Bed Bugs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are oval, reddish-brown insects that are flattened from top to bottom. They are parasitic pests that feed on the blood of birds and mammals, with human blood being their favorite source of food. Bed bugs are mostly nocturnal, hiding during the day in tight cracks and crevices, and emerging at night to feed on their sleeping victims.

a bed bug inside a home in durham north carolina

Bed bugs are wingless. They have antennae and six legs. Adult bed bugs grow to about ¼ of an inch in length. Bed bugs have a proboscis (an elongated sucking mouthpart) that they use to feed. After feeding, bed bugs' appearance changes slightly. Their bodies swell, elongate, and turn a deep purplish-red color.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Under normal circumstances bed bugs aren’t considered to be dangerous, and they aren’t known to transmit a wide variety of diseases to people. However, having bed bugs living in your home is not something that you should allow for any period of time. Bed bugs bite, and while not all people react to their bites, bed bug bites can be quite itchy, and may lead to secondary infections that require medical attention. In addition, having a bed bug infestation can be a stressful situation for any person, and their presence can lead to sleepless nights and heightened anxiety.

Why do I have a bed bug problem?

Bed bugs live where people live, meaning that bed bugs can become a problem inside any home. Bed bugs do not discriminate. They don’t care how big, small, clean, or dusty your home is. All bed bugs need is the presence of people that they can feed on. Bed bugs usually enter homes by hitchhiking. They crawl onto a person or their belongings and are then accidentally introduced into the person's home. Bed bugs can also be brought into homes on used mattresses, box springs, or furniture that are infested with adult bed bugs, or their eggs or larvae. They may also find their way inside through newly purchased clothing (new or used).

Where will I find bed bugs?

Bed bugs are adaptable creatures, and are found living almost anywhere people are found. Single-family homes, apartments, hotels, apartment buildings, health care facilities, dormitories, shelters, schools, movie theaters, laundry facilities, office buildings, shopping centers, bus stations, and airports are common bed bug hangouts. Inside homes, bed bugs initially take up residence where people sleep. If an infestation is allowed to continue, bed bugs will travel throughout your home. They are adept at hiding inside cracks and crevices in walls and floors, behind wooden door and window trim, in upholstered furniture, in electronics, and in wall voids behind outlets.

How do I get rid of bed bugs?

To eliminate parasitic bed bugs, partner with an experienced pest control professional. At Pest & Termite Consultants, we offer the modern services needed to solve your property’s bed bug problem. Our qualified professionals provide accurate identification, cost estimates, and perform effective bed bug treatments. To learn more about our bed bug control services and how they can protect your Raleigh-area property from biting bed bugs, reach out to us!

How can I prevent bed bugs in the future?

To discourage bed bugs from choosing your home to live in, we suggest doing the following:

  • Inspect any hotel or room where you will be staying overnight for bed bugs before bringing luggage and other belongings into it.

  • After returning home from a trip, wash and dry all travel clothing on a high heat setting.

  • Keep personal items up off the floor of public settings.

  • Do not purchase used furniture, mattresses, and box springs for use within your home.

  • Immediately wash and dry all newly purchased clothing on a high heat setting.

  • Regularly vacuum floors and the seams of furniture, mattresses, and box springs.

 

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