Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of hosts, often times without being noticed, and are mainly active at night. The name "bed bug" comes from the insect’s affinity for infesting beds or other areas where people sleep. Bed bugs have been pests to humans for thousands of years. They were mostly eradicated from the United States in the 1940’s, but we have seen an increase in the number of infestations in recent years. Adult bed bugs have flattened oval shaped bodies and are a light brown color. They can grow to 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide. Nymphs are translucent and lighter in color.
How can your home become infested with bed bugs?
- Bed bugs and eggs can be brought in on people or pets from an infested area by transferring the bugs on their clothing or bodies.
- Bed bugs and eggs can be brought in on infested items such as furniture, clothing or luggage.
- Bed bugs and eggs can move in from nearby infested dwellings through easy routes of travel.
- Bed bugs and eggs can hitchhike in on wild animals that may be hosts.
Bed bugs are hard to spot because they are usually nocturnal, and they hide out of sight in dark crevices. Because they are parasites, they must remain close to hosts. Bed bugs can be detected by their characteristic smell of rotting raspberries. The treatment of bed bugs usually requires a combination of pesticide and non-pesticide approaches. Contact your local pest control company if you believe you have an infestation of bed bugs.