Bed bugs were a common problem throughout the U.S. prior to WWII. However, with the discovery and use of the insecticides DDT and Malathion, bed bugs were virtually eliminated throughout the world. Over the past decade, bed bug populations have made a strong resurgence. This population boom is partially attributed to resistance to commonly used insecticides as well as a major increase in world travel. Bed bugs are one of the best hitch-hikers of the insect world. They commonly climb into suitcases and travel home with unfortunate travelers. This allows for bed bug infestations to quickly spread across the country. Although they do not transmit any diseases, their presence can cause much distress to those dealing with an infestation. Along with the emotional distress that infestations can cause, they are also very difficult to manage and can become quite costly. Please see the following sections and links for the most up-to-date information from our experts about dealing with bed bug infestations.
Common Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small (1/16 to 3/16 inch), flattened, reddish brown-colored insect nearly identical in visual appearance to the bat bug.
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that prefer to feed on human blood. Found in locations where people rest, especially bedrooms, couches, etc. Found resting in cracks and crevices from which they emerge at night to feed on blood of their human hosts. Common resting sites include mattress seams, box spring screw holes, under nightstands, behind wall hangings, behind headboards, under the carpet along the baseboard (especially in corners), etc. Like other blood-feeding arthropods (ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes), bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide, as it is indicative of a warmblooded host.
Capture several bugs, place them in a vial or jar, and acquire positive identification from an entomologist or pest management professional.