Bed bugs: What you need to know — Hennepin County, Minnesota

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Recent reports about bed bugs in U.S. homes and hotels have prompted concerns among some Hennepin County staff. Theyre worried they might pick up the parasitic pests while doing client home visits or during hotel stays while travelling and then, without knowing it, bring them home on their clothes or belongings.

The following information provides practical guidance about bed bugs and how to avoid or get rid of them.

Bed bugs: What are they? Avoiding bed bugs Getting rid of bed bugs

Additional resourcesUniversity of Minnesota Extension | Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) | New York State Integrated Pest Management Program | Toronto Public Health | | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Bed bugs: What are they? Bed bugs are small blood sucking insects that prefer to feed on human blood. Their name, bed bug, stems from their preferred habitat of beds or other interior areas where people sleep.

Bed bugs are mainly active at night and are capable of biting and sucking a sleeping persons blood unnoticed. They come out of hiding only when searching for their next blood meal and can stay hidden for more than a year between meals.

Unlike mosquitoes, fleas and other blood sucking insects which can spread diseases, bed bugs have not been shown to do so. Their bite can cause localized inflammation and itching of the skin surrounding the bite or more widespread rashes and other allergic symptoms. Many people do not react at all to their bite. Still, just the presence of the pest can be disturbing.

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Avoiding bed bugsYou can avoid bed bugs if you know their appearance and habits.

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Bed bugs: What you need to know — Hennepin County, Minnesota

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