Frequently Asked Questions

What are Bed Bugs

Bed bugs, which are scientifically known as Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), are small dorsoventrally flattened insects. They feed on warm blood, making humans a perfect host. They start as nearly microscopic eggs and grow through five developmental life stages. At each immature stage (called nymphs or instars), they must consume blood in order to develop into the next stage.

Adult bed bugs can be easily seen with the naked eye. They are reddish-brown in color and are approximately ¼ inch in length. Although they can move swiftly across horizontal and vertical surfaces, they don’t fly or jump.

What do bed bugs look like?

Adults of the common bed bug are a reddish – brown color. They have an oval shape with flattened bodies (after feeding, the body becomes swollen). They hatch about the size of a pinhead and young nymphs look like walking poppy seeds, eventually growing to about ¼ inch or longer. You may first notice them when they are the size of an apple seed and may be mistaken for a cockroach or tick. They do not fly, but they can climb, and they run very fast. Their eggs are white and small (1mm).You’ll have to look hard to see them glued in seams and cracks.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are found anywhere that is frequented by people. Bed bugs are more likely found in locations with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, cruise ships, dormitories, multi-family housing, nursing homes, movie theaters, etc.. We also find them in moving trucks and vans.

When do bed bugs feed?

They predominately feed at night between 2:00—5:00 A.M. (usually closer to 5:00 A.M.). However, they have also been known to feed during the daytime.

Where do bed bugs hide?

Bed bugs hide in mattresses and box springs, bed frames, night stands, dressers, upholstered furniture, cracks, crevices, behind switch plates, electrical outlets, behind baseboards, window and door casings, the edge of and under carpeting, seams in wallpaper, behind pictures and other wall hangings, in draperies and blinds.

Bed bugs prefer a semi-dark environment and rougher surfaces such as wood, paper, or fabric.

How do bed bugs spread?

The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) climbs easily up any fabric, wood or paper surface. Bed bugs often spread by “hitchhiking” on all types of household items, such as bedding, furniture, luggage, clothing, backpacks, purses, briefcases, animal cages, picture frames and electronic devices. Bed bugs can hide in any crack or crevice as small as the width of a credit card.

What do bed bug bites look like?

Bite reactions vary. Some people show no reaction, while others exhibit a raised itchy red welt at the site of the bite. Some reactions are immediate and sometimes they are delayed. Many times you will find two or more bites in a row. The bites are more likely to occur on an exposed area of the body such as arms, neck, face, shoulders, or back.

How do I treat the bed bug bites?

Always seek professional medical advice. There are anti-itching medications as well as antibiotic salves which may be helpful when applied to the bites.