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Bed Bugs are tan to brown blood-sucking parasites up to 5mm long (roughly the size of an apple seed) with a flat, oval-shaped body.
Bed Bugs are often confused with the following insects:
- Carpet Beetle
Signs of Activity
Many people believe that bed bugs are too small to be seen. This isn’t true. While Bed Bugs are usually found in the bed, they can navigate around the bedroom and even into the living room. Bed bugs spend the day in harborages close to a bed, couch or chair that people sit in for long periods. They come out at night and crawl to a bed or chair to get a blood meal.
To check your bed for activity, look along the underside of the seams of the mattress. In most cases, if you have bed bugs you will notice dark colored fecal matter in this area as can be seen below:
Next, check the cracks of the headboard and bed frame. Bed bugs, if squished, will leave a dark red stain behind. In cases of heavy infestation, the blood sucking parasites may be found all around the room most commonly in the following places:
- Folds of curtains
- Seams of chairs and couches
- Behind wall hangings
- Edges of electrical outlets
- Edges of window frames
Bed bugs usually feed between at night while we are asleep. They can feed up to 10 minutes before returning to a hiding area to digest the meal. After feeding, bed bugs may be dormant for 5 to 7 days while they digest the blood meal.
Although the bite may not be immediately felt, people often react to the proteins of the bed bug saliva introduced during biting. Usually, a reddish spot may develop, associated with some swelling and itching. There may be little response immediately following the bite, with peak itchiness being noticed one to two days later. Repeated exposure to bed bug bites may produce more intensive reactions and itchiness. However, these reactions are highly variable and some people may show absolutely no signs of being bitten while others react strongly. Fortunately, testing has determined that bed bugs are incapable of transmitting human pathogens.