Bed Bugs Facts - Information About Bed Bugs

Worried about bed bugs? Get information and facts about bed bugs, including tips on how to get rid of them.

Cimex lectularius or commonly known as bed bugs are tiny pest that is causing major problems in fast growing urban countries. They are small, wingless insects that will feed on the blood of any warm-blooded animals or mammals.

Though not strictly nocturnal, they are mainly active at night and like to feed between midnight to the early morning wee hours when their host is still asleep. They are known as "bed bugs" because of their preferred feeding habits and infestations near beds where their hosts may sleep. Bed bugs find their hosts by the body heat and the carbon dioxide that the host exhale. Their bites are painless so the host is unaware when they are being bitten.

Additional Key Information About Bed Bugs

The typical lifespan of a bed bug is approximately 12 to 18 months.

A bed bug female can produce up to 5 eggs per day and can lay a total of 300 eggs during her lifetime.

The newly hatched nymph is white or pale yellow in color and will take 21 to 56 days to reach sexual maturity under favorable environment conditions.

Adult bed bugs are ¼ inch long (or about the size of an apple seed) and have a flattened, reddish brown, oval shape body when unfed.

Bed bugs don't spread disease, but their bites can cause redness and itching.

bed bugs

Growing Populations

The spread of bed bugs has been largely attributed to the increase in international travel where they embed themselves in your clothing or luggage when you are staying in a infested hotel room.

Their growing populations can also be attributed to a decrease in the use of powerful pest-killing products such as DDT, that was banned in the 1980s for environmental and health concerns.

Symptoms of Bed Bugs

Usually the first symptoms that you may have bed bugs are waking up to find red, itchy bumps on your skin. The unique characteristic of bed bug bites are the bites are always reported in a row or clustered pattern.

You may also find tiny bloodstains on your bed sheets from crushed bugs, or dark spots from their droppings around your mattresses.

In severe infestations, the room will carry a distinctive and unpleasant almond-like smell.

How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Proper housekeeping such as deep vacuuming mattresses, upholstered furniture and floors can help remove the bugs. Pay particular attention to any cracks, crevices and open spaces on the walls, floors or upholstered furniture.

Repairing and sealing any cracks and crevices with caulking will help to stop any new infestations.

Laundered linens and clothes in hot water for at least 20 minutes at temperature above 120°F will kill the bugs. For bigger items, use the dryer or get a bed bug steamer.

Applying diatomaceous earth powder to possible infested areas will kill bed bugs when the bugs come into contact with the powder.

In addition, sealing your mattress with allergy proof mattress covers will help prevent bed bug bites and eventually kill any bed bugs and eggs that are trapped within.

Get Rid of bed Bugs With Professional Exterminators

Getting rid of bed bugs will unquestionably be a long-winded and demanding task. If you feel that you do not have the time or the energy to execute the extermination well on your own, it is advisable to hire a pest control expert who have invested in the knowledge, training and equipment to do the job well and guarantee the success of the extermination operation.

Click Here To Get A Free Quote From Your Local Bed Bug Exterminator!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bed Bugs - The Ugly Truth

Bed bugs have antagonized Americans since the 18th century, the period when experts believe colonists brought the creature with them from England.

Naturally, humans are not fond of bed bugs. Unfortunately, they derive their name from the fact that they make their home in mattresses. People find out that thousands or hundreds of thousands of bugs live in an enormous colony, right under their noses.

Bed bugs are such pests that the companies designed to eradicate them from people's homes make up a very large sector of the market. Plus, there are bed bug board games, dog toys, and movie characters as well. They have become ingrained in American culture, even though they are not very well liked.

The internet is saturated with accounts from users via social media. In fact, the study of bed bugs is now a very commonly studied insect in elementary schools due to the fact that many schools and hostel are being infected by these bloodsucking critters.


Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects about 3/16-inch long or the size of an apple seed. They become swollen and reddish after a feeding on a blood meal.


Often hide in cracks and crevices of mattress seams, sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames. Often found in hotels, where they can travel from room to room and in visitors’ luggage.


Feed on blood.


Females can lay 200 to 500 eggs in a lifetime. Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live over 300 days.... more at bed bugs facts by

With a lifespan of nearly one year, it is not hard to see the reason behind throwing your mattress away should you discover bed bugs exist within it. If even one is left and the bed is thought to be clean, it could mean having to go through the process -- the horrible discovery -- all over again.

