The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius), which had almost disappeared in the United States, has made a strong comeback over the past decade.
The keys to preventing a major bed bug infestation are early recognition, correct identification and prompt treatment.
Adult bed bugs are:
You may also wake up with reddish bite marks or welts that itch. However, these bites or welts themselves should not be considered absolute proof that you have a bed bug infestation. It is possible that you were bitten elsewhere without bringing bed bugs home. Also, people react differently to bed bug bites. Some people get skin irritations, infections and scars from scratching bed bug bites.
Q: How do you get bed bugs?
A: Bed bugs have to be brought into your home. If you travel, bed bugs may hitch a ride in your luggage or get on your clothing if you visit an area of infestation. Used furniture is another way to bring bed bugs home, so be sure to carefully inspect any fabric or wood furniture you purchase.
Q: Besides bites, what are some other signs of bed bugs?
A: Some things to look for are:
Q: Where should I look for signs of bed bugs?
A: First, your mattress. Examine seams, piping and tufts and check under the mattress tags. Also, look carefully at the box spring and bed frame, particularly where fabric is attached to wood. Other places to check are:
Q: Do bed bugs carry disease?
A: There is currently no evidence that bed bugs transmit disease to humans. Bed bugs have been identified with 45 candidate pathogens, including MRSA, HIV, and hepatitis-B, C and E. “Vector competence” – the ability to acquire, maintain & transmit the pathogens has not been established. However, a recent study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene found that mice are able to transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, to bed bugs who in turn transmitted it to other mice. To date, there are no or documented cases of humans contracting disease from the direct bite of a bed bug. Study is ongoing.