Bed Bug FAQs
Q: What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, have inoperable wings, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln's head on a penny), and can live several months without eating.
Q: How do I know if my home has bed bugs?
- Small blood smears on bedding, sofas, and walls, behind head boards and night stands
- Tiny dark spots on your sheets, mattress, or box spring (bed bug fecal droppings)
- Dried remains of bed bug skin that has been shed
Q: Do bed bugs spread disease?
Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard. 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.
Q: How did I get bed bugs?
Bed bugs are transferred from place to place as people travel. The bed bugs travel in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide.
Q: Who is responsible for bed bug treatment?
Landlords are legally responsible for the treatment or removal of the tenant in multifamily dwellings. In single family dwellings, the tenant is responsible to control pest and rodents.
Q: Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs can be found:
- In crevices
- Under, inside, and behind all furniture
- In seams and around piping on mattresses
- On walls, pictures, curtains, and mirrors
- On clothing, luggage, and in closets
- Edge of carpet
- Behind bed headboards
- Behind walls
Q: How can I eliminate a bed bug problem?
Bed bugs are very difficult to get rid of because they are hard to find and kill. Making your home bed bug-free will take time and effort from you, the housing manager (if the home is a rental unit), and a pest control company.
The best way to eliminate bed bugs is early detection, regular cleaning, and inspecting, and targeted pesticide use by a pest management professional. This includes regular cleaning and vacuuming, steaming to kill bed bugs, and laundering/drying clothes on high heat.