Regardless of the time of year, Boston Logan is open for the business of invasion. Many of these are here on business and others are here for the history. Unfortunately, some are here for the blood. That’s right. Massachusetts bed bugs are only in it for the blood meal. Many originate from within the state and many come from other states, but once they find their way here, they are automatically Massachusetts bed bugs.
What They Want
Unlike mosquitoes that are after both nectar and blood, bed bugs are all about the blood meal. Their digestive systems cannot process anything else. There is no substitute for blood that they can survive on. This means they will relentlessly pursue their host even if they try and hide or change sleeping habits.
Interestingly, bed bugs and their relatives are host specific. Bat bugs want to feed on bat blood. The common bed bug wants people’s blood. Swallow bugs prefer blood from birds. If bats leave an area for long enough, bat bugs may start to move into human quarters.
Why They Want It
Unlike mosquitoes, bed bugs don’t just need blood for the reproductive process. Blood is their primary and only source of nutrition. When a bed bug hatches, it needs a blood meal to survive. It is not like a flea that depends on the secretions of adults.
Bed bug nymphs go through developmental stages called instars. To progress from one instar to the next, they have to have a blood meal. As adults, both males and females feed on blood to survive and thrive. Interestingly, bed bugs can be very efficient with their energy stores when they need to. It is well documented that bed bugs can go a year or beyond without food. This is hard to imagine when I think about my 5 year old not being able to go 5 minutes without asking for a snack.
Who They Seek
In our minds, it is more comfortable to think that bed bugs are after someone outside of our in-crowd. They are after those “other people” over there. Maybe that group is “dirtier” than I am. Maybe they are in a different income category than I am. Maybe they like to wear white shoes all year long or shorts in the wintertime. Regardless of what I can conjure up in my head, Massachusetts bed bugs only care that I live in Massachusetts. If I am close enough and still have blood in my veins, I am a prime candidate.
When Massachusetts Bed Bugs are Active
Bed bugs have centuries of training that have hard wired them to feed at night. They have largely developed into nocturnal creatures. That being said, they are highly adaptable and will adjust to our behaviors. Oftentimes they choose hiding places that keep them completely cut off from the sun. If my job is cleaning up after late night Bruins games and I don’t get to bed until the morning time, they will be most active and feed in the morning.
If bed bugs are seen out and about during times when people are not typically sleeping, this can be an indicator of a couple of things:
-population pressures are increasing and these outlier bugs are desperate to find a better feeding spot
-a female has been impregnated and is off to save her own life. Since bed bugs reproduce through traumatic inception, she can only take so much from her male counterparts and survive. She is driven to take off and find a safe place to recover and lay her eggs. Yes, you can see how this helps spread Massachusetts bed bug populations to new areas. A stray egg here and there can get carried off to all corners of the great state.
Where They Go
As indicated by the reproductive response of the females, bed bugs will go anywhere and everywhere we are willing to take them. Most of the time, we have no clue that they are hitchhiking on us. They may hide an egg in the teeth of a zipper or catch a ride in the tread of a shoe. They like businesses as much as residences. Their only requirement is that they have a place to feed.
How to Tell & What To Do
Detecting bed bugs can be quite difficult. They are visible to the naked eye, but they like to hide. In some cases, they will hide inside electronics, behind baseboards, and in-wall voids. Don’t lose your peace of mind over their mastery of hide-and-seek. Reach out to Rove Pest Control and get connected with one of the Massachusetts bed bug experts that can not only determine if they are present but customize a plan for their efficient eradication.