Unique land features ranging from the hole in the rock to the not-too-distant Grand Canyon draw people to travel to and through Phoenix in an endless supply. Unfortunately, tourists are not the only travelers looking to make their way to and through Phoenix. Bed bugs are hitchhiking on buses, cars, planes, and you guessed it – people.
Bed bugs have evolved to be master incognito travelers. They will stow away in backpacks, shoe tread, and even inside of electronics. Their slim design allows the to slip through cracks and seems that otherwise appear to be closed or blocked off. Think of this like a Phoenix motorcycle rider zipping in and out of congested traffic on their way to Highway 60 north. They are able to capitalize on gaps and spaces that are too small for other vehicles. Bed bugs are great at finding their way around.
One Bed Bug Matters
I have often heard commentary that it was “only one” bug. The truth is, that is rarely the case. Just because only one was seen, does not mean there are not others off in hiding. While Phoenix residents are not nocturnal like bed bugs, we know the value of not going out in the heat if not absolutely necessary. Bed bugs are mostly nocturnal and are only likely to venture out if forced to do so by overcrowding and feeding pressures or a female looking for a place to survive after traumatic inception.
In the case of a bed bug wandering around due to population pressures, the situation is clear. That bed bug is hunting for food or a new place to live because there are plenty that are taking up all of the good hiding and feeding places. Any male and female pair will continue to supply the population while the wanderer will look for geographic expansion.
In the case of traumatic inception, the female is already set to lay new eggs. Their egg-laying rate is about 1 per day, but those eggs can hatch in roughly 10 days. 5-6 weeks later, those developing youth, called instars, have developed to full blown adulthood. This includes their own reproductive capabilities.
Bed bugs are not flexible eaters. They are not like a 3-year-old who goes through phases of only eating cheese or putting ketchup on everything. They can only feed on blood. This is true of the youngest hatched bed bug instar as well as the adults. Think that makes it easy to starve them out? Think again! Bed bugs are quite capable of living for weeks to months, and in good conditions beyond a year without a blood meal!
They are very efficient creatures. If you move from the bedroom to the den for sleeping, they will sniff you out and feed. If you move from your bedroom to Uncle Dan’s house in Mesa, some will find a way to hitchhike and join you there. Others will go into a nice dormant state where their metabolism drops to essentially nothing until you return.
Bed bugs are gross enough on their own accord, but there are several types of bed bugs that can cause issues such as:
- bat bugs
- poultry bugs
- tropical bed bugs
- swallow bugs
Each species has different preferred hosts but will cause problems for people depending on different situations and pressures. Proper identification of the species is paramount to quickly resolving the underlying issue and population supply.
Bed bugs are not like most pests where population reduction is adequate. The only acceptable level for bed bugs is 0 in a given structure. Control strategies must be continued until the entire population has been eradicated with certainty. This requires a combination of efforts as bed bugs have developed hardy survival strategies and show significant resistance to many pesticides.
Our Phoenix bed bug experts are ready to help put together the most efficient plan for your home or office. Reach out to schedule an inspection and consultation today.