Bed Bug Information

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are insects that, as adults, have oval-shaped bodies with no wings. Prior to feeding, they are about 1/4 inch long and flat as paper. After feeding, they turn dark red and become bloated. Eggs are whitish, pear-shaped and about the size of a pinhead. Clusters of 10-50 eggs can be found in cracks and crevices. Bed bugs have a one-year life span during which time a female can lay 200-400 eggs depending on food supply and temperature. Eggs hatch in about 10 days.

What do bed bugs feed on?

Bed bugs prefer to feed on human blood, but will also bite mammals and birds. Bed bugs bite at night, and will bite all over a human body, especially around the face, neck, upper torso, arms and hands. Bed bugs can survive up to 11 1/2 months without feeding. Both male and female bed bugs bite.

Can I get sick from bed bugs?

There are no known cases of infectious disease transmitted by bed bug bites. Most people are not aware that they have been bitten but some people are more sensitive to the bite and may have a localized reaction. Scratching the bitten areas can lead to infection.

How do bed bugs get into my home?

Bed bugs are often carried into a home on objects such as furniture and clothing. If you think you have a bed bug problem, check for live bed bugs or shells in the following areas:

  • Seams, creases, tufts and folds of mattresses and box springs
  • Cracks in the bed frame and head board
  • Under chairs, couches, beds, dust covers
  • Between the cushions of couches and chairs
  • Under area rugs and the edges of carpets
  • Between the folds of curtains
  • In drawers
  • Behind baseboards, and around window and door casings
  • Behind electrical plates and under loose wallpaper, paintings and posters
  • In cracks in plaster
  • In telephones, radios, and clocks

Bed bugs can also travel from apartment to apartment along pipes, electrical wiring and other openings. If the infestation is heavy, a sweet smell may be noticed in the room.

How long do bed bug bites last?

If a bug bug bite is not made worse by scratching, it should resolve within a week. Bed bug bites usually itch though and you will be tempted to scratch them.

Everybody can react differently to bed bug bites. Some people may not show much more than a small bump. Others might have a more intense reaction. If the reaction is severe enough, your doctor may decide to prescribe an antihistamine, antibiotic or corticosteroid treatment.

What are some Bed Bug bite characteristics?

Bed bug bites look very different from one person to another. Some bedbug bites are larger, some smaller, some have a red dot in the center, or a scab, others don’t, some look like mosquito bites or pimples. Some bed bug bites are in groups of 2 or three (a pattern known as “breakfast, lunch, and dinner”), or in a line, or in a circle. Others are always single bites.

Everybody can react differently to bed bug bites. Some people may not show much more than a small bump. Others might have a more intense reaction. If the reaction is severe enough, your doctor may decide to prescribe an antihistamine, antibiotic or corticosteroid treatment.

More information about Bed Bugs