As the picture above demonstrate, people are quick to throw away a bed that is infested with the bugs.

Why would you want to attempt to fix a bed with bed bugs?  Look at the photo above, and you can see the bite marks on this man's body. Most people would prefer to sleep on the floor than risk an encounter like this one.

In this video, the second area of concern mentioned above - traveling - is addressed:

Expert Jeff White walks you through how to prevent getting bed bugs while traveling to hotels.

Experts say cleanliness has nothing to do with whether a bed bug infestation develops, contrary to what most people probably automatically assume.

A bed bug infestation has nothing to do with cleanliness – you can pick them up in even the finest hotels, and they can hitchhike into the cleanest homes at any time. But, you can help reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.
When traveling, one authority on bed bugs provides these tips, indicating the importance of heat (by use of a hair dryer to kill bugs):

When traveling, think of the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to remember the following action steps to help avoid taking bed bugs home with you.
  • Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-colored spots on bed sheets, mattress tags and seams, and bed skirts.
  • Lift and look for all bed bug hiding spots, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard, and furniture. Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day, they are most likely found within a 5-foot radius of the bed.
  • Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind head boards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
  • Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and when you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed and store it in a closet or other area, far away from your bedroom.
  • Place all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel....more at
Other References:
  1. Bedbugs, a novel, to be Bedbugs, a movie
  2. Bed bug bites - what do they look like?
  3. Bed Bug Mattress Cover

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bedbugs Making A Comeback

During World War II, many governments used DDT to exterminate parasites in troops. DDT was effective against malaria-spreading mosquitoes, lice that transmitted typhus, and several species of arthropods. After the war, DDT was used as an agricultural insecticide but was banned in the US in 1972 due to its toxic nature. Its use continues in limited use to control the spread of disease.

DDT was also effective in controlling bed bugs. Once the most common parasite in the world, bedbugs were eradicated in America and many developed nations thanks to the toxic nature of DDT. However bedbugs survived in third world countries and are making their way back to developed nations due to increased world travel, immigration, and pesticide resistance. Many cities are discovering outbreaks of bedbugs, and bedbugs are now found in some of the finest hotels in the world. As well as hotels, they are often found in places with high turnover, such as dorms, barracks and apartments. College kids frequently bring them home for the holidays.

Bedbugs are wingless creatures that feed on human, poultry, and bat blood. They are approximately ¼ inch and are often mistaken for ticks. The bite is painless but results in small bumps that may itch. The bites are often lined up in a row known as the breakfast, lunch, dinner sign. They can be written off as other insect bites or a skin condition. There are no diseases associated with bedbug, and unless an allergic reaction occurs there is no need to seek treatment.

Infestations can be difficult to spot. Since they hide during the day, come out to feed at night, and can go for months without feeding, they may go unnoticed until they start feeding. During daylight hours look for their molted exoskeletons and small, black excrement. Bedbugs can hide in very small spaces in the home, and are very fond of mattresses. Excess clutter also makes great hiding spots for bedbugs.

Like all parasites, bedbug infestation can be difficult to control. Over the counter bug sprays are not effective and experts may need to be called in. CleanAir Treatments LLC out of Michigan recommends ozone as a green treatment for bedbugs. According to their website at, ozone is safer, more effective and faster than conventional disinfectants. Also known as activated oxygen, ozone is also effective against toxic mold, mildew and viruses without leaving behind a dangerous chemical residue.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Who Is Right Or Wrong About Bed Bugs

Let bedbug episode teach mom to go easier on daughter-in-law

Dear Carolyn:

Both of our sons came home for Thanksgiving with their families. We put up our older son and his family in a hotel and had our younger son, his new (second) wife and their 5-month-old baby stay in our basement guest room.

How I wish I had switched! On Friday morning, the new wife said she had bug bites. I said that twice in the past I had bites also and thought they were from bedbugs. We had done some Internet searching and gone to my dermatologist and discovered bedbugs are not medically dangerous and not the result of uncleanliness. We gave her hydrocortisone and sympathized with her.

That evening, they moved into the hotel. Our son said his wife was absolutely adamant that they get out of our home as soon as possible. She has the reputation of being a "strong" woman, and she earns a very high income, so she is able always to get her way.

My husband and I felt embarrassed and disappointed that she reacted that way, but we are aware that a first-time, 45-year-old mother probably had mother-bear hormones at play, and we don't blame our son too much for giving in to her demands.

