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Bed bugs are reddish-brown, wingless insects that are the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs can be seen by the human eye.
Bed bugs make small, red, itchy bites, often in a straight line. Bites usually occur on areas of the body exposed during sleeping such as the neck, arms, and legs. Bed bug bites look different from flea bites. Flea bites are usually randomly placed and often have a dark red spot in the center of the welt.
Anyone who visits an area infected with bed bugs can get bitten or spread bed bugs.
Bed bugs live in mattresses, box springs, cracks of furniture, floors, walls, window sills, and even picture frames located close to beds.
Bed bugs feed on the blood of people or animals while they sleep.
Bed bugs will live about one year at room temperature if they have access to blood meals. Bed bugs at room temperature without access to blood meals will die within 70 days.
Bed bugs are not known to spread disease and are not considered to be dangerous. However, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.
Bed bug infestations occur most commonly from bringing used furniture into your home.
Review Bed Bug Prevention Methods for more information.
One of the most common ways of coming across bed bugs is during travel.
For more information, watch this Travel Tips video or review these Bed Bug Prevention Methods.
You may notice bites on your skin. Or, you may see the small blood stains from crushed insects or dark spots from their droppings on your mattress. Look carefully in and around the mattress seams.
For more information review How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation.
Do you think you have bed bugs? Check out these resources for more information:
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed Bug Treatment: What you Should Expect
Bed bugs and stains on sheets
Bed bug stains on mattress
Bed bugs and stains on mattress
Bed bug bites on skin
Bed bug bites – severe reaction
If you do not feel comfortable with do-it-yourself methods to get rid of bed bugs, you may decide to hire a pest control company. Here are some tips for hiring a pest control company.
The Environmental Health Program may become involved in situations where bed bugs are reported at a public facility, long-term care residence, or child care facility. Contact us at 703-228-7400 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.