Bed bugs are small, oval shaped bugs that survive off blood of animals and humans. Bed bugs don’t fly like other insects, but they can move quickly just by crawling. Female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs over her lifetime. Bed bugs hide very well in homes, cars, and businesses which is why many people only notice them due to bed bug bites on their bodies.
Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe.
Typically they are found on or around beds including mattresses, bed frames, box springs and headboards. Other common locations are in living areas such as couches, recliners and chairs. Bed bugs are extremely lazy pests so they don't want to travel far for their next meal.
No, bed bugs are not known to spread any types of diseases. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.
A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.
Bed bugs typically eat at night in the dark and leave very itchy bite marks which can interrupt sleep. Over time, these bite marks and lack of sleep can be very disruptive to one’s life and leave a psychological impact to those affected.
Some of the signs that you might have a bed bug infestation include small black dots on bed linens and around the seams of mattresses, box springs, couches, chairs and recliners. You may also notice small blood stains on bedding.
This is the challenging part for a lot of people because many people don't react to a bed bug bite. The only way to know you've been bitten is if you have a reaction. If you do react to the bed bug bite, the bite marks are usually 1-3 bites in small clusters and are extremely itchy, usually worse than a mosquito bite.
Bed bugs are the best hitch hikers on the planet so you can get them from anywhere. They can crawl on any article of clothing and hitch a ride back to your home or workplace. Most people do not realize they are transporting stow-away bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel. Places where people are in and out often are usually at higher risk for bed bugs. Some examples include hospitals, hotels, senior living facilities, apartment buildings, public transit and movie theaters.
Bed bugs don't discriminate, all they need is a blood meal so anyone can be exposed to bed bugs. Everyone is at risk for bed bugs!
One common thing we see across Western Pennsylvania is that the bed bugs often travel into homes on used furniture. One common myth is that bed bugs only hide in beds. Bed bugs can hide in any type of furniture.
Prevention on your own is nearly impossible because in many cases you don't even know you have them until it's too late. However, clothing is a primary method for bed bug transfer so constantly washing/drying your clothes can help prevent a bed bug problem. It is best to hire a professional on a preventative treatment plan to reduce your risk to bed bugs. Some treatment methods include traps, sprays, powders, fogging and heat. Many treatments sold over the counter are ineffective and can worsen the situation so having a professional is recommended.
Bed bugs are hard to treat because they are hard to find and difficult to reach. Often you don't even know they are there until the infestation has reached a higher level of activity. Also, bed bugs are developing an immunity to certain bed bug treatments so those don't work anymore. It's important to have a professional treat your home or business with methods that work in eliminating bed bugs.
Many people confuse bed bugs for carpet beetles, spider beetles and ticks.
Adult bed bugs are tiny, reddish-brown, flattened ovals, about 3/16” long. Nymphs, immature bed bugs, are smaller and lighter in color. Blood meals are needed to grow from nymph to adult. The five stages of growth will each require a meal nourishing the insect to maturation within just one month. To lay eggs an adult female must ingest a blood meal. She will lay a few eggs each day in secluded spots, with the potential to lay hundreds in her lifetime. The pale, tiny, sticky eggs will cling to horizontal or vertical surfaces for the week it takes for them to hatch.
Allegheny County, Butler County, Beaver County, Washington County, Westmoreland County, Fayette County, Greene County, Lawrence County, Mercer County, Armstrong County, Indiana County, Venango County, Erie County, Crawford County, Somerset County, Cambria County, and surrounding areas.