Bed Bug Identification Guide

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs have flat, oval-shaped bodies that are reddish-brown and grow to about 1/4 of an inch long; immature bed bugs (nymphs) look similar to adults, but are smaller in size and yellowish in color, until they have their first blood meal. After feeding, nymphs turn bright red. Bed bugs are wingless and unable to jump. Their primary mode of transportation is hitchhiking from place to place on people or our belongings.

bed bugs on a box spring

Bed bugs are ectoparasites, meaning they feed on their hosts from the outside of their bodies. With the bed bug's favorite food source being human blood, these insects are difficult to avoid. Bed bugs want to live near us to be close to their food source. They are nocturnal, hiding during the day and emerging at night to feed on their host's blood as they sleep.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Bed bugs aren't dangerous pests, but you do not want them living with you and your family. Bed bugs bite to feed, and those allergic will develop a raised red itchy rash. Their bites can become infected due to excessive itching. While bed bugs are capable of harboring disease-causing pathogens, the spread of disease to people is not a huge concern. Bed bug excrement and feeding habits cause walls, floors, fabrics, and upholstery to become stained and damaged. Also, a large bed bug infestation will create an unpleasant musty odor.

Why do I have a bed bug problem?

Bed bugs are prolific breeders. Just a few bed bugs finding their way into your home can explode into a large and difficult to control infestation. Introducing bed bugs into your home can happen in a variety of ways:

  • People can come into contact with bed bugs when they are at work, when traveling or running daily errands, or while visiting the home of a friend or family member.

  • Bed bugs move inside of structures in used mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture.

  • In multi-unit buildings, bed bugs can move from unit to unit through walls and floors using pipes and wires as their personal highway system.

Where will I find bed bugs?

You will find bed bugs wherever people live or spend time. Airports, hotels, movie theaters, libraries, and our homes are all places where bed bugs live successfully. When bed bugs move into homes, they will first hide in sleeping areas in the seams of mattresses and box springs, in cracks in wooden furniture or walls, or behind walls hangings.

As the infestation grows, the bed bugs will move throughout the infested home and take up multiple hiding spots. You'll find them behind baseboards, in the wall voids behind electrical outlets, in electronics and keyboards, and in areas of clutter.

How do I get rid of bed bugs?

To solve your bed bug problem, it is best to partner with a professional. Pestout is committed to getting rid of bed bugs and other pests, and keeping them out! Here at Pestout, we are a family-owned company dedicated to serving the needs of our residential and commercial customers.

Our friendly professionals utilize advanced technologies to deliver the comprehensive pest control services needed to solve pest problems in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. If you would like to learn more about implementing our bed bug control services into your Virginia home or business, reach out to Pestout today. One call controls them all!

How can I prevent bed bugs in the future?

Prevent problems with bed bugs by implementing the following prevention tips in and around your Virginia home:

  • Keep personal belongings away from other people's belongings.

  • Never place coats, bags, or other personal belongings on the ground.

  • Always inspect your hotel room for signs of bed bugs before bringing luggage inside.

  • After traveling, wash and dry all clothing on the highest heat settings the fabrics can handle.

  • Do not buy used mattresses, box springs, and furniture for your home.

  • Vacuum your floors regularly.

  • Eliminate areas of clutter from your home.

  • Don't allow dirty laundry to collect on the ground.

  • Change and wash your bedding weekly.

  • Place bed bug proof covers on all mattresses and box springs.

 

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