How to Identify Bed Bugs
While a common misconception is that bed bugs flourish in unsanitary conditions, the truth is that anyone can get bed bugs. Bed bug infestations are not directly related to sanitation levels, and simply improving your cleanliness levels will not in and of itself eliminate bed bugs. So, now that we have established that anyone is at risk of getting bed bugs if they are brought into your home, how do you identify them?
How You Get Bed Bugs
Similar to fleas, or the common cold, you can get bed bugs from anywhere…well, almost. Bed bugs can hitch a ride into your home from offices, hotels, gyms, stores, and more. They can hide in your luggage, on your clothes, or in or on other personal belongings. Unfortunately, once they are in your home, they can be very difficult to control. Bed bugs feed on blood and can survive up to a year without a meal in cool conditions.
What They Look Like
Prior to adulthood, newly hatched bed bugs are about the size of a pin head, are white or tan in color, and can be difficult to see. However, another misconception is that bed bugs are invisible to the naked eye. Not true. You can easily see adult bed bugs, which are usually about 4 to 5mm in length and brown in color. They are often found in cracks and crevices such as the seams of mattresses and furniture, in sheets, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates, picture frames, and more, and they appear swollen and red after feeding (so do the nymphs, or immature bed bugs). Bed bugs are active mostly at night when the host is asleep.
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