Do Bed Bugs Need a Host to Survive?

A bedbug’s life cycle is quite complex. It goes through five nymphal stages before reaching its adult stage. Each stage requires a blood meal. It may migrate from another home or from another continent to feed on human blood. It can lay up to 500 eggs in its lifetime. Adult bedbugs are oval and wingless and grow to be about 1/5 inch long. They have small, compound eyes and antennae. They also have numerous fine hairs on the pronotum (area behind the head). The immature stage, called nymphs, is smaller than the adult stage. They are less than a half inch long, have thinner outer skeletons, and are yellowish in color.

The best way to prevent an infestation is to keep your furniture and bedding clean. If it is not possible to clean the infested furniture, consider defacing the furniture so it looks less attractive to potential hosts. Building managers should also make sure to dispose of infested furniture properly. Infested furniture should be disposed of in a dumpster or taken to a waste facility. Lastly, you can purchase a bedbug proof encasement to cover your furniture. It is a zippered cover that fits snugly over the mattress and box spring, and you can even purchase an entire bed bug proof encasement.

Temperature is another important factor for controlling an infestation. Bedbugs can survive the coldest months of the year, especially if they are left unoccupied. They have evolved to live in unoccupied homes. Temperature treatment, which can be done by using a temperature-treated mattress, can help to keep these pests at bay.

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