Bed bugs have a long history as pests. While they are not known to transmit or spread disease, they do cause physical—and mental—irritation. Here’s the low-down on bed bugs so you can better prevent a bed bug infestation and get the right help when one occurs. In this article:
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
- About the size of an apple seed, adult bed bugs look like a long balloon if they’ve recently eaten.
- Nymphs, or young bed bugs, are smaller, whitish-yellow, and difficult to see, especially against white linen.
- Eggs are tiny, pearl-white, and have a black spot if more than five days old.
- In severe infestations, you’ll smell a musty-sweet odor.
- They feed on humans, mammals, and birds.
- Bed bugs prefer to eat at least every 14 days, but adults have been known to live up to 400 days without food.
- Bed bugs are willing to travel 5 to 20 feet for food.
How Can You Find Bed Bugs?
- Check mattresses and box springs around piping, seams, and tags.
- Inspect cracks in the headboard and bed frame.
- Heavily infested rooms will show evidence of bed bugs in the seams of upholstered furniture, in curtains and door and window frames, under wall hangings, in drawer joints, and in electrical outlets.
- Look for rusty or reddish stains on linens and mattresses where bed bugs may have been crushed.
- The feces of bed bugs look like dark spots about the size of the dot a marker would make.
The EPA’s Top Ten Tips to Control or Prevent Bed Bugs
- Don’t panic!
- Don’t reach for the chemicals before considering all your treatment options.
- Kill bed bugs with heat.
- Reconsider freezing bed bugs as an effective kill method.
- Confirm the bugs are bed bugs, not fleas, ticks, or other insect.
- Clear out clutter so bed bugs can’t hide.
- Regularly wash and dry your linens and clothing.
- Vacuum up the bed bugs you can see.
- Don’t pass on your bed bugs.
- Turn to the pros.
Some Prevention Tips of Our Own
- Avoid buying and using second-hand furniture and mattresses.
- Inspect and thoroughly clean your guest room before entertaining.
- Inspect guest, hotel, dorm, and boarding-house rooms before tucking in for the night.
- Stay alert when traveling—if you think you see evidence of infestation, alert staff.
Visit the EPA’s site or contact Complete Bed Bug Control for more details to prevent bed bugs.
How Can You Safely Remove Bed Bugs?
If you suspect your Minnesota property already has bed bugs, or if you’ve had a company come out to confirm their presence, you’ll want to hire a licensed, reputable bed bug extermination company like Complete Bed Bug Control.