Bed Bug Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from bed bugs by learning techniques for identification and control.
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs have small, flat, oval-shaped bodies. They are wingless. Adults do have the vestiges of wings called wing pads, but they do not fully develop into functional wings. Adults are brown in color, although their bodies redden after feeding. Full-grown bed bugs move relatively slowly and measure between 4 to 5 mm. Homeowners sometimes have the misconception that bed bugs are too small to see with the naked eye.
How do I get rid of bed bugs?
What Orkin Does
Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to help prevent an even larger bed bug infestation. Our integrated A.I.M. protection process — Assess, Implement and Monitor — works to assess your home for early signs of bed bugs, implement solutions to help get rid of bed bugs, and monitor any bed bug problems you may face. At Orkin, we never stop learning. By using the latest pest control technology, our bed bug exterminators can help protect your home with effective bed bug treatments suited to your specific needs. We're experts at recognizing the many signs of bed bugs and we know exactly what you need to help prevent and repel bed bugs from your home. Simply put, we have Pest Control Down to a Science®.
Find a branch closest to you for help from an Orkin Pro today.
Dig Deeper on Bed Bugs
How to Identify Bed Bugs
Learn how to properly identify a bed bug based on its body's structure and how it looks.
Find out how to identify the difference between a bed bug bite and a mosquito bite.
Bed bugs and fleas differ slightly in appearance, preference of animal vs. human, and their method of movement.
While they’re both small parasitic insects that feed on human blood, bed bugs and lice differ in size and shape, as well as location of where they may live and hide.
While bed bug infestations are difficult to contain, scabies may look similar, but can be eliminated in a few days with a topical cream prescribed by a doctor.
Learn how to identify the difference between a bed bug and a tick by their appearance, movement and bites.
Learn more about other insects that share the physical appearance of common bed bugs.
Information About Bed Bugs
While they may cause skin irritation, bed bugs are not known to spread disease.
Droppings on a mattress, or items around a sleeping area, are usually a good indication that bed bugs have invaded your home.
Bed bugs go through three life stages – egg, nymphs and adults – and have a lifespan commonly ranging from four to six months.
To control bed bugs on a comforter, a dryer on high heat to may be used to help kill bed bug eggs, nymphs and adults.
Bed bugs can infest the mattress itself, mattress seams and cover, box springs, and possibly the baseboards in close proximity to the bed.
Bed bugs can be accidentally carried into offices by hitching a ride on bags or other personal belongings.
Indicators that a pillow is possibly infested with bed bugs include small, dark spots of bed bug feces and/or a sweet, musty scent.
Since bed bugs can be picked up just about anywhere, it’s important to understand how to reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation.
Keep these important action steps in mind to help you avoid bringing bed bugs home with you while traveling.
The Bed Bug Registry is a helpful resource that reports hotels that have had bed bug sightings.
Rubbing alcohol can kill some bed bugs, but cannot remove an infestation.
Questions About Bed Bugs
While bed bugs can live in cold habitats in nature, freezing infested items at extreme temperatures is sometimes used as a bed bug control method.
Since living bed bug adults are visible with the naked eye, it’s reasonable to assume that dead bugs are also visible – but it’s important to know what bed bugs look like.
While there are a few ants that eat bed bugs, experts conclude that pharaoh ants are one of the most likely ants to target and feed upon bed bugs.
Bed bugs do not fly as they are wingless insects.
Even though traps offer a fast solution to a bed bug infestation, the most effective trap will always be an Orkin Pro armed with knowledge, experience and the best pest control products and equipment.
Bed bugs will come out in the daytime or at night when lights are on in order to take a blood meal, especially if they are hungry.
Bed bugs do not hibernate and can be active in the winter months if they are inside a temperature-controlled house or apartment.
As bed bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to most regulated chemicals, over-the-counter sprays and pest foggers are generally ineffective.
Bed bugs are not equipped to jump long distances, so they typically move from host to host by crawling.
Most homeowner-administered remedies, such as cedar oil, are largely ineffective at eliminating a bed bug infestation.
Bleach may get rid of individual bed bugs, but is largely ineffective at controlling or eliminating entire bed bug infestations.
The average adult bed bug size is similar to that of an apple seed, ranging from 1/4 to 3/16 of an inch in length.
Bed bugs are transported by people, most often in personal belongings such as luggage, purses and items kept close to sleep areas.
Studies show that the length a bed bug stays dormant is strongly related to the temperature of its environment, as well as its access to a meal.
Bed bugs do not feed on a predictable schedule; however, they feed when in need of a blood meal and there is an available host nearby.
In general, bed bugs prefer red and black, rather than yellow, orange, green, lilac and violet.
A musty, sweet smell, often likened to berries, is commonly attributed to these pests, although it typically takes a large infestation to detect this smell.
Learn about bed bug infestation treatment options used by bed bug exterminators from Orkin.
Rat mite bites and bed bug bites may look similar; learn more about these biting pests and how to get rid of them with our Orkin Pros.
Our Orkin Pros can tell you what insecticides are used to help treat bed bugs in your home.
Depending on the extent of the bed bug problem you may need more than one treatment from our bed bug exterminators to help remove the infestation.
The cost of bed bug treatment depends on several factors including the size of the area that needs treatment, the type of bed bug treatment used, and the environment that's infested.
When relocating a mattress that has been stored correctly, there's a small chance it might be carrying bed bugs.
Bed bugs typically hide in cracks and crevices, which makes them very hard to identify. Find tips on how and where to look for signs of bed bugs.
When bed bugs are exposed to cold, they die at temperatures of 0°F if held at this temperature for about four days.
Bed bugs take advantage of their flattened bodies by hiding in narrow places like cracks and crevices, emerging at night to find a host.
Peppermint oil can be used as a natural bed bug contact insecticide, but may not be as effective as professional pest control.