But what did that accomplish? She washed everything they brought in hot water, as did I with everything downstairs. My husband thinks she threw away their suitcases. We will buy plastic cases for the bed, but what else can we do?

Our relationship with her is significantly impaired, and she wants me to tell her she did the right thing. I think she overreacted. Should I just chalk this up to normal in-law conflict and expect time to heal the wounds, or does this portend more trouble down the road?

Find out what Carolyn has to say at

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Raleigh Woman Fights Losing Battle Against Bed Bugs

Yolanda Young feels surrounded by creatures out for blood. She is so fearful that she sleeps with her lights on.

“I am frustrated. I am frantic,” Young said. She knew something was biting her, but wasn’t sure what.

Recently, Young took her 10-month old son Nathan to the pediatrician because he had several red marks on him.

Dr. Selam Bullock told Young the problem was bed bugs crawling around the dark corners of her home.

Bullock says judging by her waiting room, bed bugs are spreading in the Triangle.

“I kept seeing these kids coming in with these red welts on their bodies,” Bullock said.

Getting rid of the pests can be difficult. Young said her apartment has been sprayed twice for bed bugs but they are still around. She has also thrown out nearly all of her furniture.

“I ended up having to throw my couch away and I have to throw his (Nathan’s) bed away,” Young said.

But the bed bugs are still around and they are leaving tracks on her walls.

Entomologist Dr. Mike Wladvogel urges that people with bed-bug infestations turn to professionals to get rid of the pests. Bed bugs are resistant to certain pesticides, a problem that N.C. State is researching, he said.

Getting rid of an infestation doesn't come cheap. Most companies charge from $300 to $1,000 to treat the area.

Experts say complaints of bed bugs rose 50 percent in the Triangle last year.

“There is a significant problem,” Bullock said.

Bed bugs do not transmit infection, Bullock said, but people who scratch too much from the bites can cause an infection.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Getting Bed Bugs in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I can finally admit it…I got bed bugs once! One of the worst things I have ever had happen to me while traveling and I guess maybe if you travel long enough it’s bound to occur. I wasn’t sure about writing this story because frankly it’s embarrassing and I felt so skanky after it happened, but six months later I can now emotionally deal with the issue (or at least that’s what my therapist says).

Below is what I wrote 6 months ago while waiting at the train station to leave Chiang Mai for Bangkok, Thailand. Steve is the guy who I was doing photography work with in Bangkok.

“Today has been a new one for me here in Chiang Mai. I came up here with a friend to shoot some photos of the area. We had been staying at a recently renovated hotel called The Mercure and were using it as a base for going out to sites in extreme northern Thailand.

We had gotten to Chiang Mai late evening and for 800 baht per night ($22.50 USD) it came with 4 stars and breakfast. Normally this would be over my budget but Steve wanted to stay there because he knew a friend who was a teacher from Bangkok that was bringing her class, 100+ students, to do a music show there for a week. She made all the arrangements and we were given the same discounted price as the school was getting. So for a little more and being such a nice hotel I was ok with it. After all I was thinking it’s ok sometimes to splurge and not stay in a $5, steamy hot, hostel room.

The second night we went to the night market and shot the flowers there, which Chiang Mai is known famously for. Steve wasn’t up for much walking that night and since it was my first night out I went out on my own to see the rest of the market. I got rained in and took cover at a little bar for a few hours, then made my way back to the hotel. It put me back kind of late but overall I had a good night and got some great pictures.

The next morning, I woke up with a whole bunch of sores on my upper body. Mainly along my arms/back and to me it looked like mosquito bites. The thing that got me was that the night before I never really remember the little zappers bothering me much. They itched like hell the next morning and I decided I would take some precautions when out at night again (something I hardly ever do).

I told Steve about the bites that morning and he said maybe they were bed bugs. Never really thought it was that but that night while laying in bed it had me freaked…was I sleeping with a 1,000 little body munchers???  It freaked me so much that I ended up sleeping in my clothes that night and every time a hair on my body twitched I was turning on the light. Made for a long night and the next day I just chopped it up as a “Steve story.”

