The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius Linnaeus 1758) is an ectoparisite insect (a parasite which lives on the outside of the body of the host) of the family Cimicidae. Bed bugs feed only onthe blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. Although they have a cryptic behavior and can conceal themselves in tight cracks and crevices, bed bugs are often found in bed parts, such as mattresses and box springs, hence the common name.The first sign of a bed bug infestation is usually the appearance of bites on the arms, neck, torso or legs.
Bed bugs like to travel and are good hitchhikers. They will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply. They are elusive, nocturnal creatures. They can hide behind baseboards and in cracks, crevices, and folded areas of beds, bedding and adjacent furniture, especially mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs can also hide in electrical switch plates, picture frames, wallpaper and nearly anywhere inside a home, car, bus, or other shelter. Bed bugs usually come out at night for a blood meal. However, they are opportunistic insects and can take a blood meal during the day, especially in heavily-infested areas. Bed bugs usually require 5-10 minutes to engorge with blood. After feeding, they move to secluded places and hide for 5-10 days. During this time, they do not feed but instead digest their meal, mate, and lay eggs.
Although bed bugs can dine on any warm-blooded animal, they primarily dine on humans. Bed bugs do not transmit diseases, but their bites can become red, itchy welts. The longer an infestation goes untreated, the more difficult and expensive it will be to control.
Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
Wash/dry-clean all clothes after unpacking.
Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs are elusive creatures, so it is imperative to seek professional pest control to address an infestation.
Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs.
Check your bedsheets for tell-tale blood spots.
Check seams of mattress and box spring for black marks or actual bugs.
Check cracks and crevices as well as behind all hanging decor.
Reduce clutter in every room.
Do NOT attempt do-it-yourself pest control using a surface spray on bed-linen or mattress. Such a use could be a DANGER to the health and safety of the occupants. Key Environmental Pest Control Bed Bugs Specialists can use specialized equipment with a variety of insecticide formulations depending upon the circumstances.