Bed bugs 101: What you need to know

Bed bugs don’t stop at the bedroom door. They can travel from apartment to apartment and from home to store or office. These unwelcome guests can keep customers and tenants away!

Closeup of bed bugWhat are bed bugs?

  • Bed bugs are typically the size of an apple seed (adult) or a poppy seed (nymph), are flat, oval-shaped, and have six legs.
  • Adult bed bugs are visible to the naked eye.
  • Adults range from brown to red. Nymphs are lighter in color.
  • Eggs are white and about 1/32 of an inch long.
  • Adults and nymphs feed on blood, mostly at night.
  • Bed bugs run fast, but do not jump, fly, or burrow.
  • Bed bugs “hitchhike” on suitcases, bags, and clothing.

Can bed bugs harm us?

  • They do not spread disease and are not life-threatening.
  • Although up to 70 percent of people do not react to bed bug bites, the bites can produce marks, rashes, or welts.

Where do bed bugs hide?

  • Small cracks and crevices.
  • Bed parts, such as mattresses box springs and folded areas. Routinely check your mattress thoroughly, as well as under and around your bed. Look at  the mattress seams and piping, under the mattress, and around the bed frame for any signs of bed bugs.
  • Behind baseboards, wallpaper, picture frames and electrical switchplates.
  • Backpacks, suitcases and shoes.
  • Under seats of cars, buses and trains.
  • Inside drawers.

What are the signs of infestation?

  • Small red to reddish brown fecal spots on mattresses, upholstery or walls.
  • Bed bug skins/exoskeletons; white, sticky eggs or empty eggshells.
  • A sweet odor in very heavily infested areas.
  • Red, itchy bite marks, especially on the legs, arms and other body parts exposed while sleeping.

What shouldn’t I do if I find them?

  • Don’t panic.
  • Don’t treat the bugs with your own pesticides. This could make professional treatments less effective and prolong elimination.
  • Don’t move infested items to another room. You could potentially spread the bugs to other places.
  • Contact Pest Solutions 365 to schedule an appointment for a professional pest audit to determine your pest control needs. Only $25 for a 20-minute inspection.