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Get Information About Bed Bugs

In recent years bed bugs have made a resurgence throughout the U.S. Based on reports from local health departments and pest control operators, bed bug infestations have been found in hotels, nursing homes, public housing, apartment complexes, moving vans, jails, furniture rental stores, dormitories and other multi-unit dwellings as well as in single-family homes.

What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are about 1/4 inch long, with reddish brown, oval, flattened bodies. They are easily mistaken for ticks or roaches. They feed mostly at night on the blood of people and animals. Bed bugs may be found in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, dorm rooms and modes of transportation.

Photos courtesy of CDC Dr. Harold Harlan, Armed Forces Pest Management Board Image Library

Where are bed bugs found?
They can be found almost anywhere in your house or other buildings. They tend to like fabric and wood as opposed to metal and plastic. Places to look include:

  • In mattresses and box springs (especially in the seams, tufts, and crevices) In bed frames and headboards
  • Along and under the edge of wall-to-wall carpeting (especially behind beds and furniture)
  • In hardwood floors (especially in any cracks or crevices)
  • In moldings & baseboards cracks
  • Behind picture frames & wall hangings
  • In switch plates and outlets
  • Under loose wallpaper & paneling
  • In clothing stored in closets and drawers
  • Inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors
  • In upholstered chairs and sofas (especially in the seams, tufts, skirts, and crevices beneath cushions)

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do not pick up any used furniture or mattresses/box springs from the roadside or your garbage containers.
  • If you have gotten furniture from a rental service, always check the seams and any creased areas for bed bugs.
  • When traveling, check all motel rooms thoroughly before setting your luggage on the floor or bed.

Bed bugs prefer to hide close to where they feed. However, if necessary, they will crawl several feet to obtain a blood meal. Initial infestations tend to be around beds, but the bugs eventually may become scattered throughout a room, occupying any crevice or protected location. They also can spread to adjacent rooms or apartments.

How do you get rid of bed bugs?

  • Consult a Certified Pest Control Operator
  • If you live in an apartment building and think there are bed bugs, you need to call your landlord about the problem. Call Metro Call at 311 or 574- 5000 for more information. All apartments in a building with bed bugs may need to be checked and treated. You or your landlord needs to call a licensed Pest Control company to schedule an appointment for an inspection and treatment.
  • Bedding and clothing will need to be bagged and washed in hot water (120ºF minimum) or thrown away.
  • When trying to clean carpets from bed bugs, vacuuming will not be enough. You must steam clean this area at a temperature of at least 120ºF. The carpet may need to be replaced.
  • If mattresses and box springs are badly infested, spray paint a warning sign on both or slash both of them, and seal with plastic.
  • For less severe cases, zippered covers (available at bedding and allergy supply stores) may be used to keep bed bugs off the mattress and box springs