Bed Bugs: FAQ
Published Monday, February 16, 2009 1:37PM EST
How to identify bed bugs?
Bed bugs are gray to reddish-brown, oval and flat in shape, and one to five millimeters in length. Nymphs are shaped like adults, but are yellow-white.
Where are they likely to gather?
Beds, headboards, end tables, and other surrounding items. Not to mention behind wallpaper and picture frames, inside electrical outlets, and other similar locations. They stay in hidden cracks and crevices during the day.
Where do they come from?
Bed bugs spread on furniture, electronics, clothing and other belongings. They were common before the widespread use of DDT during the 1940s and 1950s. But they are gaining numbers in North America thanks to increased travel.
How do I identify an infestation?
On your body, bites are typically a line of faded red specs.
Other red flags are crushed bedbugs inside the bed, tiny bloodstains on bedsheets, black or brown spots on the bed or wall, and a sweet, musty smell in the room.
Can bed bugs transmit disease while feeding on blood?
No, they have not shown this ability. However, some humans may be allergic to their bite. This may cause swelling, welts, or infection.
How can I prevent them from showing up?
Prevention is difficult and often depends on a person's travel habits. Traps and regular inspection are considered the two reliable methods.
It's too late. How can I get rid of them?
Infestations can be treated yourself or through a professional pest management company that will spray pesticides. Intensive cleaning and vacuuming is also required.
Sources: Abell Pest Control, Health Canada