Pest Control: Bed Bugs
Cimex lectularius Linnaeus
Bed bugs are one of the most notorious pests in the world. After disappearing for decades, they have made a resurgence since the 1990s. These insects feed primarily at night, though they are not exclusively nocturnal. Bed bugs lay up to 500 eggs in a lifetime and can live several months without feeding. Though there have been no cases of disease being transmitted, bites can cause itchy, red welts. Furthermore, they can be detrimental psychologically, causing anxiety and sleeplessness. If you suspect an infestation, contact a pest management professional.
Mahogany to reddish-brown; will become a darker color after feeding
Flat and oval; become engorged after blood meal
¼ inch long
Live in areas near host. Most commonly this is in bedrooms where they stay hidden when not feeding. Their flat bodies allow them to hide in places like mattress folds, behind headboards, picture frames, CD cases, and many more.
Found throughout the world
Other Identifying Features:
- Dark spots on sheets, bed, and other locations where bed bugs are present. These are fecal stains that are partially digested blood.
- Eggs will be attached to areas where bed bugs are present
- Nymphs will shed skins through each of five immature cycles. These sheds will be visible.
- Inspect bed linens often for blood spots
- Inspect hotel rooms before placing luggage inside. Keep luggage away from bed and walls
- Inspect luggage after traveling; keep clothes in sealed bags until they can be washed
- Examine secondhand items before bringing into home
- Don’t sleep in other rooms if you suspect infestation. Switching locations only spreads the infestation.