Cimex lectularius L.

How to identify Bed Bugs

Learn what Bed Bugs look like, and how to detect if you have a Bed Bug Infestation.

How do you get Bed Bugs?

Find out how Bed Bugs infiltrate your home and where they are attracted to.

How serious are Bed Bugs

Learn about Bed Bug bites. their feces and how they can impact your health.

What Orkin does

Learn how Orkin handles Bed Bugs, homeopathic cures and the cost of Bed Bug extermination services.

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

We’re Not Satisfied Until You’re Satisfied.

Bed bugs can be brought in from the outside at any time, so we can’t guarantee that your homewill never have bed bugs again. No credible provider can make that promise. We can guarantee that our customized solution will be effective for at least 30 days. If bed bugs return to your home within 30 days of the completion of our service, we will re-treat at no additional charge.

How to identify Bed Bugs

Appearance

Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects up to 4 to 5 mm long or the size of an apple seed. Swollen and reddish after a blood meal. For more information, see What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Bed bugs only feed on blood. Under cool conditions, bed bugs have been able to survive up to a year without a meal. They prefer to be more active at night when the host is asleep.

Bed bugs are found in cracks and crevices, including mattress seams, sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames. Often found in hotels, where they can travel from room to room and in visitors’ luggage or other personal belongings such as purses and briefcases.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

1

Seeing the bugs. Adult bed bugs are about the shape and size of an apple seed.

2

Case skins. As the juvenile bugs grow, they shed their skins, discovery of which can indicate their presence.

3

Defecation. After feeding, bed bugs return to their harborage to hide where they defecate black to brown stains on porous surfaces or black to brown mounds on nonporous surfaces.

4

Bites also may indicate bed bug activity, but further signs will need to be found, since other sources can cause red welts on the skin.

How do you get Bed Bugs?

You can pick up bed bugs almost anywhere — offices, stores, hotels and gyms for starters. They’re great at hiding and have been known to hitchhike in luggage, personal belongings or even you. Once indoors, they can be very difficult to control without the help of an experienced pest specialist. You can reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.

Tips

  • Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
  • Wash and dry your bed linens on the hottest temperature permitted.
  • Closely inspect any second-hand furniture before bringing it in your home.
  • Inspect your home after moving, trips, service calls or overnight guests.

How serious are Bed Bugs?

Reproduction

Females can deposit one to five eggs a day, and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in a Bed Bug’s lifetime. Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days.

Bed Bugs and Disease

It is possible that Bed Bugs can carry diseases, however, they are not known to transmit diseases to people. To learn more, see Bed Bugs and Disease.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bugs feed exclusively on blood, and people have various responses to Bed Bug Bites. To identify, learn about symptoms etc, see Bed Bug Bites.

What Orkin does

Bed Bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to help prevent an even larger infestation. Our integrated A.I.M. protection process works to assess your home, implement solutions, and monitor any bed bug problems you may face.

How our A.I.M. process works…

Step1Assess

[ A.I.M. ]

Inspection

If you have seen evidence of bed bugs or want to help protect your home against this multiplying intruder, your Orkin Man will come and inspect your home.

Bed bugs are sneaky and hard to find, but your Orkin Man is trained to pinpoint evidence if they are around. On the first visit, he will examine your entire home including the bed, furniture, rugs, and linens. He will conduct an inspection of target areas, and if required, use tools to check cracks and crevices.

Your Orkin Man will usually start in the bedroom and work his way through your home, concentrating on the furniture and the areas immediately surrounding the furniture. He will look for signs of bed bugs including:

  • Live or dead bed bugs

  • Skins cast off during the molting process

  • Small spots of reddish-black fecal material

  • Tiny cream-colored eggs usually found in dark crevices

Bed bugs are sneaky and hard to find, but your Orkin Man is trained to pinpoint evidence.

