Bed Bug FAQ
Everything you wanted to know about bed bugs (but were afraid to ask).
Adult bed bugs are about the size, shape, and color of an apple seed. They are oval shaped, flat, and about 1/4 inch in length. Unfed nymphs are translucent and are about the size of a pinhead. Eggs are the size, shape, and color of a half grain of rice.
Identifying bed bug bites can be difficult. Here are some distinguishing factors to help discern them from other insect bites.
- If you felt the bite when it occurred, it was not a bed bug.
- If bites are random and spread out, it was probably not bed bugs.
- If the bite forms a blister, it could be a bed bug bite.
- If the bites follows a pattern (straight or a zig zag), they could be bed bug bites. My bites looked like The Little Dipper, crossing my chest onto my right shoulder. They also tend to be in groupings of three to five.
- Bed bug sightings
- Small dark spots on sheets and pillowcases
- Dark spots in seams on mattresses
- Dark spots on bed frames and headboards
- Cast, shed skin (exoskeleton that appears translucent)
- Folds, seams and buttons on beds and furniture
- Areas where you sit often, like chairs and couches
- Under the bed, between mattresses, and within the seams of the mattress
- Cracks and crevices in bed frames and headboards
- High up on the walls or hide behind curtain rods
- Behind hanging picture frames, baseboards, dressers and lighting. Wood serves as an insulated home for bed bugs keeping them cozy
- Anywhere within 3-5 feet of where you sleep or spend a lot of idle time
No. Their saliva contains a substance that acts as a mild anesthetic so you will not feel it.
Although humans are preferred, bed bugs will bite pets if there is not a human host present. The bites will look similar to the ones found on humans. After feeding, bed bugs will return to a protected location, so they will not be found on the host. If you are concerned about a pet, the best thing to do is take it to the vet.
Typically bed bugs feed at night but are active whenever a warm body is nearby and idle for an extended period of time.
Bed bugs are great hitchhikers. Routinely cleaning and clearing clutter can eliminate the hiding places for bed bugs. You should also carefully inspect any items brought into your home.
It typically takes between 6-10 hours.
Bed bugs are brought in either on clothing, personal belongings, or furniture.
Studies show that female bed bugs migrate away from their host if left uncontrolled. This often leads to infestations in common rooms, lobbies, adjoining rooms or neighboring units. Infested rooms or units may not report seeing bed bugs. Over 30% of people living with bed bugs don’t realize they are being bit. It is common for people to be hesitant to report having bed bugs for fear of embarrassment, eviction, and the stigma of being unclean.
No. Most likely the bedbugs will move with them. The bed bugs could be living or hiding in their belongings. Bed bugs left behind can migrate to other rooms for a blood meal, and they can live up to 1 year or more while waiting for their next blood meal.
Yes. You should inspect the items for any signs of activity, and when in doubt, have any furniture professionally treated. New clothes should be fine, but used clothing can be dried on high heat if you are unsure if it is infested.
We do not recommend throwing away furniture or belongings until a professional comes and assesses the situation. Most items can be treated. If you must get rid of something, wrap the items in plastic and seal it with packing tape. If it is small enough, place it in a trash bag and seal with tape.
Place any clothes that may be infested into a dryer set on high for a least 30 minutes. This also works for dry clean only items. As long as the item is dry, it shouldn’t be damaged, but you should talk to the maker of the clothes first. We are not responsible for damaging any clothes.
That can help, but without treatments, the new items will rapidly become infested by bed bugs that are living in walls, cracks and crevices, etc. Bed bugs are frequently spread when someone moves infested furniture out of a room without encasing the items in heavy gauge plastic. Bed bugs reinfest buildings through reintroduction of infested items from a dumpster.
We caution against the use of over the counter products as most bedbugs are genetically resistant to common household insecticides. Only professionals can access the products and training required to control bed bugs. Using over-the-counter or “do-it-yourself” pesticides or repellents may make the infestation worse by aggravating them, causing them to scatter into remote areas like bed frames, molding and picture frames. Contacting a professional is the best step in managing your bed bug removal.
- Avoid used furniture. If that’s not possible, carefully inspect used furniture before it is brought in.
- Inspect units with new tenants or with frequent turnover (such as hotel rooms) on a regular basis.
- Ask tenants to avoid visiting or allowing anyone that has a known bed bug infestation in their home to visit your property or home until they have successfully eliminated the bed bug infestation in their own home.
- Use caution while traveling and staying in hotels; inspect the area before unpacking your bags.