Bed Bugs

What Is A Bed Bug?

Bed bugs are small, flat insects that are reddish-brown in color.  Adults are about 3/16 of inch long, while newly hatched bed bugs (nymphs) are lighter in color and no larger than the head of a pin.  Bed bugs do not fly but they can move quickly.  Bed bugs feed primarily on human blood but will feed on the blood of other mammals if necessary.  Signs of bed bugs include blood spots on your mattress or bed linens, molted or shed skins and tiny red bites on your skin upon waking.

Why Do I Have Them?

Bed bugs are making a comeback in the U.S. with an increasing number of cases cropping up in homes, apartments, hotels, hospitals, office buildings and schools.  They are more likely to appear in a household where an individual has been traveling or has had visitors who’ve recently traveled.   They also tend to crop up in homes where used mattresses, bed frames and other pieces of furniture have recently been acquired.

Are They Dangerous?

Bed bugs feed exclusively on mammalian blood, with most species preferring human. They will bite any exposed skin and their bites can cause varied reactions. Some people experience little or no reaction, while in some the reaction can be delayed, making it difficult to identify the cause. Others may have itchy welts and some swelling. It is possible, though not common, for a bite to induce a severe allergic reaction that requires treatment.  Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases. While they may cause discomfort and reduce your quality of life, health experts do not consider bed bugs dangerous to your health. Antihistamines can reduce the itchiness and swelling, and antibiotics can prevent infection.

How Do I Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are challenging to control.  Their ability to hide means that treatment must be extremely thorough and it is highly recommended that the services of a pest control company are used. You should never use bug bombs or foggers on bed bugs; they will have little effect.  Even after treatment by a professional, in some cases infested mattresses or pieces of furniture may need to be discarded. If you’re unsure, ask your pest control technician.

Can I Do It Myself?

Due to the complexity of treatment and the time required, bed bugs are generally not a pest many people have success in eradicating. Do-It-Yourself bed bug treatments and products are not usually effective and may contain pesticides that can be harmful to people and pets if they are misused or mixed improperly.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Bed bugs are very difficult to prevent, given their ability to enter the home in a number of different ways. The best thing to do is beware of the signs and call Local Pest Control as soon as you spot bed bugs to reduce the risk of major infestation.