What Are Bed Bugs?

family in bed together

These pests hide in tight cracks and crevices during the day then emerge at night to feed on people, attracted to the carbon dioxide being produced as they breathe. Bed bugs are extremely sneaky and have the potential to hitchhike their way into any home.

Adult bed bugs are about the size and shape of an apple seed. They grow to about ¼ of an inch in length, have flat, oval-shaped bodies and six legs. What bed bugs look like depends on which stage of development they're in. Before feeding, bed bugs are a reddish-brown color. After feeding, they turn a deeper purplish-red color and their bodies elongate and become swollen. Young bed bugs – called nymphs – are smaller than adults and their bodies are nearly transparent before feeding. After consuming a blood meal, these nymphs turn bright red in color and become much easier to spot. Bed bug eggs are the size of a pinhead; they are sticky, white, and difficult to spot with an untrained eye.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Bed bugs aren’t considered dangerous pests as they aren’t known to transmit a wide variety of serious diseases. In fact, bed bug bites typically cause little to no reaction in most people. However, some people do experience allergic reactions to these bites which can cause extreme itching and lead to secondary infections. Having a bed bug infestation can also cause people to lose sleep, knowing that these insects are living in their home and biting them and their family members while they sleep.

An important note to make in regards to bed bugs is that that there is some research being done currently that possibly links bed bugs to the spread of Chagas disease. When the broken skin of the bite is exposed to bed bug feces, that person could potentially be infected with the parasite which causes Chagas disease. These parasites live in the heart and digestive muscle of its host and can lead to severe digestive and neurological problems to the infected individual.

Why do I have a bed bug problem?

Simply put, bed bugs are found where people are found as we are their main food source. This means that bed bugs can be found inhabiting practically any public place where people are constantly moving to and fro. Bed bugs can be inadvertently introduced into your home by you, a family member, or a visiting friend by hitchhiking inside or your clothing, luggage, or other personal belongings. They may also find their way inside on used furniture, mattresses, and box springs.

Where are bed bugs commonly found?

Bed bug populations can be found in a variety of public places and modes of public transportation such as airports, buses, daycare centers, dormitories, healthcare facilities, hotels, motels, movie theaters, nursing homes, office buildings, schools, shopping centers, and taxis. Once bed bugs have found their way inside a home, they typically infest sleeping areas first, then move throughout the home to find other hiding places such as cracks and crevices in wooden head and foot boards, dressers, walls, floors, upholstered and wooden furniture, closets, piles of dirty laundry, and even electronics and electrical outlets.

How do I get rid of bed bugs?

The best way to deal with a bed bug problem is to partner with a pest control professional. Here at HTP, we offer the responsive services needed to provide customized treatment programs for all our customers. Our experienced professionals utilize modern treatments as well as eco-friendly and EPA-registered products to completely solve your bed bug problem. To learn more about our guaranteed bed bug control services and how they eliminate those invading bed bugs for good, contact us for more information!

How can I prevent bed bugs in the future?

Preventing problems with bed bugs can be a difficult task; however, there are several things you can do to discourage them from invading:

  • Inspect any hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs before bringing belongings inside.
  • Keep suitcases, bags, and other personal belongings up off the floor.
  • After returning home from a trip, immediately unpack your suitcases and place the dirty laundry in one area together.
  • Wash and dry all the clothing on a high heat setting.
  • Wipe down and vacuum out the inside and outside of all the suitcases used prior to storing them.
  • When spending time in public places, always keep your belongings up off the ground.
  • Never purchase used furniture, mattresses, or box springs for use inside your home.
  • Regularly vacuum your home’s floors and the seams of furniture, mattresses, and box springs.

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