Detection and Control of Bed Bugs in Lodging Establishments …

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Introduction | What Are Bed Bugs | What happens to people who are bitten by bed bugs? | If I cant keep bed bugs out of my hotel, what can I do? | How should I respond, if a guest complains about bed bugs? | How can I control an Infestation? | More information

Introduction: Bed bugs were almost entirely eliminated in the United States more than forty years ago by mass treatments with older types of insecticides such as DDT. Over the past decade, bed bug infestations have increased throughout the U.S. and become more widespread. Rural and urban homes, retail stores, office buildings, nursing homes, motels and hotels in Minnesota have been affected by the pests.

The problem of a bed bug infestation in a motel or hotel is somewhat unique. When bed bugs invade a lodging establishment, the most important services the business offers a clean, safe bed and a good nights sleep are threatened. It is important therefore to consider both prevention and response tactics and strategies to deal with this problem. Regular inspections can prevent the spread of an infestation. Sensible controls and rapid response can contain infestations and reduce the impact on guests and the reputation of a business.

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Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. They are flat, oval, reddish-brown and wingless. The adult is about 1/4 of an inch long and looks somewhat like a wood tick.

After the bed bug has taken a blood meal, its color will change from brown to purplish-red and the body of the bed bug becomes larger and more cigar-shaped. Young bed bugs (or nymphs) are much smaller - about 1/16 inch long when they first hatch. Nymphs are nearly colorless, and become bright red after feeding.

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Bed bugs are not known to carry disease but the bites can be annoying. The bites are usually painless. It may take days for people to notice the small, flat or raised bumps on their skin that result from bed bug bites. Some people do not react at all. In others, bed bug bites may cause redness, swelling, and itching. A small number of people have a serious, immediate allergic reaction to bed bug bites requiring medical care.

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