Common questions and information about bed bugs (Cimex lectularius).
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They are most often active at night while you are sleeping. An adult bed bug has a flat oval shaped body with a rusty red color. While adult bed bugs are large enough to be seen (about the size of an apple seed), they stay out of sight by hiding in cracks in furniture, floors and walls. The color on a bed bug becomes brighter red and their bodies swell similar to a tick when bed bugs have fed. The typical life span of a bed bug is about 12 to 18 months and it can survive for months without feeding.
How Would I Know I Have Been Bitten By Bed Bugs?
Initially bed bug bites are most often painless as the insects feed on you while you are sleeping and don’t even wake you up. But the next day you may notice a series of large flat welts or raised red bumps on your skin that are often accompanied by very intense itching.
Are Bed Bugs And Their Bites Dangerous?
While some people may have an allergic reaction to the bed bug bites and develop bed bug rash, there are no evidence to suggest that bed bugs or their bites can transmit disease.
How Do My House Get Infested With Bed Bugs?
In recent years, the in the growing bed bugs populations has been attributed to the increase in international travel. Many times bed bugs are brought into a home unknowingly in luggage, clothing, boxes, pillows or old furniture bought from a sale. In apartment buildings bed bugs can also travel through cracks between the walls and floors to infest different apartments.
How Can I Tell If There Are Bed Bugs In My House
The main indication of course would be the itchy bed bug bites. You will also notice the bugs themselves scurrying along dark shadowed areas, small bloodstains on your linens from crushed bugs and dark spot from their droppings.
As the bed bug infestations grow larger, the room may carry a distinctive and unpleasant almond-like smell.
How Can I Prevent Bed Bug Infestations?
- Always inspect all luggage after returning from a trip and immediately launder any clothing in hot water.
- Before bringing any old, used furniture home, inspect it and if necessary treat it with a bed bug spray.
- Never bring home discarded bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture without first inspecting and treating it to kill off any living creatures that may have infested it.
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