Steps to Stop Bedbugs
STEPS TO STOP BED BUGS IN MULTIUNIT HOUSING FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BED BUGS
How do bed bugs spread? The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) climbs easily up any fabric, wood or paper surface by hooking
tarsal claws around the fibers. Bed bugs walk rapidly from one unit to another in multiunit housing
passing under doors and along electrical wires and water pipes. Bed bugs often spread by “hitchhiking” on all types of household items, such as bedding, furniture, luggage, clothing, animal cages, picture
frames and electronic devices. If a crack is big enough for a credit card, a bed bug may be hiding there
What do bed bugs look like?
Adults of the common bed bug are reddish to dark brown in color with flattened bodies. They are about
the size of an apple seed, ¼ inch long. They cannot fly but they can run very quickly. The white eggs are
small enough to be hard to see glued in seams and cracks. The newly hatched nymphs are about the
size of a pin and are light tan until they take a blood meal. After feeding the young nymphs look like walking poppy seeds. If the young nymphs are not moving, seeing them against a fabric or rough surface
is very difficult.
What do bed bugs feed on?
Bed bugs eat only blood. The common bed bug prefers to feed on humans, but can feed on a wide range
of warmblooded animals including household pets. Bed bugs do not stay on the human or other host. They move from hiding places in bedding or other cracks and crevices to feed for 3 to 10 minutes on
people at night. After feeding, they will not take another blood meal for about 1 week. Adults can live more than a year without a blood meal.
What are signs of infestation by bed bugs?
Look for the following:
- Red, weltlike bites that itch usually appearing in lines or clusters.
- Live bed bugs, eggs, molted skins, and dark brown or rusty spots (feces) on the bedding, mattress and box springs beginning at the head end of the bed and then move outward to include all
furniture particularly sofas, carpeting, drapes, picture frames, baseboards, electric outlets, and electronic equipment.
What personal steps can be taken to avoid being bitten if bed bugs are in the building?
Sleep in a bed and make that bed a safe island. Pull bed away from wall. Clean the bed frame and
encase the mattress/box springs in a bed bug proof cover. Place bed legs in CLIMBUP TM
interceptors. Wash bedclothing weekly followed by 20 minutes or more in the dryer. Check mattress for bed bugs when changing the bedclothing. Do not allow bedclothes to touch floor. Do not place luggage, backpacks or other items on bed.