Field observations of bed bug behaviour in starvation settings

I have had the privilege of treating an owner occupied 11 bedroom rooming house for bed bugs. Most of the rooms are reserved for renters with part of the home occupied by the host family. Bed bugs were discovered in in one room and a search of the home revealed that there were bugs in 4 bedrooms. The room / suite with the largest infestation was discovered during the secondary home inspection. Interestingly enough this suite had been empty for about 3 months while the tenant was visiting family elsewhere. Some of the bugs did migrate to other suites (which caused other suites to become infested and subsequently discovered) during this time as I would have expected but a very large number remained in the harbourages on the bed waiting for the host to return. Interesting.

I noted the same pattern in an apartment block setting where an initial complaint was made about bed bugs and the secondary inspection of surrounding suites discovered a large infestation of bed bugs in a suite that had been abandoned for several months. Again some bugs did transfer to other suites but a large number stayed on the bed in their harbourages waiting for the host to return.

What we learn here is that bed bugs are not entirely predictable.   In a general sense I have learned that whenever I make a dogmatic statement about bed bug behaviour there are bound to be examples where the opposite is true. I am sure that my blog will require updates as  I observe more and more peculiar and complex habits of the bed bug and will have to eat some humble pie.  Bed bugs are a complicated and humbling bug.


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Winnipeg Bed Bug

How do starving bed bugs react to a nearby host?