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Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Bedbug FAQs

The wingless bloodsucking bugs known as Cimex lectularius don't make you sick, but they're still sickening. Here are some basic facts to help you sleep tight and not let the bedbugs bite.


What are bedbugs?

Adult bedbugs are small, reddish-brown colored insects. They have flat bodies, no wings, and are about ¼ of an inch in length. Young bedbugs are much smaller and almost colorless. All bedbugs feed on blood. When a bed bug feeds, its body swells and turns bright red. Bedbugs mainly feed on people, usually at night when they are sleeping. Bedbugs do not fly; they crawl or are carried from one place to another.

Are bedbugs dangerous?

Bedbugs are not known to spread disease. Bites usually do not hurt and usually do not wake up someone who is asleep. Bites can cause large, itchy spots on the skin. These spots sometimes take days to appear after being bitten. A reaction to a bite can be different from one person to another and one person may get bitten while others using the same bed may not.

How long do bedbugs live?

Bedbugs usually live for about ten months. They can live for weeks to months without feeding.

How do I know if my home has bedbugs?

If bedbugs are in your home, you may see itchy spots on your skin. You may also see bedbugs or signs that they are in your home, such as small bloodstains from crushed bugs or dark stains from droppings on your sheets and bedding. They also have a strong, sweet odor. Bedbugs are usually found in areas where a person sleeps (on or near beds, bedroom furniture, mattress and sheet seams or folds, covers, and in clutter around sleeping areas). When there are a lot of bedbugs, they can be found around the headboard, bed frame and bedside articles.

How does a property become infested with bedbugs?

In most cases, bedbugs are moved from one area to another on clothing, luggage, furniture, or bedding.

How can I prevent bedbugs from entering my home?

Washing clothing and bedding immediately after returning from a trip can prevent some infestations. Inspect all used beds, box springs, sofas, upholstered chairs, and bedding for signs of bedbugs before bringing them into your home.



Source: California Department of Public Health

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