Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs

PUBLIC HEALTH FACT SHEET

What are bedbugs?
Bedbugs are small, wingless, blood-sucking insects. They feed on warm-blooded animals, such as birds, bats and humans. They hide in cracks and crevices in beds, wooden furniture, floors and walls during the day, and come out at night to feed on sleeping hosts.

How are bedbugs spread?
Bedbugs are found worldwide. In recent years bedbugs have been making a comeback.  Travel may also spreads bedbugs because eggs, young, and adult bedbugs are easily transported in luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture. Bedbugs can infest airplanes, ships, trains, and buses as well as hotel rooms, dorms, and apartment complexes.

How are they treated?
Treatment of bedbug bites is mostly for the relief of symptoms. Consult your health care provider if you have severe reactions. An oral antibiotic may be recommended if a bacterial infection occurs, and oral corticosteroids may be prescribed for severe allergic reactions.

How are bed bugs prevented?
  • Inspect antiques and secondhand furniture thoroughly before bringing them into your home.
  • While you are traveling, inspect any room where you will be staying.
  • After you return from a trip, check your luggage for insects.
  • Change bed linens at least once a week, and wash in hot water of at least 97°F.
  • Vacuum around the home at least once a week, paying special attention to areas surrounding bed and furniture posts.
SYMPTOMS OF BEDBUG INFESTATIONS
  • Small, itchy red bumps on the skin
  • Bumps may appear in a line or a group of bites
  • Some people may experience more serious or allergic reactions