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Bed Bugs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals, usually at night while they are sleeping. Bed bugs can be reddish brown in color (when full-grown) or yellowish white (when young). A full-grown, adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed. When a bed bug feeds on blood, its body swells and becomes bright red.
Bed bug

Bed bugs do not fly – they either crawl or are carried from place to place in clothing, luggage, furniture, bedding, or other items.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are most commonly found in areas where people sleep (usually within 8 feet of these areas) in homes, apartments, homeless shelters, hotels, motels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. Bed bugs can hide in and around:

      • folds and seams of mattresses
      • box springs and bedroom furniture
      • bed sheets
      • cracks around a bed
      • loosened wallpaper
      • pet sleeping areas
      • clutter or objects around sleeping areas

Learn how to find bed bugs

What are the signs of bed bugs in my home or in a place I'm staying?

 If an area is infested with bed bugs, you may see: 
      • bed bugs hiding in the folds of mattresses and sheets
      • bed bug skin left behind after they shed or molt
      • tiny, rust-colored spots or stains from bed bug droppings that look like marker spots/dots on the mattress or nearby furniture 

Bed bug skins Bed bugs infesting a mattress

Photo credit (right): Gary Alpert, Harvard University

If there are bed bugs in your home or in a place you are staying, you may also notice itchy welts, or bite marks, on your face, neck, arms, hands, or other body parts.

Most people won't know they have been bitten by a bed bug while they are sleeping. Bug bugs bites are usually painless and rarely wake a person up while they are sleeping. These bites can be itchy and annoying, but bed bugs do not spread disease to humans.

How does an area become infested with bed bugs?

Bed bugs are usually carried on clothing, luggage, furniture, or bedding from an infested area to an area with no beg bugs. Bed bugs can easily hide in the smallest of spaces and stay hidden for a long time.

Check your mattress frequently for bed bugs

Prevent bed bugs!

The best way to prevent bed bugs is to regularly check your mattress and sleeping/resting areas for signs of bed bugs.

How can I get rid of bed bugs? 

If you think you have found bed bugs in your home or on your property, call a licensed pest control operator to treat the area to get rid of bed bugs. If you are visiting or staying in a place that has bed bugs, wash any clothing and bedding in hot water and dry them on the hottest setting immediately after returning from a trip or staying in a hotel. This will kill bed bugs on those items. 

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