Bed Bugs | Allen County Department of Health

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Bed bugs are six-legged insects that feed on theblood of humans during the night-time hours and crawl away to hide during the day. They are commonly found in large buildings such as apartments, dorms, prisons, hospitals and hotels; however, infestations can also occur in private homes as well.

Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, but most people experience itching, pain and/or swelling of the skin where a bed bug bite occurs (such as the arms, face or back).An infestation of bed bugs could also cause some mental health issues, along with insomnia.

Experts believe the recent increase in bed bugs in the United States may be due to more travel, lack of knowledge about preventing infestations, increased resistance of bed bugs to pesticides, and ineffective pest control practices. The key to controlling bed bugs is usingan integrated pest management(IPM)approach.

Below you will find more information on bed bugs and methods for getting rid of them.

Bed bugsare flat, oval-shaped, and 1/4 inches in length (about the size of an appleseed). Nymphs (immature bed bugs) resemble theadult bugs but are often smaller and lighter in color.

Bed bugs will often hidein thecracks, crevices and recesses of furniture (especially mattresses)and walls of the home during the day. They can be found under bed frames and nightstands, behind wall-mounted headboards and moldings just above the floor, and in light switches and alarm clocks.

Bed bugs are great hitchhikers. They can move from an infested site to a new home by traveling on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes, and clothing. While there is a mistaken belief that bed bugs are only found in dirty environments, the truth is they can be found inclean environments as well.

Although they typically feed on blood every five to ten days, bed bugs are capable of surviving several months without feeding.

If you have an infestation, it is best to find it early, before the infestation becomes established or spreads.

Bites on the skin are not always a good indicator of a bed bug infestationbecause bed bug bites can look like bites from other insects (such as mosquitoes or chiggers), rashes (such as eczema or fungal infections), or even hives. Some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.

When cleaning, changing bedding, or staying away from home, look for:

A few simple precautions can help you prevent bed bug infestation in your home:

While there is no quick fix to getting rid of bed bugs, there are effective strategies to control bed bugs involving both non-chemical and chemical methods.

Some tips for getting rid of bed bugs:

Hiringa pest management professional (PMP) as soon as possible rather than taking time to try to treat the problem yourself can help prevent the infestation from spreading.

Below are links to videos and publications related to bed bugs.

Read more:
Bed Bugs | Allen County Department of Health

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