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Bed Bugs

Appearance and Size Facts

  • Bed bugs are reddish brown in color and are wingless
  • Roughly oval in shape and become swollen after a blood meal
  • Bed bugs are dorsoventrally flattened (thin), and this means that they can hide in narrow cracks and crevices
  • Fast runners
  • Size: Approximately 3/16 inch long

Behavior and Habitat of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed on blood and have mouthparts that are especially adapted for piercing skin. Like most blood sucking arthropods, they inject saliva during feeding, which has anticoagulant properties. Bed bugs respond to the warmth and carbon dioxide of a host and quickly locate a suitable feeding site. Most feeding occurs at night and they generally seek shelter during the day. However, Bed bugs are opportunistic and will bite in the day, especially if starved for some time. They can survive for long periods without feeding. While their preferred host is human, they will feed on wide variety of other warm-blooded animals including rodents, rabbits, bats, and even birds. Being a cryptic species, Bed bugs shelter in a variety of dark locations, mostly close to where people sleep. These include cracks and crevices, such as mattress seams, sheets, floorboards, behind paintings, in carpets, behind skirting, within bed frames and other furniture, and behind loose wallpaper. Bed bugs are often found in hotels and may move from room to room through plumbing pipes, electrical lines, and on housekeeping carts. Blood spotting on mattresses and nearby furnishings is often a tell tale sign of an infestation.

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Signs of Infestation of Bed Bugs

Look for black to brown stains on porous surfaces or black to brown mounds on nonporous surfaces and bites that cause red welts on the skin.

An illustration representing a warning sign for bug infestation

Tips for Prevention of Bed Bugs

Disassemble your beds, remove everything from bedroom and closets, wash ALL clothing, towels, and other linens, vacuum floors, furniture, inside closets, dresser drawers, and bed stands, move furniture away from walls, pull carpet edges back from walls, encase mattresses and use Bed bug interceptor traps on bed frames. Only professional pest management companies, such as Hulett Environmental Services, should make any chemical applications to areas infested by Bed bugs.

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Bed Bugs Gallery

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Photograph of bed bugs number 2
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