- Latin Name: Cimex Lectularius
- Size: 1/16” to 1/4” long
- Color: Brownish red. Bed bugs appear red after feeding.
- Shape: Flat, oval shaped insects with six legs and no wings.
- Found in: All over the United States
- Overview: Bed bugs are found in residential and commercial places. They are transported from location to location often times without detection. It is common for a bed bug to travel on clothing packed in luggage. There have been reports of bed bugs in luxury hotels all over the world. An infestation is not pleasant, but there are several steps you can take when traveling to prevent bed bugs from coming home with you.
Origin: Bed bugs have been noted in history books dating back to 400 BC in ancient Greece.
Climate: Depending on the species of bed bug, they are found in either temperate or tropical climates.
Favorite Foods: Bed bugs survive on blood. Common bed bugs feast on human blood, but some species prefer farm animals or bats.
Family: Bed bugs may live alone or with others. A bed bug has six stages of life. Molting occurs between stages and food is required for development.
Unique Facts: In cool temperatures, a bed bug can survive almost a year without blood. Typically, an adult bed bug will look for food every five to 10 days.
Signs of a problem: The most likely place for a bed bug to live is in or near your bed. They like small dark spaces and reside in mattresses, box springs, bedside tables, dresser drawers, cracks in the walls and carpeting. They will leave dark red stains on your sheets. You may also find skin that they have shed. The smell of bed bugs is a foul sweet scent. Bed bugs are nocturnal, so you should get a flashlight and search in the evening hours if you believe there is a problem.
Do they attack humans? Yes, bed bugs live off of human blood and need the nutrients in blood to reproduce. Bed bugs typically are able to suck blood from exposed skin on a human without being noticed. It may take up to 10 minutes for a feeding. A burning or itchy rash may occur several days after the bite. Try over the counter creams to treat the rash. In rare cases, an allergic reaction may occur that needs help from a medical professional. People who have bed bugs have experienced issues sleeping after learning of the infestation. Bed bugs are not known for spreading disease between humans.
Stopping an infestation: First, you will need to remove everything from the infested room including all clothing and bedding. Be very careful in removing furniture you wish to discard, because bed bugs could fall off and find a new place to live inside your home. Launder everything in the infected room on the hottest temperature setting suggested. Vacuum the room thoroughly and empty the vacuum outside the house. Call a pest professional for assistance in treating furniture you want to keep. Heat treatment or chemical treatment may be used to terminate the infestation. Ask your pest professional for more information.