again in the U.S., with increasing encounters in homes, hotels, apartments, motels, dormitories, health care facilities, schools, shelters and Woodlands area movie theaters laundries/dry cleaners, office buildings and furniture rental outlets. Increased international travel and immigration are considered to also be contributors to the resurgence of bed bugs in The Woodlands TX. and in the U.S.
Additionally, the use of bedbug pesticides by pest control companies that are less effective and modern pest control practices are considered to be contributing factors.
Description and Habits of Bed Bugs for The Woodlands Residents
Small and flattened insects with a brownish color, bed bugs feed solely on the blood of animals. Other species of bedbugs tend to feed on wild hosts, such as birds and bats.
The adult bed bugs have oval and flattened bodies, are about 3/16 inches in length and are reddish-brown in color. Sometimes they are mistaken for ticks or cockroaches. They are not able to fly, but have the ability to move quickly on floors, ceilings, walls and other surfaces. The female bed bug lays their eggs in secluded places, and during a lifetime can deposit 2 or more eggs on a daily basis. These eggs are very tiny and whitish in color, making them difficult to identify on surfaces without magnification. In fact, each egg is about the size of a speck of dust.
Quite resilient, bed bug nymphs are able to survive for months without feeding, with adults being able to survive for more than a year. Therefore, in unoccupied premises they are not likely to diminish. Their preference is to feed on humans, but will also bite other warm-blooded animals such as rodents, dogs, cats, and birds. They hide close to places where persons sleep in the daytime and are mainly active during the night. They are able to fit into tiny crevices such as box springs, mattresses, headboards and bed frames, because of their flattened bodies. They do not make nests as do ants or bees, but usually gather in habitual hiding places.
The dried excrement of the bugs helps to identify these areas, as they are marked by dark spots and stains. In addition to the presence of eggs and eggshells, there may also be evidence of the brownish molted skins of the nymphs that are maturing, or even the bugs themselves. Yet another sign may be rust or red blood smears on mattresses or bed sheets, which results from the crushing of an engorged bed bug. A “buggy” smell indicates a heavy infestation, but this should not be relied on to locate them as the odor is hardly apparent.
Bed bugs tend to hide in close proximity to where they feed but will crawl several feet to reach a meal. Although an infestation initially is around beds, they travel throughout the bedroom to any crevice or protected location, and may even infest adjacent rooms or apartments.