Bed Bug Basics
Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects adapted to live off the blood of humans and other mammals. They only grow to about 0.2 inches when adult, and are much smaller when first hatched. They feed at night generally, but can sometimes be active in the day as well. Like mosquitoes, bed bugs bite their victim and inject a bit of anticoagulant to make the blood flow freely. Then, they drink a small bit of blood. Bedbugs do not spread diseases, but they can provoke itching, rashes and occasionally severe allergic reactions.
One of the most common ways for people to get bedbugs is through transporting contaminated items. Bed bug eggs are only about a millimeter in length, and newly hatched bedbugs are not much bigger. Bed bugs can hide in furniture, clothing or any other items in a contaminated household. They can then be unwittingly transported into a new home.
Waiting it Out
Bed bugs are also adept at waiting for a new host to come around. They can sometimes hide in small cracks for months without a meal. It is possible to move into a vacant apartment and have an infestation of bedbugs appear "out of nowhere" because the bugs were waiting there all along.
Animals are another source of bedbug infestations. Bed bugs have been known to infest dogs, birds and bats. They can be spread from the animals to nearby people, or be carried into a home. Bed bugs can also sometimes creep in from nearby rooms through small cracks in the walls, such as the holes drilled for electrical wire.
The first step in getting rid of bed bugs is to get rid of clutter. Remove garbage from your house and remove any piles on the floor or near the bed. After that, you should vacuum the floor, mattress and furniture and wash your bedding and any clothing that might be infested in hot water. Closely inspect your furniture for bedbug eggs. Cover the mattress with a mattress protector to prevent any remaining bedbugs from crawling out of it before you make your bed again. You can also spread boric acid on the floor around the mattress to stop any remaining bedbugs from crawling back to your bed. if these methods don't eliminate the infestation, you should contact a licensed pest control specialist.