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As bed bug infestations increase across the United States, it is becoming vital for every parent to understand this threat, and take the time to learn practical ways to prevent these blood-eating insects from establishing themselves. The frontline of defense for every home is a child who knows what a bed bug is and what signs bed bugs leave behind.

What Is A Bed Bug?

The bed bug, known scientifically as Cimex lectularius, is a tiny blood-eating insect that lives almost exclusively with humans and spreads through passive dispersal. Here are 7 ways you and your kids can identify them:

  • Bed bugs are insects. That means they have six legs and two antennae.

  • Bed bugs begin life as a tiny white insect that is only about 1 mm long. While that is small, they can still be seen without magnification.

  • When a newly hatched bed bug feeds on blood it will have a bright red abdomen. This is because these bugs are transparent.

  • If a bed bug has not fed, you may see its insides, which will be coated with black feces.

  • Adult bed bugs can be between 1 mm and 4.5 mm.

  • Bed bugs may be white, tan, or rusty brown.

  • As bed bugs develop, it becomes easier to see the horizontal creases on its abdomen.

If your kids ever see a bug they think is a bed bug, teach them to report it to school administration as soon as possible.

Bed Bug Signs

Your kids should know the follow signs bed bugs leave behind.

  • Tiny black droppings, black streaks, and black patches will be present where bed bugs are infesting. Look for these in cracks, crevices, creases, and other tight, hidden spaces.

  • Bed bugs lay white eggs that are only 1 mm in length. These may be in a batch or littered about as singles. Look for them in tight, hidden spaces as well.

  • Bed bugs shed their skins as they develop. These skins will be in areas of infestation.

  • Bed bugs leave blood stains on sheets, pillowcases, bedding and more. These stains will look tan or brown.

  • Bites are one of the clearest warning signs of bed bugs. These bites will look like a path across the skin.

Bed Bug Control

When bed bugs find their way into your home, contact a professional. These insects are extremely difficult to eliminate, and DIY pest control methods can be both dangerous and ineffective. If you are in Pittsburgh or our Pennsylvania service area, let the experts here at Witt help. We use comprehensive, industry-leading bed bug control protocols that work. 

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