Bed Bugs –

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What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small insects. Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color and range from 1/16" to 1/4" inch in lengthi (about the size of a poppy seed and apple seed, respectively). Bed bugs are nocturnal and active at night. They are visible to the naked eye, but can be difficult to spot because they often hide in clusters in cracks and crevices around the home. They feed mainly on the blood of humans, but may also feed on pets.

Bed bugs are not known to spread disease, but many people consider them a nuisance. The timing and severity of bite reactions is dependent on the bitten person's immune response and can vary from one person to another. Some people are allergic to bed bug's saliva and can develop itchy welts on their skin immediately after being bitten by a bed bug. It can take some people a week or more to develop a reaction to a bed bug's bite, while oftentimes, a bed bug bites a person three times during a single feeding.

Bed bugs multiply quickly; each female may lay 200-500 eggs in her lifetime. Bed bugs can live two years or longerii and an adult bed bug can survive over 12 months without feeding on blood.

Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color and vary in size. A bed bug's appearance can change dramatically depending on their feeding status. If an adult bed bug has not fed recently, it looks flat, long and oval-shaped. However, once it takes a blood meal, the body will appear almond in shape and the bed bug will look less disc-like.

Bed bugs leave fecal spots after digesting a blood meal. These fecal spots are dark, round in shape, and are often seen in clusters of 10 or more. If the bed bug population is low, there may be only a few dark spots in one location.

- Along mattress seams

The Washington County Environmental Health Program recommends that homeowners, property owners, or property managers hire a pest control professional licensed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Licensed pest control professionals should always provide proof of their licensure and their company's licensure upon request. Select a licensed professional who has experience in bed bug control and who will use control measures for all life stages (egg to adult). Cooperation with a pest control company is essential in successfully eradicating an infestation. Multiple treatments and/or follow-up inspections may be needed to effectively wipe out an infestation. A prompt response to the problem will reduce the financial burden of bed bug control to owners and managers.

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Bed Bugs -

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