What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans. Adult bed bugs look similar to an apple seed, approximately 1/4 of an inch long, oval in shape and are reddish-brown in color. Juvenile bed bugs ("nymphs") differ from adults in that they are often much smaller (1 millimeter) and may appear clear or tan in color. Bed bugs prefer to live in protected areas near to where people sleep or rest for periods of time, such as the seams of mattresses, behind headboards, or inside furniture. Learn more about bed bugs by visiting our pest library!
Why are they back?
In the United States, bed bugs were very common until about World War II when the introduction of such pesticides as DDT were highly effective in eradicating these biting insects. Entomologists speculate that the reemergence of bed bugs may be due to increased international travel, secondhand furniture, the ban on DDT and a higher resistance to currently used pesticides as well as lack of public awareness.
How do you get bed bugs?
Simply put, bed bugs can be found wherever people tend to congregate. They are adept hitchhikers and will travel in luggage, on clothing and inside furniture or other items that have been in infested areas. They are found in homes, apartment and office buildings, hotels, train cars, airplanes and many other places where people are at rest for a period of time. In multiple unit housing facilities in Pittsburgh, bed bugs will often infest surrounding units and in single family homes, it is also common for bed bugs to be found in living rooms as well as bedrooms and laundry areas.
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
While bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, they are most active at night and due to their cryptic nature they are not often seen during the day. Because bed bugs are small and flat, they are able to squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices on the mattress and box spring, behind headboards and inside furniture, sometimes making them virtually undetectable. With the exception of seeing live or dead bed bugs, one common sign is the presence of dark ink-like stains on the mattress or bedding materials and on furniture itself. Skins that are shed from bed bugs during the molting process may also be found near to where they hide. It is important to know and understand that while some people show symptoms resulting from bed bug bites, many will observe no symptoms at all.
What should I do if I see a bed bug?
If you see a bed bug or suspect you have bed bugs, know that they will not go away without treatment and in fact will turn into a major infestation if not addressed. If you believe your home or business has been infested by bed bugs, seek help right away. At Witt Pest Management, we offer bed bug inspections, heat treatments and other bed bug services to curb bed bug activity for residential and commercial properties.