What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small insects which feed on the blood of warm blooded animals.  The nymphs are very small, light in color and very difficult to see with the naked eye.  Bed bugs become increasingly bigger and darker in color until they reach about 5mm. They are oval in shape and are flat from top to bottom.  They can live up to one year without feeding.

What do they look like?

Adult bed bugs grow to a length of 4-5mm and a width of 1.5-3mm.  They are reddish brown and have a flattened, oval appearance.  Microscopic hairs make them look as though they stripes or banding. Young bed bugs are translucent and lighter in color.  They become darker in color as they mature.

Do they bite?

Yes, bed bugs feed by biting the host.  They typically feed during nighttime hours and are most active before dawn.  However, beg bugs have been known to feed during the day.

Are they dangerous to humans?

There is currently no evidence that bed bugs transmit diseases to humans however some people have an allergic reaction to bed bug bites.  Additionally, there is the psychological effect of going to sleep knowing you will be bitten.

How can you get rid of bed bugs?

In integrated pest management approach is the best way to get rid of bed bugs.  This approach involves using minimal pesticides but incorporates many strategies together to eliminate and maintain a bed bug free environment.

Do I need a professional?

Because bed bugs are so difficult to eliminate, it is best to call in a professional immediately so the problem does not get out of control.

Where do they hide?

Bed bugs like to hide near the host.  They like to burrow away in very small cracks and crevasses.  Look in the seams of a mattress and the folds of sheets.  Additionally, any screw holes where headboards and sections of the bed are held together.

How long do they live?

Typically bed bugs live about one year

Can I use an insecticide?

It is best to have a trained, licensed professional apply any insecticides need to avoid possible mis-application and injury.

How do they feed?

The bed bug injects the host with two feeding tubes, one for injecting anticoagulants and anesthetic and the other for withdrawing blood.  They are attracted to carbon dioxide and secondarily to heat.  They normally crawl onto the host but have been known to drop on a host from overhead.  They feed for approximately five minutes before returning to their hiding place.  They try to feed every five to ten days, but in the right conditions, they can live for as long as one year without feeding.

Are they nocturnal?

The most active time for bed bugs is at night, right before dawn but they have been observed feeding during the day.

How do you inspect for bed bugs?

Bed bugs are elusive and usually nocturnal, which can make them hard to spot. Bed bugs often lodge unnoticed in dark crevices, and eggs can be nestled in fabric seams. Aside from bite symptoms, signs include: fecal spots, blood smears on sheets, and moults.

Why is Quest Heat the best way to treat bed bugs?

Bed bugs die almost instantly when exposed to excessive temperatures.  Unlike localized steam or freezing techniques, heat can penetrate an entire structure, including the walls, floors, and ceiling cavities where the bugs often hide. Quest Heat products are safe, efficient, and bring the most BTU’s to the job.

How quickly do they reproduce?

Bed bugs lay around 1-5 eggs per day with a total of 200-500 in their lifetime; which is slightly less than one year.


Entomologist Kevin Hurley

Kevin Hurley