- Adults are very small (3/16th inch), oval, flat, and rust colored.
- Nymphs appear as smaller, lighter colored adults.
- They become fat and red when they are full of blood.
- They don’t have wings and can’t fly.
Habits of Bed Bugs:
- Females lay 1-5 eggs per day.
- They lay 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetimes.
- They can grow from an egg to an adult in 21 days.
- Adults can live for almost 1 year.
- At night they leave their daytime hiding place to feed on people.
- They are attracted to exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat.
- They feed for 3-10 minutes.
- They can feed every three days and can live months without feeding.
- They come in on clothes, furniture, luggage, and beds.
Damage Caused by Bed Bugs:
- Bed bugs feed on human blood, typically feeding at night when the host is asleep.
- People vary in their reactions to bed bug bites; some may not see any reaction while others are very sensitive and the bitten area becomes inflamed and intensely itches.
- Tiny dark blood spots on bedding and mattresses or near cracks and crevices.
- Bed bugs hidden in cracks and crevices during the day, such as the seams of mattresses, box springs, bed slats, cracks on bed frames, hollow bed legs, closets, couches, and wood and paper surfaces.
- The likelihood of a bed bug infestation is not associated with sanitation or cleanliness.
How to Control and Kill Bed Bugs:
- Bed bug infestations are very difficult to control and almost always require professional services.
- Launder sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and clothing in a hot drier for at least 20 minutes to kill all stages of bed bugs.
- Keep mattresses in zippered encasements to reduce hiding spots and make detection easier.
- A vacuum can be used to remove some of the bugs.
- Keep all clothes and personal items in sealed bags or plastic containers.
- Reducing clutter minimizes bed bug hiding places and makes detection of existing populations easier.
- Professional pest control services can treat bed bugs with specialized heat equipment and/or pesticides that are approved for indoor use.
- Bed bug traps and interception devices are capable of detecting bed bugs, but vary in their effectiveness.
- Dogs with special training in bed bug detection often can detect sources of a bed bug infestation.