One of the nation’s most annoying pests are spreading throughout Michigan. Bed bugs have caused headaches for East Coast residents over the last decade, with major outbreaks hitting Philadelphia, Boston, and most famously, New York City. The bugs have taken over entire apartment complexes in ultra-dense Manhattan, affecting thousands of residents and causing million-dollar removal fees.

For the better part of a decade, Michigan residents sat back and watched as other states contended with the parasitic pests. Cities such as Detroit and Ann Arbor were almost completely free of them, as only the occasional outbreak featured on television shows and online reports. It’s been this way until 2007, when the bugs started taking over the state at truly unbelievable speeds.

Today, Detroit ranks among the ten most infested cities in the United States, with a wide variety of hotels and apartment buildings reporting issues with the bugs. Pest control companies are working overtime to ensure that the bugs can’t spread further, using new chemical cures and innovative heat and ice-based methods to keep the city clean. It’s working, although not as quickly as many hope.

While Detroit’s bed bug problems are minor next to those seen in other major cities, they’re enough to cause severe trouble for its residents. An apartment building in the inner city has had mail service dropped after a major outbreak was reported, and several other buildings within the city have been forced to temporarily house their residents in hotels, serviced apartments, or even family homes.

How are bed bugs spreading through Michigan?

As with other major metropolitan areas, it’s travel that’s to blame for Detroit’s surge in bug-related problems. With one of the country’s most active international airports and a direct road linking the city to nearby Canada, the bugs are easily able to spread into Michigan from other regions. Cities outside of Detroit have also seen outbreaks due to short-term hotel guests and their luggage.

The bugs are surprisingly athletic, able to crawl at a rate few humans would expect. As such, they can easily move from bedding to luggage without being noticed, particularly during the night-time hours when they’re most active. Pest control experts have stated that the bugs move into luggage, clothing, and other possessions during the night and are subsequently transported to new cities.

They’re also fierce hair residents, able to take refuge in human hair during the daytime. The bugs can cause skin irritations and severe itching, making them a fairly easy pest to spot when on your person. However, their fairly small size and tendency for compact spaces makes them difficult to spot on clothing, as they can easily burrow into seams and collars in order to avoid detection.

Which cities are most at risk of bed bug infestation?

Michigan’s economic center – Detroit – is most at risk of infestation due to its busy international airport, road link with Canada, and its relatively large population. Hotels in the city have played host to the bugs for years due to high turnover and limited staffing, with cleaning staff unable to detect the bugs in between guests. Most infestations are noticed by guests during the night.

Smaller cities such as Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor are also at risk, although due to their smaller travel appeal the two are less likely to experience outbreaks than Detroit. Several infestations in small towns have been reported, although due to the lower population density they are generally dealt to quickly and more effectively.

What steps can Michigan residents take to eliminate bed bugs?

Resident of Michigan – and also travelers in Michigan – should take steps to ensure that personal items don’t come in contact with the bugs. Bed bugs are infamously tough, and removing just one infestation can cost thousands of dollars and several weeks worth of spraying. Keep your clothing and suitcases away from bedsheets or carpet by storing it in the bathtub or using plastic cases.

Secondly, check mattresses, bedsheets, and pillow cases for any traces of the bugs before sleeping in a hotel bed. A story by Connect Michigan outlines the most effective ways to avoid catching the bugs in luggage or clothing, and even solutions for removing them from an infested home. There are numerous pest control services in the state, most of which offer a bed bug removal service.

Bed bugs in the Detroit Metropolitan Area

The Detroit area is the center of the state’s bed bug outbreaks, with several apartment buildings no longer able to receive mail due to the pests. The parasitic bugs have been spotted most often in the city’s numerous highrise tower blocks, where the small gaps between units allow them to shift from one apartment to another at rapid speeds.

A variety of pest removal services are available in the city, many of which offer a heat-based bed bug extermination system. The cost of removing the bugs, however, isn’t particularly friendly – a small extermination effort can cost hundreds of dollars, with long-term treatment routinely costing upwards of $1,000 in spraying and heat-based elimination services.

Bed bugs in the Grand Rapids Area

Grand Rapids has seen numerous outbreaks in the last two years, including one case in an apartment block that serves as an example of the pest’s hardiness. Office spaces have also been infested, giving businesses a headache and resulting in record callouts for pest control businesses.

Michigan’s Emerging Disease Issues department has issued a report on the bugs, along with a series of brochures on how to eliminate them. Cases in the Grand Rapids Metropolitan Area are featured, giving residents an idea of outbreak locations and how the bugs can be avoided.

Recent outbreaks, media coverage, and its effect on the local economy

Coverage has increased significantly over the past two years as the bugs have grown from a minor issue into a lingering problem in the state. One report from WWMT highlights the state’s efforts in removing the bugs from homes, featuring prominently a report that’s designed to help homeowners eliminate the parasitic pests from furniture and home fittings.

On a national scale, Michigan tends not to be featured in bed bug stories. Major centers like New York City and San Francisco have experienced greater outbreaks than Detroit, making the state a minor target for pest control teams and government health departments. Few investigative features have targeted hotels, resulting in very little downturn for the state’s tourism industry.




