If a blood-sucking vampire entered your home, you’d know how to identify it. Horror fans might even have a few ideas about how to get rid of one.
Alas, the bloodsucker most likely to take up residence in your bedroom is a lot harder to identify and eradicate. Do you know how to differentiate the types of bed bugs found in homes?
Bed bugs feed on human blood, which gives them the energy and drive to multiply. Knowing how to identify them can save you weeks of agony and sleeplessness.
We’ve created this guide to help homeowners recognize the different species of bed bugs found in America. We’ll provide tips and tricks for removing them so you can resume your life.
Continue reading to learn all there is to know about your bloodthirsty new house guests.
Types of Bed Bugs in Homes
While there are 90 species of bed bugs on Earth, only three of them tend to be a problem for humans. You’ll find the three species below on all continents, regardless of the home’s cleanliness.
Regardless of species, the presence of these pests means you need to pursue bed bug removal. All types of bed bugs are challenging to eradicate without dedicated intervention from a pest control professional.
Your ability to identify the type of bed bugs in your home can make a professional’s job easier.
The Common Bed Bug
The common bed bug (Cimexlectularius) is the most widespread species on Earth, found on all inhabited continents. Their ability to survive in many climate conditions makes them more resilient than other species. The longer they live, the more they breed, producing up to 500 offspring in a lifetime.
Their diet consists predominantly of human blood, and they have adapted to seek out the highest concentration of people. You might find them in cities, apartment buildings, college dormitories, or summer camps.
The current generation of the common bed bug is particularly hearty, as they’ve become resistant to many newer pesticides.
The Tropical Bed Bug
Unlike the common bed bug, the tropical bed bug (Cimexhemipterus) prefers warm and humid climates. They are considerably larger, and humans can see them with the naked eye. The hairs on their legs make them excellent at climbing, granting them easy access to domestic spaces.
While this species is rare in the United States, air travel has increased their range. You can often find them in warmer southern states like Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. They have become resistant to the same pesticides as the common bed bug and thus require specialized bed bug treatment from professionals.
The only positive aspect of a tropical bed bug infestation is that the size of these household pests makes it easier to catch them early. The sooner you contact an exterminator, the sooner you can eliminate the problem.
The Subtropical Bed Bug
The subtropical bed bug (Leptocimexboueti) is less widespread than the other species. You will most likely find them in South America and West Africa, though they occasionally infiltrate the southern United States. This species prefers to feed off animals such as bats but will feed on available human blood.
With that said, the subtropical bed bug is an incredibly efficient breeder and will multiply quickly upon gaining easy access to any regular food source. If you suspect an infestation in your home, click for pest control company.
What to Do If You Suspect Bed Bugs
If you’ve noticed signs of bed bugs in your home, always call a pest control company immediately. After that, you can take a few steps to ensure you don’t suffer in the meantime.
Clean the Room
After calling pest control (but before doing anything else), you should begin to clean your space. Remove every washable item from the room and wash them on a high heat setting, then dry them on medium to high heat.
Put anything that you cannot wash in an airtight storage container. Alternately, assess whether these items are dishwasher-safe. Use the “heated dry” setting to kill any lingering pests.
Once items are clean, immediately place them inside plastic bags or airtight bins.
Vacuum Your Space
Bed bugs are small, and you can often reduce the population by quickly vacuuming your living space. If possible, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. You can also use a brush attachment to make it easier to dislodge and remove tiny bed bug eggs from carpets and other fibers.
Get Rid of Your Mattress
Mattresses are the most challenging objects to treat and clean following a bed bug infestation. Nearly all pest control experts advise throwing yours away and buying a new one once the situation is under control. You can also throw away any other thoroughly infested items, such as pet beds.
Be sure to label all items after removing them from your home. You don’t want another individual to introduce pests into their living space. A simple sign that says “bed bugs” is often enough.
Wear gloves and carefully wash all surfaces with soap and warm water. Focus on walls, window sills, and molding. Pay careful attention to corners and crevices, where bed bugs tend to lurk.
Eliminate All Types of Bed Bugs
Whether you’re hosting common, tropical, or subtropical house guests, your health depends on taking efficient action. A pest control specialist can help you eliminate all types of bed bugs. The sooner you get help, the sooner you’ll return to sleeping easily in your own bed.
The more you know, the more likely you are to make safe, informed decisions. This goes beyond bed bug treatment. Browse the rest of the blog to catch up on the latest world news.