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FAQ on Bed Bugs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.

Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.

What health risks do bed bugs pose?

A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.

Can bed bugs stay on your clothes all day?

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live on Clothes? … Under normal circumstances, bed bugs feed once every five to ten days. Bed bugs are most active about an hour before dawn, although they can feed anytime, if they are hungry. Once a bed bug feeds, which usually takes about five minutes, it will retreat back to its hiding spot.

How easily do bed bugs spread?

How are bedbugs spread? Bedbugs live in any articles of furniture, clothing, or bedding, so they or their eggs may be present in used furniture or clothing. They spread by crawling and may contaminate multiple rooms in a home or even multiple dwellings in apartment buildings.

Can bed bugs bite through clothes?

As far as whether bed bugs can bite through clothes, the answer is generally no, but clothes will not protect you from their ability to crawl onto your covered skin, anyway. They are tiny and flat.

What are the signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation?

One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the tell-tale bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area. These signs include:

  • the bed bugs’ exoskeletons after molting,
  • bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets,
  • rusty–colored blood spots due to their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete on the mattress or nearby furniture, and
  • a sweet musty odor.
How did I get bed bugs?

Bed bugs are experts at hiding. Their slim flat bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and stay there for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. The bed bugs travel in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide. Most people do not realize they are transporting stow-away bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel.

Can you carry bed bugs on your clothes?

If you‘re in a room or vehicle that has a bed bug colony, they may very well travel back to your home with you in your bag or briefcase, if you carry one. … Bed bugs are happy to climb in with your clothes or directly into your luggage. In fact, this is probably the most common way that bed bugs end up in clothing.


Do bed bugs go away on their own?

“Waiting them out” is not a viable option. Bed bugs will not just go away on their own. … The answer is that you have to take concerted, consistent action to actively kill all the bed bugs in your house. If even a single impregnated female bed bug survives, the nightmare of bed bug infestation could start all over again!

Do bed bugs spread easily?

Bed bugs are travelers. They often spread by hitchhiking on luggage, furniture, and possessions. They are not typically spread from direct person-to-person contact.

How long does it take for bed bugs to spread?

Generally it takes at least seven weeks for a bed bug to grow from an egg to an adult, so there should be no new adults from eggs during that period. Therefore, if many adult bugs are present one can reasonably assume that the infestation has been there for more than seven weeks.

How do bed bugs get transferred?

Do-it-yourself pest control could make bed bugs to spread. Live bugs or eggs may drop off while moving things from one place to another—items with bed bugs should be sealed in a bag before moving them. Avoid used furniture and items left on the curb—they might have bed bugs!

Can you take bed bugs with you?

Not everyone who stays in a bed bug infested room will take bed bugs home. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to act as if you may have picked up a stray bed bug or two. The most likely place to pick up bed bugs in luggage is on, or next to, the bed.

Does washing clothes kill bed bugs?

Washing and drying clothes. Tip each bag into a washer (or the dryer for dry-clean-only). … Drying will kill the bugs but not clean the clothes. If you want to only kill bed bugs and do not need to wash your clothes, simply putting infested items in the dryer for 30 minutes on high health will kill all the bed bugs. NOT a guarantee!

Who is at risk for getting bed bugs?

Everyone is at risk for getting bed bugs when visiting an infected area. However, anyone who travels frequently and shares living and sleeping quarters where other people have previously slept has a higher risk of being bitten and or spreading a bed bug infestation.

What is the main cause of bed bugs?

Although bedbugs aren’t known to spread disease, they can cause other public health and economic issues. About the size of an apple seed, bedbugs hide in the cracks and crevices of beds, box springs, headboards, bed frames and any other objects around a bed.

How do bed bugs feel?

You don’t feel their bite because they inject a numbing agent into your body, along with an anticoagulant to keep your blood flowing as they suck. The first sign of bedbugs may be itchy, red bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders.

Can bed bugs jump or fly?

No! They crawl.

Can you feel a bed bug crawling on you?

If you‘re wondering whether the feeling of bed bugs crawling on your skin makes you itch, the answer is no. Just having a bed bug on you will not make you itch, unless you notice it and have a psychological reaction. … As mentioned, bed bugs are so tiny, that it’s unlikely you would feel them moving on your skin at all.

What bugs are mistaken for bed bugs?

Spider Beetle, Cockroach Nymphs, Booklice, Carpet Beetles and Bat Bugs.

Do bed bugs eat every night?

Bed bugs are mostly nocturnal. Bed bugs feed multiple times. If you’re being fed on by bed bugs, it is likely that you are going to find numerous bites on your skin. But, what is unique about bed bugs is that each individual bug will feed more than once during the night.

Can bed bugs survive in an empty house?

Yes! Bed bugs can survive for a long time, with or without food. Bed bugs can survive for about a year without food. They can hibernate through the cold, lose one-third of their weight and still survive.

Do bed bugs come out when the lights are on?

 A Myth: Bed bugs won’t come out if the room is brightly lit. Reality: While bed bugs prefer darkness, keeping the light on at night won’t deter these pests from biting you. … Bed bugs can hide in any dark crack or crevice in a room.

Can bed bugs only infest one room?

Bed bugs do not fly, but can travel across floors or through wall openings (e.g. outlets), are nocturnal, and like to hide in mattresses, box springs, and bed frames. Did I attract them by leaving food in my room? No, bed bugs feed only on blood. The presence of bedbugs is not related to food or the dirtiness of a room.

Can bed bugs live in walls?

Sometimes bed bugs are driven deeper into your home That is because bed bugs nest in the walls, and can even travel to other homes if you live in an apartment or duplex. … It is true, the bed bugs will try to delve deep within your walls through cracks and the spaces around baseboards.

How quickly do bed bugs multiply?

Bedbugs are slow to reproduce: Each adult female produces about one egg per day. Each bedbug egg takes 10 days to hatch and another five to six weeks for the offspring to develop into an adult.

How are bed bugs treated and prevented?

Bed bug bites usually do not pose a serious medical threat. The best way to treat a bite is to avoid scratching the area and apply antiseptic creams or lotions and take an antihistamine. Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by insecticide spraying. If you suspect that you have an infestation, contact your landlord or professional pest control company that is experienced with treating bed bugs. The best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.

This information above is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a professional  or health care provider.

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