Bedbugs have four-segmented antennae that are attached to the head between the prominent compound eyes. The two-segmented beak is located beneath the head passing back between the front legs. Bedbugs cannot fly.
Bedbugs tend to live in clusters and hide in cracks and crevices which are nesting areas during the day, preferring wood or paper surfaces to those of stone or plaster. Bedbugs feed exclusively at night. They will crawl under the moldings living between the carpet and the wood. They will also get into electrical outlets, under switch plate covers and behind paneling and wallpaper. Bedbugs leave these harborage areas at night to feed on their hosts, which include man, birds, hogs and the family pets. Over time the harborage areas become filled with the molted skins, feces and old egg shells of the resident bedbugs. These areas have a characteristic smell caused by a secretion that the bedbugs emit.
Female bedbugs lay about 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime. They glue their eggs in the cracks and crevices in the harborage areas. Under ideal conditions, eggs hatch in about seven days and the nymphs molt five times, taking a blood meal between each molt. It takes about 50 days for them to become adults.
Some individuals react to the bite of the bedbug while others are unaware of its feeding activity. The bite area may become inflamed and itch severely in sensitive people.
The first step to control is to know where bedbug harborages are located. These areas include but are not limited to:
- Tufts, seams/buttons on mattresses
- Cracks in hardwood flooring
- Under carpet along walls
- Wall voids behind switch plates/outlets
- Window/door molding
- Behind wallpaper and pictures
- Box springs
- Bed frames and covers
- Couches and chairs
- A good vacuum can be used to quickly remove exposed insects.
- Steam applications can be used to treat mattresses.
- Glue traps can be used as a monitoring device: however, they are not effective for elimination.
Bedbugs can be controlled with thorough applications of residual insecticides applied to cracks and crevices, behind baseboards and into other known or suspected harborage areas. Don’t forget to look high while inspecting. Inspect and treat accordingly if the room has crown molding. Bedbugs will nest at any level. Inspect anything which is mounted on the wall. Inspect all furniture in the room. This includes dressers and night tables. Treat all harborage areas with Drione Dust which is an excellent pyrethrin and silica gel dust that is odorless, kills quickly and labeled for bedbug control. Use a Crusader Hand Duster to apply the dust. It is an excellent duster that can be held at any angle and operated with one hand. Suspend SC or Claire Lice/Bedbug Killer can be applied to furniture, mattresses and box springs, especially the tufts, folds, edges and interior of the bed frame until moist. ALLOW TO DRY BEFORE REMAKING THE BED. The Suspend SC is a liquid concentrate that is mixed with water and applied with a pump-up type sprayer like our Chapin. The Claire Lice/Bedbug Killer is an aerosol. Sanitation is helpful in bedbug control because it helps the homeowner become aware of some of the harborage areas of the bedbugs.
Gentrol Aerosol or Gentrol IGR Concentrate is also highly recommended for control of bedbugs because it disrupts the normal development. Bedbugs exposed to Gentrol will become adults incapable of reproducing. Apply to harborage areas mentioned above except linens and mattresses.