How Long Does it Take for a Full Bed Bug Infestation?

Written by susanne koenig
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How Long Does it Take for a Full Bed Bug Infestation?
Bed Bug Infestations Can Happen Rather Quickly (bed and breakfast image by feisty from Fotolia.com)

The population of bedbugs are doubling each year in the UK and the US. This is because a bed bug infestation is almost impossible to discern until it's too late.

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History

The old children's bedtime warning, "Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" seemed like a quaint warning and not on par with reality, since many people hadn't ever seen or heard of a bedbug. Times have changed. As of 2010, reports of bedbug infestations have risen 71 per cent over the past two years alone, in what most pest control experts have labelled a pandemic infestation of the 1/4 inch long parasitic creatures. Epidemiologist who specialise in bedbugs state that the high number of bedbugs in recent times is due to travel.

Time Frame

Bedbug females are able to produce more than 400 eggs, laying them inside mattresses, sofas, cracks in moulding, and in clothing. This means that a full infestation is extremely quick. Once a bedbug is visible, it means that you have hundreds more eggs waiting to hatch to take its place.

Identification

Bedbugs are a 1/4 long and resemble fleas. Usually people are not aware of their presence until they are bit and red rashes and welts appear on their skin. The bugs most resemble a flat, broadened tick. Bedbugs which have recently been feeding appear bright red in colour from the pigmentation of human blood.

Signs of Infestation

Aside from marks upon the skin, bedbugs are visible by the fecal matter left behind in material, most notably in mattresses. There will be small brown stains on the mattress's surface where they have excreted.

Prevention/Solution

Bedbugs will die in temperatures over 48.9 degrees C, so wash any and all new clothing or bedding that you can. Store and box any and all items and call a professional exterminator immediately. Bedbugs are notoriously hard to get rid of due to their high number of eggs per adult and their ability to hide in almost any crevice available. The best preventive measure is to check any hotel room for infestation, keeping your suitcase in a plastic garbage bag during your stay and washing all new clothing in hot water immediately after purchase.

Precautions/Legislation

Once you have experienced a bedbug infestation, empty any and all vacuum cleaners you have used in the house, as bedbugs can live in a vacuum cleaner bag and be deposited elsewhere in your residence. As of 2010, congress is working on legislation to combat the bedbug pandemic and some cities (including New York) are looking to provide supplemental funds to those victims who have to fight prolonged infestations as professional treatments are expensive. Experts suggest looking for an exterminator that uses trained dogs to root out the bedbug in its hiding places.

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