Types of Biting Bugs Found in Beds

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Your bed may be harboring bedbugs and other biting insects.

A variety of bugs feed on human blood, biting their victims while they sleep. Most insects feed for less than 10 minutes at a time but they often leave bites that are itchy and sore for several days. Insects can make life miserable for those living in infested homes. Proper identification is key to ridding your home of unwanted pests and preventing insect bites.



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Bedbugs are well-known pests, which often become a nuisance when infestations are heavy. These pests are tiny brown bugs that turn red after feeding on human blood. Bedbugs lay hundreds of eggs at once, which is why they multiply rapidly. Adult bed bugs can live for up to one year without feeding, making them difficult to eliminate. Fleas are common in homes that have animals living in them. Adult fleas are brown or black wingless bugs that typically measure from 1 to 2.5 mm in length. These bugs will feed on anything warm-blooded, such as animals and humans. Bat bugs are another biting pest that will occasionally bite humans. These brown bugs are typically found in buildings infested with bats. Bat bugs are difficult to eliminate unless the hosts are removed. These insects must have a bat host to reproduce and thrive.

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Bedbugs are nocturnal and deliver a painless bite to the victim. Once bitten, humans may develop red whelps that swell and itch. Some people are highly sensitive to bedbug bites and develop severe itching and swelling. Those who have fleas in their homes may develop small red dots after being bitten. Flea bites are typically grouped closely together and itch. Unlike bedbugs, fleas cannot live for long periods without feeding on blood. Bat bugs may bite humans causing small bites that itch and look similar to bedbug bites. Some people may be highly sensitive to bat bugs and develop intense itching.


Cultural Control

If you have infestations of biting insects in your bed, you must combine sanitation with chemical control methods to eliminate the pest. Most biting insects are found on the mattress or bed frame or are hiding in cracks in the nightstand beside the bed. When bugs begin to multiply, they may encompass a larger portion of the room. Areas such as piles of clothing or dresser drawers may harbor biting bugs. Washing infested bedding in water hotter than 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill insects. Dispose of heavily infested mattresses, furniture or box springs infested with biting insects. Vacuuming eliminates bed bugs, bat bugs and fleas. Thoroughly vacuum the infested area several times each week for best results. After each vacuum, remove the vacuum cleaner bag, seal it in a plastic bag and place it in an outdoor garbage can. Failure to do so may spread bugs to other areas of your home if the insects escape the vacuum cleaner bag. Bat bugs must have bats in close proximity to live. Bats are often found in chimneys and in attics. Once the bats are removed, bat bugs disappear.


Chemical Control

Insecticides are often necessary to control heavy infestations of biting bugs. Heavy infestations of bat bugs, bedbugs or fleas may require professional control since most insecticides do not kill bedbugs in all egg stages. After treatment, homeowners may place sticky traps underneath their beds to determine if bugs have been eliminated. Fleas are controlled by a number of over-the-counter treatments. Heavy flea infestations may require a professional exterminator to completely eradicate the insect. Keeping your animals free from fleas and using proper sanitation methods goes a long way to reducing flea infestations in your home.



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