Step2Implement

[ A.I.M. ]

Getting the Job Done

Upon completion of the inspection and an assessment of the situation, your Orkin Man will recommend the best course of action. If the inspection confirms an infestation, your Orkin Man will recommend a treatment plan based on the severity of the infestation and your preferences.He will use the best tools and science to address the causes and treat your bed bug problem in the best way for your family, pets, and the environment. This implementation method targets bed bugs as well as the bed bug larvae — preventing them from maturing into breeding, biting, and potentially disease-carrying adults.

Your Orkin Man will recommend the best course of action.

Step3Monitor

[ A.I.M. ]

A Year-Round Solution

Bed bugs never sleep, and unfortunately, they can visit any time without notice. Professional treatments can take three to four visits to eradicate the problem. Because early detection is so critical, The Orkin Man® can come back periodically to monitor your home and help prevent an infestation. During these visits he will also check for new pests while making sure bed bugs have not arrived unannounced. If he sees something new or suspicious, he will investigate. Your Orkin Man will document your progress and any problems that may arise to ensure the best maintenance approach for your home.

The Orkin Man can come back periodically to monitor your home and help prevent an infestation.


More Information

Bed bugs (often misspelled as bedbugs) are small, nocturnal, wingless insects that belong to the family of Cimicidae. They feed on human blood and other warm-blooded hosts. They are oval in shape and grow up to 4 to 5 mm long when fully grown. Their skin color is rust brown to a deeper red brown. Bed bugs are also known as “mahogany flats,” “red coats” and “chinches.” The adult bed bug does not have wings and has a flattened body.

Bed Bugs Petri Dish Bed Bugs Petri Dish

Bed bugs are both dorsoventrally flattened and thin, which creates a great advantage for them. They can hide in unusual places such as behind baseboards, floor cracks, and under carpets or behind loose wallpaper, which can make them difficult to detect. Not only can they be hard to detect, but bed bugs also tend to stay close together and have a distinctively sweet, yet unpleasant smell. Fecal smears on mattresses and nearby furnishings are also signs of a bed bug infestation. Their bites can leave itchy welts on the skin and can cause allergic reactions, such as severe itching, though not everyone reacts to their bite. Bed bugs have existed since the ancient times and are found throughout the world. There are different species of bed bugs, but the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is particularly adaptable to human environments. Other species are known to prefer birds and bats but also will feed on humans if necessary. Since they can survive in birds’ nests, they can be seen in houses and buildings that have several bird nests, particularly on rooftops. . Bed bugs have a great worldwide distribution, due to human travelers who transport them in luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture. Though they may reside in unusual places, they are also likely to be found in small cracks near a bed or in comforters and bed sheets.

How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs

It’s possible to pick up bed bugs almost any place—they’ve infested offices, stores, hotels, gyms and countless other places. They can hide in your luggage, personal belongings, or even on you, and hitchhike a ride back to your home, condo, townhouse or apartment. Once indoors, they can be extremely difficult to control without the help of an experienced pest specialist. A bed bug infestation has nothing to do with cleanliness — you can pick them up in the finest hotels, and they can hitchhike into the cleanest homes at any time. But, you can help reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.

Traveling

When traveling, think of the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to remember the following action steps to help avoid bringing bed bugs home with you.

  • Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-colored spots on bed sheets, mattress tags and seams, and bed skirts.
  • Lift and look for all bed bug hiding spots, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard and furniture. Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day they are most likely found within a 1.5 meter radius of the bed.
  • Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind headboards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
  • Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and when you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed and store it in a closet or other area, far away from your bedroom.
  • Place all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.
In the House

When at home, follow these handy tips to help keep bed bugs at bay.

  • Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
  • Wash and dry your bed linens often using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
  • Closely inspect any second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring it into your residence.
  • Inspect your residence regularly—after a move-in, a trip, when a service worker comes in or guests stay overnight.
Think You Might Have a Bed Bug Infestation?

Notify your local pest management provider immediately, or tell your property manager if you are renting so they can begin to create a customized treatment for your bed bugs. Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to help prevent an even larger infestation.