Bedbugs are on the rise in all 50 states and not just in unsanitary locations. They are also becoming quite resistant to current pesticides.
- Wingless insects of the family Cimicidae.
- Small, flat, oval, reddish-brown body. Adults are about the size of an apple seed.
- Feed on human and animal blood.
- Active at night and bite any areas of exposed skin, leaving blood spots on bed linens.
- Can infest a home and hide in crevices or cracks around beds or furniture.
- Are not believed to transmit diseases to humans.
- Females lay from 200 to 500 eggs, which are covered with a glue and hatch in about 10 days. There are five progressively larger nymphal stages, each requiring a single blood meal before molting to the next stage.
- Can suck up to six times its weight in blood, and feeding can take 3 to 10 minutes.
- Can live without feeding up to one year.
- There can be up to three to four generations of bedbugs per year.
Source: University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources and OSU PNW Insect handbook
Day to Day
- Inspect carefully before buying used furniture.
- Use metal instead of wood bed frames.
- Live minimally / get rid of the figurines, picture frames and clutter near your bed, which make a perfect playground for bedbugs.
Bedbugs in Your House
- Call a professional exterminator, who will need to make several visits over one to two months to kill all the adults and eggs.
- Wrap your mattress and box spring with a plastic or allergen cover and place the bed legs in cups of water.
- Fill wall cracks.
- Wash infected clothing and sheets in hot water and dry on the hottest setting to kill the bugs.
- Vacuum repeatedly, and immediately put the vacuum bag in double-plastic and discard.
- Do not move your mattress, sleep in a different room or sleep at a friend's house -- that will guarantee spreading bedbugs to other locations.
- Do not buy household insect sprays or bombs -- bedbugs are resistant and will move to another room and infect more parts of your dwelling.
Sources: International Bed Bug Symposium, Washington, D.C., September 2006; Bedbugger.