From all the research, we believe bed bugs have been around since the cave men. When cave men moved into caves, bats left the caves to find new shelter and the bat bugs (which live on bats and feed off them) evolved into bed bugs and started feeding on humans. We still have bat bugs in the Okanagan and to the untrained eye they look identical to bed bugs.
We have only had bed bugs in North America for roughly the last nine years. One reason for this is the over use of DDT and other chemicals kept bed bugs out of North America. Another reason is that it is a lot easier and cheaper to travel and thus import bed bugs from other countries into North America. The biggest reason is lack of education about bed bugs.
Bed bugs start as eggs that are about the size of two grains of salt or one millimeter and are milky white in color. Once the eggs hatch they go through five in stars or life stages by molting (shedding their skin). Bed bugs move from one life stage to the next by having a blood meal. Only adults can breed. Each female bed bug can lay around 500 eggs in her life. Bed bugs lay one to five eggs every day. The eggs take 7 to 14 days to hatch and the immature bed bug begins to look for its first blood meal at room temperature. Nymphs molt and become adults within five weeks. The life span for a bed bug is roughly four to six months. Without feeding bed bugs can go into a hibernation state and live up to a year. Bed bugs typically feed at night time. They will adapt to our sleeping schedule.
Bed bugs can hide in the mattress, box spring, pillows, alarm clocks, cell phones, books, behind picture frames, and base boards just to name a few areas. Bed bugs are excellent hitch hikers. They hide in the seams of our clothing or on our shoes.
It is very important to never try and treat bed bugs yourself. A lot of the chemicals sold to the public will repeal the bed bugs into hiding or they are none residual so you would have to spray the bed bugs directly with the spray