Bed bugs are back! They were a widespread problem back in the 1920s and 1930s but the use of DDT is believed to have eradicated them from the U.S. at that time. However, more frequent international travel and pesticides with less of a residual effect is believed to be the reason for their return. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can be picked up in most any public area. Bed bugs DO NOT discriminate. They can be picked up in a luxury hotel just as easily as a low budget motel.
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, crawling pests that flourish in the shadowy areas in your home, where small cracks and holes are plentiful. Bed bugs range in size and color depending on their age. A mature bed bug is small, oval in shape, red to brown in color (depending on their latest blood meal) and extremely small about ¼ inch in length or about the size of an apple seed. Nymphs or young are born as sticky white eggs extremely small in size but visible to the naked eye. Adults can be difficult to see even when an infestation is present because they are nocturnal, hide in the smallest of cracks and crevices around a home and are so tiny.
Because bed bugs are so small and because of their cryptic nature and tendency to hide during daylight hours it can be difficult to spot actual bed bugs to confirm an infestation. Infestations are best confirmed by a pest professional.
To learn more about bed bugs, identify an infestation in your home or understand how to take steps to reduce your risk of having a bed bug infestation, visit our bed bug section.