Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs Instruction & Education Information

You have probably heard the saying "Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."

Well, bed bugs have made a big comeback in the U.S. Their name comes from their tendency to live between mattresses and feed on occupants at night. Bed bugs do not fly or jump, but move quickly over floors, walls, ceilings and furniture.

Bed bugs are wingless, approximately 1/4-inch in length with a flattened oval shape and rusty brown in color. Newly-hatched nymphs are much smaller and somewhat lighter in color. Female bed bugs lay up to five eggs a day and 500 during a lifetime.

A bed bug can survive several months to a year without a blood meal. The lifespan of a bed bug is normally 12-18 months.

Since bed bugs are mainly active at night, daytime sightings may indicate a heavy infestation.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Bed bugs can seem to come from nowhere, but are being seen more and more in apartments, hotels, homes, shelters, dormitories and nursing homes. They are active travelers, usually transported in luggage, boxes, clothing, furniture and even hair.

Infestations are not tied to unsanitary living conditions; even world-class hotels have reported bed bug problems.

Where To Look

Check for bed bugs on the seams, tufts, or folds of mattresses, bed frames and head boards.

Bed bugs may also be behind baseboards, pictures, frames, windows, door casings, loosened wall paper, curtains, cracks in plaster and behind electrical wall plates.

How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?

Usually the first sign of a bed bug infestation is the appearance of small rusty spots on your mattresses and bed linens. These are bed bug droppings and blood spots.

Bed bugs feed on any bare skin exposed while sleeping. Red itchy welts are an indication of an infestation. Bed bug bites occur when the bed bug is actually drawing blood. It may take as long as 14 days for a welt to appear from a bed bug bite.;

The infected person should resist the urge to scratch the bites, as this may intensify the itching and cause an infection.

Some people have a reaction to bed bug bites and may need to seek medical assistance. Bed bugs are not known to transmit any diseases to humans.

How Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Complete elimination of a bed bug infestation may be difficult without using a licensed, knowledgeable pest management company. It may take several treatments and methods over several weeks to gain control of an infestation.

Do-it-yourself measures sometimes cause problems because of misuse of pesticides or scattering of bugs. If you try to do it yourself, make sure product is for bed bugs and read the label completely.

So What Should I Do?

  • Reduce clutter to eliminate hiding places and help with treatment.
  • Vacuum areas where bed bugs have been seen, including mattresses and box springs. Dispose of vacuumed contents in a sealed bag.
  • Cover mattress and box spring with zippered encasements, and seal any openings with tape so bed bugs can't get through.
  • Wash bedding and clothing in hot water (120° F) and put in dryer for at least 5 minutes. Store in sealed bags.
  • Inspect any furniture being brought into your home for bed bugs.