What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are flat oval-shaped insects without wings. They are brown to reddish-brown especially after feeding.
Many people describe the adult bed bugs as apple seed looking and similar in size. Newly hatched nymphs are quite small, about the size of a pinhead while adults grow to about 1/4 inch in length. Bed bug nymphs are light colored almost white and look very much like the adults just smaller. When crushed, bedbugs emit a unique, unpleasant musty odor.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Fortunately, bed bugs are not known to carry or spread any diseases to humans. They do, however, cause skin irritations, welts, and sometimes red itchy skin. Serious health risks are uncommon, but can occur when bites get infected. Clusters of bites or bites in a row may appear and can be itchy or painful to some people. These bites often appear where the sheets start or end (along the edge of the sheets on the skin).
Bed Bug Habitat
While bed bugs can be found just about anywhere due to hitching a ride on clothing, luggage, used furniture, etc. They will typically be found close to humans in small cracks and crevices of furniture or folds in bedding sheets and pillows. They like to be close to their next meal. They are commonly found in single-family homes, multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, movie theaters, public transportation, schools, and anywhere else there are people. Despite popular belief, bed bugs are not drawn to filth or clutter though it may make it harder to get rid of them. Bed bugs are a problem for people of all walks of life.
Unlike most pests, bed bugs can be very difficult to prevent. Their ability to gain access to your home through multiple ways of transportation requires a person to be alert to any tell-tale sign of bed bugs. Here are a few things to help you not bring them home:
Research any place you plan on staying on vacation or business trips for bed bug activity.
Inspect your hotel, motel, or other places of stay immediately upon arriving, before you ever take your luggage in.
Leave luggage in the bathroom or hang in the closet away from sleeping areas.
When you go home, inspect clothing well before taking it inside.
Take clothes directly to the washer and then run through high heat.
Be careful having friends or family members over to spend the night.