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What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They’re known as bed bugs because they like to nest in beds and feed on the blood of sleeping people.

Although bed bugs have not been proven to transmit any disease, their bites can cause itchy welts on the skin and may lead to secondary infections.

What do bed bugs look like?

Adult bed bugs grow 4-5 millimeters long and 1.5-3 millimeters wide (about the size of an apple seed), with a small head and larger oval-shaped body.

Newly hatched bed bug nymphs are tiny (1 millimeter) and cream colored. They are about the size of the letters on a penny.

What are typical signs of bed bugs?

Signs of bed bugs include bite symptoms, small brown spots (fecal spots) on bedding and small blood smears on sheets.

Small translucent bed bug eggs may be found in tucks and folds of the mattress and box spring, behind headboards, along baseboards and any other site bed bugs are hiding.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are mostly found where people like to rest or sleep.

About 70 percent of any bed bug infestation is associated with the bed and furniture, pictures and baseboards next to the bed. Bed bugs hide in cracks, folds, tucks and in and around these areas.

The second most common bed bug harborage is upholstered furniture, while a small percentage of any bed bug population may be scattered throughout a room.

Why are bed bugs becoming more common?

Once a common problem in homes and businesses, bed bugs largely disappeared from the United States when modern insecticides were introduced after WWII.

Since the late 1990’s, bed bugs have come back strongly, and infestations have been found across the country, but the reasons for this resurgence are not clearly understood. Factors such as increased international travel and immigration have likely contributed to the rapid spread of infestations.

How do I get rid of bed bugs?

At Terminix, we employ a range of treatments for residential and commercial infestations, including a fast, non-toxic treatment called RapidFreeze®.

RapidFreeze uses carbon dioxide (CO2) converted to a dry ice “snow” to freeze insects, including their eggs and nymphs, after contact. RapidFreeze is perfect for homes, hotels, apartments, food processing plants and organic industries.

Terminix also uses other safe, effective treatments along with or in place of RapidFreeze to ensure that an infestation ends as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

What assurance is there that bed bug treatment will be effective?

Terminix offers the following bed bug treatment guarantee:

  • Terminix will customize a treatment to quickly eliminate bed bugs from your home.

  • If bed bugs are found within 30 days, Terminix will re-treat at no additional cost.

  • Purchase a mattress encasement and your guarantee is extended to 90 days.

Is there a wrong way to treat for bed bugs?

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to control and eliminate. You should work with only recognized, reputable pest control professionals who have specific training and proven methods for dealing with bed bugs.

It takes a comprehensive approach and years of experience to be successful against bed bugs. One product or technique, used alone, is not likely to be effective. You can trust Terminix to use the most up-to-date techniques and products to solve any bed bug problem.

How can I avoid picking up bed bugs (and bringing them back with me) when I travel?

Follow these guidelines to avoid a run-in with bed bugs:

  • Check the mattress, headboard, frame and pictures for any signs of bed bugs like blood spots or eggs.

  • Keep your luggage on the luggage rack (after making sure it has no signs of bed bugs). Don’t store your luggage on the bed or floor.

  • Hang clothes that can be hung and avoid storing any clothes in a dresser.

  • Check travel reviews before visiting a hotel and be careful of those with multiple reports of bed bugs.