In honor of the National Pest Management Associations Bed Bug Awareness Week (June 4th-10th), we’ve rounded up five bed bug facts that may or may not surprise you. Read on and let us know how many of these you already knew!
- Despite their name, bed bugs can be found in any area of a room. They prefer dark, hollow spaces (hello, box springs!), which means any crack, crevice or porous fabric is fair game. Think, power outlets, the speaker holes in phones, or behind a picture frame or headboard. In fact, bed bugs have been popping up in a multitude of places where there are no beds at all; there have been a number of sightings in public areas like movie theaters and libraries.
- Adult bed bugs are the size of an apple seed, and are reddish-brown in color. It’s important to have bright, white fabric as a contrast to their dark coloring to help aid in early detection. More and more studies are being published about how early detection, regular inspection services, and other preemptive measures are crucial in mitigating the negative effects of bed bugs in hotels and other commercial properties.
- When a hotel staff person or Pest Management Professional is inspecting a hotel for bed bugs, they’re not looking for the bug themselves, but rather their fecal stains. Bed bugs are nocturnal and hide during the day, so unless it is a very severe infestation, you’re probably not going to see the bug itself. Instead, you’re looking for rust-colored stains on the mattresses and box springs, particularly around the seams.
- While bed bugs themselves haven’t been proven to carry or cause disease directly, their bites have been known to leave their victims vulnerable to infection or severe allergic reactions. In a recent tragic case where elder abuse was at play, a 96 year-old woman was living in a severe infestation and had numerous bed bug bites on her body. Due to the poor living conditions and the neglect from her caregiver, the bites became infected and she ultimately passed away as a result.
- Not everyone will show physical symptoms of bed bug bites. In fact, only about 5% of people break out in welts and bumps after they’ve been bitten. This is another reason why routine inspection services are so important; you don’t want to rely on your hotel guests to tell you you’ve been bitten. Furthermore, hotels could very well have bed bugs even if none of their guests have been reported being bitten.
Learn something new? Let us know which facts you were most surprised about!