When are bedbugs most active? Least active?(8 posts)
When I had bedbugs, I found that around 4 AM was when they really come out. I even started waking up (sans alarm clock) at this time specifically to catch them in the act, and I did, many many times. They'd just be running across the sheets, and I'd spray them with ethanol for instant death. Sometimes they had already fed, sometimes not. I collected more than twenty bedbugs this way in the span of a week. It seemed to affect the population significantly, too, because the frequency of my bites took a nose-dive. And when the PCO came, I had something to show them, which was helpful, because I was never able to find any other proof of bedbugs no matter how hard I searched, during the day. Anyone else try this?
This could help those with mystery bites and no proof, if we could nail down a time for them to get up and inspect. I have mystery bites now but haven't been doing the 4 AM inspection because my boyfriend is a crank, but I think I will tonight.
First let's answer your headline questions:
When are bed bugs most active? Least active?
Normally, we'd expect BBs to be active between midnight and about five AM. However, if the host works the night shift then the BBs can adapt as well. As you suggested above, 4 AM is probably a prime hunting time if you're looking for BBs.
Like anything else, bed bugs are least active when they're dead. So, I suggest we all do our best to help as many BBs as possible become "least active".
Actually, waking up and collecting foraging BBs prior to biting is not as wacky an idea as it sounds. As BBs tend to feed about once every seven to ten days, given enough time, this practice would have a significant effect on the BB population present. However, rather than spraying them with anything perhaps it would be better to use a vacuum or tape to capture them after which you can exact your revenge.
Additionally, above you mentioned your boyfriend being a "crank". Not sure what you mean but it doesn't sound good. Perhaps you can "cut him off" until he has removed all the BBs in your place. And, you can otherwise reward him with every 25 BBs he catches. That ought to motivate him.
Let me know if any other questions.
Good luck ! paul b.
Catching them was very satisfying, even if they had already fed. I realized too late that I should capture them alive, and they move pretty fast so I didn't want to mess around too much. I did end up keeping one alive for a while, to see how long it lived (I also let it feed on me to check my reaction, but that's a whole other story. Maybe I should post it? I took pictures.)
The boyfriend is a conscientious crank; he has to work early and long and needs his shut-eye. He's offered to sleep on the couch if I plan to overturn the bed at four in the morning, and I might take him up on it at some point. As for "cutting him off", we all need recreation in these trying times, me included, and anyway that's no way to form an alliance! In the end, I'd rather have bedbugs AND a boyfriend than neither.
An answer to bed bug activity, possibly actual time may not be answer, but host activity could be. Yes, their nocturnal feeding activity is known, but if you are not around when it could be their prime activity, they will become active once you arrive. You breathe, you inhale, you exhale, you produce heat. CO2 is a good attractant at distances and heat once they are less than a foot from you. No one has researched bed bug behavior during host "evening activities". Probably louse research, but not bed bug! Klopi-It's good you have a sense of humor.
The first time I had bedbugs I lived normal hours but my X was half staying at my place. But once we saw bedbugs, he cleared out for 3-4 weeks.
When he did, my bed was isolated and I never got a bite or at least reacted to one but for sure they weren't in my bed.
He would come home sometimes the during the day and as soon as he did, we would see them walking up walls but i NEVER found one that had just fed. They were always flat and brown.
The morning the Pest Control was coming in for the second time, having come once 1 week ago or 2 weeks earlier, he slept in my bed with me that night, again, isolated and we got up early to get ready. I remember getting up about 8am and we both went out to the living room. 5 minutes later I walked back into the bedroom and there were 2 again, flat and hungry no doubt, walk out of the bedroom, on the wall. I believe they were following us out to the living room.
That same morning, I had a chair about 2 feet away from my computer chair and table and a huge duvet that had been thrown on there a week or two earlier and as I went to pick it up, about 5 flat brown ones fell out so they had been hiding in the folds, I suppose, near me, 2 feet away but i never saw a bite, nor, as I said, a fed bug bug, but in order to have them they had to be biting someone LOL
After I saw the 2 walking out of the bedroom, and before I found them in the duvet, I sat down at my computer and within a few minutes I saw one walk up the wall behind t he computer so I am guessing it had jus been down near my feet but again, no bites and that one was flat brown as well.................after he sprayed the day I never saw one again other than a couple of dead ones.
Anyhow, as you can see, I was seeing them during the day time for I don't believe they were able to get to me at night on my bed..........
I've read that they tend to be most active when the host is LEAST active. No doubt this will be different for everybody, and I don't want to suggest that people who are already super-stressed out and exhausted be getting up multiple times a night... but it may be a viable way to catch a sample; to know, to show to a landlord, etc. I feel so badly for all the people on this forum who are so tired and feeling simultaneously despondent and fretful.
Klopi - yes, when you're quiet & still for a period, that's when they like you best. However, if they're really hungry they'll grab an opportunistic feed whenever & wherever thay can.
Instead of allowing the bed bugs to deleteriously affect your sleep even more, a better way to estimate the level of BB activity in your home would be a passive monitor available via this site.
Looking for them by day is usually more effective (they move quicker right after a feed), light is better by day, you're more alert, & your prey is resting in its harbourage, not already out & about.
OK, so in your case, rather than doing that cut off thing, you have an excellent motivating reward factor that can be utiklized to enlist hlpe with the whole BB effort.
As mentioned above, seek them out during daylight hours by searching their expected hidning places/harborage areas (note that some folks call these areas "refugia" however, that's a wierd word, huh?).
When searching for them you can use a vacuum to eliminate them immediately. Eggs can be tuff to see but with the help of a decent LED flashlight and a large magnifying glass you can improve your inspection results.
Additionally, if you take down your bed you can conduct a thorough inspection, vacuum all the hiding places, do a direct treatment of all the refugia (OK, there, I tried that word, too wierd for my taste. Maybe it's just me?) if you decide to self treat. Install mattress & box spring encasements. Install climb ups or other such blockers. Move your bed away from the walls & other furniture. make sure none of your bedding touches the floor. Reward your BF for helping you. And, after all that, chances are you will get a good night sleep with no bites.
However, what the BBs don't know is that you set your alarm for about 4:00 AM when you will awaken, search with your flashlight and rain your merciless vengence upon them. And, as long as your awake, you can thank your BF again, and he can then thank me for this great "plan of attack" as it were.
OK, let us all know how you make out, er, you know, how you do with the bed bugs.
I'm getting back to the yard work now. Hope this helps, have a great bug free day ! : ) paul b.
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