We got out early the next day and headed further north to Changi Rai and spent the day shooting The White Temple (fantastic place by the way!). Got back and had a ton of pictures to edit. When done I decided to watch a season of Dexter and hit the sack. I’m lying there watching a movie on my laptop and somehow I saw this little bug the size of a pinhead move on the bed (I guess I have 15/20 vision). I got on all fours and scooped it up and put it into a glass. Was this me being paranoid? Had to find out so I started tearing the bed apart, first the sheets, then the under sheets, pillows flipped, then flipped the bed too and after 20min I had 8 bugs in my glass. A few the size of a small lady bug but there isn’t anything cute about them.

This was the evidence I was hoping I wouldn’t find. I knew 100% what had eaten me up 2 nights before.  I went into the bathroom and started counting the bites…I stopped at 98!!! I wasn’t so much mad as I just didn’t want to be there. My plan was to go to the hospital and confirm for sure what it was, then confront the hotel about it the next day. One thing for sure was that I wasn’t lying in that bed again.

Stayed up for as long as I could but just couldn’t make it and ended up curling up in the corner of the room, on a chair like a crack head, using a bathrobe as a blanket. I felt like some bum on the street in my own hotel room that I was paying good money for the night’s stay.

Called Steve the next morning in his room and we went to the hospital. Within 5sec the doctor confirmed what I thought. She told me things like this happen but not to worry, as they carry no diseases that I wasn’t already vaccinated for. Total cost for doctors visit was about 500 baht ($15 USD) and with the cream and meds she prescribed for me it came to about 1,500 baht ($42 USD) total. Pretty cheap doctor visit and was happy about that.

Went back to the hotel and Steve told me the hotel would pay for all the doctor costs and move me into a new "clean" room. Screw that I thought! You don’t eat twice at a restaurant that gets you sick, because if it happens again it’s your own fault for knowing. I loaded all my clothes into one bag (had to get them all washed with some really hot scolding water, as I had bought some new ones on the way back from the hospital) and was ready to get out of that place. Steve kept trying to get me to stay but what sane person would and in the end I decided to just leave and head back to Bangkok early. We were supposed to leave the next day but I didn’t see the point of renting another hotel room (no way in hell I was staying in that hotel another night) just to ride back with him.

So as I write this now I’m at the Chiang Mai train station and getting ready for an over night train ride in a seat….errrr! It’s going to be murder but a seat was all they had left and the thought of sleeping in my safe bed was enough to merit the cost. ~ Written 29May09

Hope this doesn’t discourage people from traveling. I have been on every continent in the world (except for Antarctica), stayed in some really nice hotels to some really dodgy hostels and this is the first time anything like this has happened. It happened in a place I thought it wouldn't, as if it had occurred in a $4 hostel bed I could at least say it was a cheap room and that’s what I get for being cheap. It won’t stop me from traveling but I think I’ll invest in a silk blanket to give me a buffer zone. The joys of traveling outweigh anything like this but it’s not something I want to experience again.

The worst part for me wasn’t the scars I had to wear for a month…it was the physiological part that took hold of my mind. I didn’t sleep in my own bed back in Bangkok for the rest of the time and it really did take me about 3 months before I could get a good nights sleep again.

Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite… brings a whole new meaning to me now.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scientific Reasons Why Bed Bugs Spread

In this episode Jeff will discuss the scientific article that was recently published in the American Entomologist and the Journal of Medical Entomology which discusses the bed bug reproductive process “traumatic insemination” and how this may influence the way bed bugs spread throughout an infested home.

Traumatic insemination is the process by which bed bugs reproduce in that the male pierces the females abdomen with his reproductive organ and injects his seminal fluid into the body cavity of the female which then circulates to the ovaries and fertilizes the egg.

For years bed bugs experts have noticed that when they are in an infested apartment, the bugs they typically see away from the aggregations of bugs (away from the sleeping areas) are typically female bed bugs. The theory behind this behavior has been that females will be continually “assaulted” by males who are trying to reproduce with the females and this aggressive reproductive behavior can lead to infection and death in females. The theory was that by fleeing the aggregations of males the females increase their chances to survive the reproduction cycle. The paper that was recently published from the University of Florida proved in laboratory tests that adult females were typically the life stage that was dispersing away from aggregations of bed bugs. This article started to put some scientific evidence behind this long-standing theory.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bedbugs: A Modern-Day Leprosy. Seriously.

A God loving man, Bart Campolo talks about how he who judge all those Bible people who shunned the lepers to protect themselves and their families find himself "just as normal as any other man on the street" after his encounter with bed bugs.

Read the story at