Batzner pest control technician inspecting bed for bed bugs in WI homeBed bugs are blood-drinking insects known for inhabiting beds and other nearby crevices. Infestations can quickly get out of control, so it is important to have a pest control professional correctly identify bed bugs and provide proper treatments.


  • Adults have six legs and are oval shaped
  • Relatively flat insect, so it can crawl into a wide variety of crevices in close proximity to humans
  • Typically small, usually less than a quarter-inch long, and is brown or reddish brown in color.
    • The reddish brown color comes from the consumption of blood. Fecal spotting tends to appear as dark/black stains or smears from the digested blood that is excreted.
Bed bug life cycle diagram including adult and instar level

Behavior & Diet

  • Bed bugs feed on human blood, causing itching and swelling
  • Females lay 10-20 eggs per week, which translates to 500-1000 hungry bed bugs per year
  • If food is unavailable, bed bugs can survive for several months to up to a year before dying of dehydration
  • Infestations cross all socio-economic boundaries being found in world class hotels and lower income housing

Where Bed Bugs Come From & Signs of an Infestation

Bed bugs can be introduced into any environment through used bed materials or furniture, or from luggage after traveling. Bed bugs can also travel between units in hotels and apartment buildings. Check for evidence of a bed bug infestation using the checklist below.

Key Inspection Areas

Infestations can happen anywhere. Here are key areas to check:

  • Routinely inspect rooms for bed bug activity
  • Inspect all areas within 3-5 feet of where people sleep or relax (chairs, couches, beds)
  • Folds, seams and buttons on beds and furniture
  • Spaces behind wood trim, inside electrical boxes, in floors, and behind wallpaper
  • Under the bed, between mattresses, and within the seams of the mattress
  • Cracks and crevices in bed frames, headboards, and box springs 
  • High up on the walls or hide behind curtain rods
  • Inspect behind picture frames, light fixtures and any other mounted furnishings
Bed bug illustration inspection areas

Think you have bed bugs? Next Steps

  1. It is important to contact a Pest Management Professional to have a bed bug appropriately identified. A physical sample of an actual bug or egg is required to be 100% certain that you have bed bugs.
  2. The complete elimination of bed bugs requires highly trained and licensed individuals knowledgeable in bed bug biology, behavior and the proper use of pesticides. 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 service specialist is the best step in managing your bed bug removal.

Helpful Documents

  1. Use these documents to learn more about the identification, behavior, and habits of bed bugs, and what do to if you discover you have bed bugs.

Being Proactive is the Best Defense

Education is the first step in preventing bed bugs. The second step is knowing what to do if you find bed bugs. If you do discover a problem, it is vital to act immediately. Call us at 800.878.2110 for a free phone consultation. We’ll assess the situation and offer options to help take care of your problem. We’re always happy to help.

We offer seminars to provide education about bed bugs. Contact us if you would like a seminar set up for your facility or employees. Learn more about bed bugs in our bed bug learning center.

Due to the biology and habits of bed bugs, there is always a risk of getting bed bugs or for reintroduction. The best way to approach bed bugs is detect them early with a regularly scheduled inspection and treatment program.

Bed Bugs 101 in Wisconsin

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