As one of the United States’ education centers, Boston is using specialized research to fight its bed bug problem. The city has experienced a boom in reports of the critters over the past two years, as inexpensive student apartments and high-end hotels alike battle to ensure that the creatures are no longer able to affect guests. The city fears it could become a bed bug haven without further action.

But beyond the somewhat misleading news reports and alarming blog posts, Boston is actually a fairly bed bug free city. When compared to nearby New York City and southern Philadelphia, it’s one of the most compelling ‘clean’ cities on the East Coast. However, a bed bug massacre is very much going on within the city’s historical apartment buildings, and it could soon grow bigger.

Residents have lodged complaints about bed bugs for years, though the total annual complaint count rarely rises above fifty. However, as the use of pesticide chemicals and high-power spray treatments has been outlawed, the city has experienced an exponential increase in the number and frequency of bed bug related calls. What was once a fifty-call problem now results in hundreds of calls annually.

The call outs are mostly to densely-packed apartment complexes, many of which house thousands of residents in the city. Due to Boston’s temperate winters and rough snow-heavy weeks, the buildings in many inner city suburbs are packed with insulation and build to last. That’s great for heat, but it’s a paradise for bed bugs – the pests can make insulated walls their homes, alongside most furniture.

Cambridge is one of the most obviously affected areas, with its large student population unable to incur the cost of a professional extermination and equally unwilling to spend weeks complaining with a stubborn landlord. Student accommodation is one of the most frequently infested locations for Northeastern cities, as the great housing density allows bugs to easily travel from room to room.

However, despite the obvious reason for concern, Massachusetts appears to be tackling the bed bug problem better than its neighbors to the south. Calls are responded to quickly and the state’s choice of pest control companies is fairly good. However, given the harsh winter the state is famous for, a bed bug infestation is not the ideal presence when double blankets and duvets are required.

How are bed bugs spreading through Massachusetts?

Experts believe that Massachusetts’ bed bug problem is coming from travelers, particularly those arriving in the city from Eastern and Southern Europe. The city is a major travel hub for residents based in the Northeast, taking hundreds of flights daily and routing passengers traveling south to New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and even cross-country to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Its position makes it a popular one-night stopover location, with thousands of short-term visitors packing the city’s hotels on a nightly basis. This quick turnover makes it very difficult for staff to locate and eradicate bed bugs quickly, particularly in hotels geared towards business travelers. A single outbreak can spread from room to room, compounding the city’s obvious problems.

Residents are advised to search through hotel rooms for signs of the bugs before committing to stay, as the pests can easily transfer to luggage and clothing during the night. If you suspect that there are bed bugs at your hotel room, store all luggage in the bathtub (hat tip ABC News) and call the staff to inquire about being moved to another room. Bad infestation? Consider switching hotels entirely.

As part of a major megalopolis, is Massachusetts at risk?

Simply put, yes. Boston’s position on major Amtrak lines makes it a frequent destination for bed bug travelers from New York City and nearby New Jersey. Unlike other pests, which tend to seek out isolated areas and warm regions, bed bugs thrive in the tight conditions found in many of the city’s apartments. More transportation links simply open more avenues for the pests to arrive.

When using public transportation (or long-distance trains) in the Boston-New York region, check seats before sitting or storing baggage. If possible, keep your bags elevated from the train’s floor and do not sit on any surfaces that you suspect may be housing an infestation. The bugs are very easily transferred, and being careless on public trains can lead to widespread outbreaks.

Bed bugs in the Boston Metropolitan Area

Most bed bug cases have been reported in the Boston-Cambridge area. The New York Times ran a piece recently detailing the risk that many students incur when using second-hand furniture. City officials have attached stickers to used mattresses and couches alerting students to their potential to lead to a costly infestation – a move that many believe will be effective in fighting the bugs.

Other outbreak sites have included central city apartment complexes and high-end hotels. Many travelers opt for high-end hotels, believing that they’re more likely to be free of bed bugs. While luxury accommodation options may spend more time monitoring for the bugs, there is no major advantage gained by sleeping in a clean bed and none lost by opting for an inexpensive room.

Bed bugs in Worcester City and County

Five bed bug infestations have been confirmed by the Worcester County Environmental Department in hotels. The unnamed hotels have been ordered to spray for the bugs and take efforts to implement a permanent solution. Several isolated incidents have occurred in private residences, although those were dealt to fairly quickly, with most outbreaks contained and treated to.

Despite the lack of major cases, officials in Worcester County and other small regions in the state are concerned that large infestations could spread further. Visitors to any towns in Massachusetts will be advised to store their belongings securely and check bedsheets for discarded bug shells or traces of the pests.

Recent outbreaks in Massachusetts and New England

Boston is listed as one of the EPA’s most problematic metropolitan areas, with several alerts offering information for travelers and tenants within the city. Almost all reported cases are found in the city center, with few infestations present in residential Middlesex or Suffolk Counties. Articles have raised awareness of the bugs, such as this 2006-dated piece in the Boston Globe.

More recent coverage has included a brief guide to the insects, once again published by the Boston Globe. Several TV news reports have also been prominently featured on Boston local programming, although most have focused on the preventative measures available to homeowners and tenants.




When bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) have adequate available blood sources they also have a shorter lifespan. Bed bugs who feed regularly have a lifespan of ten months, while those without adequate feeding can live a little more than a year. If a blood host is available, bedbugs can live to see three generations of offspring ready willing and hungry to prey on their human hosts.

Bed bugs (females) deposit three to eight eggs at a time. A total of 300-500 eggs can be produced by a single bug. Their eggs are 1/25″ long and curved. They are often deposited in clusters and attached to cracks, crevices or rough surfaces near adult harborages with a sticky epoxy-like substance.

Eggs typically hatch in a week to 12 days. The freshly hatched nymph is beige-colored before feeding, and then turns a redish color after getting a blood meal. There are 5 nymphal stages for bed bugs to reach maturity, which usually takes about 32-48 days. Adult bed bugs can survive for up to seven months without blood and have been known to live in empty buildings for up to one year.




This adds to the woes of countless hotel, motel, inn, and lodging owners, because eliminating bed bugs from even one room comes at a high cost. Exterminators have a difficult job killing bed bugs; chemical baits aren’t effective since bed bugs feed only on blood, and DDT is banned. Plus, it takes several visits to find and destroy all of the bugs and their eggs. To eradicate a full-blown infestation throughout a building could cost $50,000 to $60,000. Methods include pyrethroid chemicals as well as applications of cold, heat, steam and vacuuming. However, bedbugs have been responsible for several new businesses, such as one in San Francisco which freezes all contents from an apartment for 48 hours to kill bed bugs, at $2,000 per unit. A New York company, K-9 Bedbug Detection Services, relies on trained beagles to sniff out bed bugs in upscale condos, hotels, and nursing homes at an average price of $1200. However, since bed bugs can live 12 months without a meal, making a room off limits for weeks after treatment may not help, either. The bedbugs may still lurk in cracks no wider than an envelope, or a new batch may arrive in someone else’s luggage.


To fend off such horrors, some hotels request guests to take showers before entering a room; they’re given track suits and slippers to wear while their clothes are cleaned, and one Las Vegas hotel replaces guests’ luggage with new suitcases. Such actions sound extreme, but even one customer who claims to be the victim of bed bugs can cost the facility untold money in lawsuits and loss of business. (It is estimated that bed bug reports cost the Australian tourism industry $75 million every year.)

To avoid lawsuits and negative publicity, most property owners settle bed bug claims out of court-at much less than the reported one of $150,000 from Helmsley Enterprises in 2004. On the advice of lawyers and insurers, many hoteliers are initiating bed bug lawsuit plans and raising their rates to do so. A quick summary of recent cases would convince any property owner of the rationale behind doing so:

2003– $382,000 punitive and compensatory damages awarded to two Chicago plaintiffs
2004– 45% rent abatement for six-months to a New York apartment tenant
2007- A woman is claiming infestation by hundreds of bed bugs in a cheap motel during her recuperation from breast cancer. Rose M. Pagley-Brown is suing the Stone Motel in Arkansas, alleging “pain and mental anguish, embarrassment and humiliation, medical bills and expenses” from countless bug bites and visible bugs in her bed. The owner denies the allegations, claiming his business had passed two recent pest inspections.
2007-Plaintiffs claimed that bed bug pesticide spraying at Wichita State University made them ill.
2008-Three apartment tenants in Chicago are suing for bedbug injuries.
2008-An opera singer initiated a lawsuit against the Hilton Corporation for $6 million. The alleged injuries involve over 150 bed bug bites.

In comparison, in 2005, a couple acquired bed bug bites and scabies from a Washington-State hotel, but ended up receiving only $4,000 through small claims court to cover financial losses. The individuals felt that lawyers didn’t see enough money in the case to take it and the issue wasn’t considered newsworthy by the media.


Insurance often fails to cover total litigation costs; for example, punitive damages are not insurable. Plus, if managers have been negligent in dealing with bed bug infestations, numerous insurers won’t pay any claims.

Bed bug lawsuits have recently been filed against cruise lines, rental furniture companies, laundromats, and dry cleaners. Furthermore, now landlords are suing pest control companies, just as more bedbug victims are suing public municipalities. It is expected that soon there will be addendums to lease agreements which hold tenants responsible for bedbug infestations.

When it comes to hotels, bed bug claims are among the top frauds perpetrated against hotels, according to Thomas Jones, an associate professor at the University of Nevada. In response, one New York hotel displays a “bedbug alert free” certification in their lobby-but it is in the minority when it comes to bringing up the issue of bed bugs. Most lodgings don’t want guests thinking about bedbugs. (If and when they do utilize bug-sniffing dogs, guests are told the canines are checking for mold.)

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) says bed bugs themselves are reproducing in surprising amounts, by more than 500 percent over the past few years. Yet, these numbers have minimal impact on most hotels, with state-of-the-art sanitation and strict standards of laundering, drying, vacuuming and bedbug-proof mattress covers. The Best Western is typical in its use of a regularly administered pest control program and a trained and knowledgeable housekeeping staff. Such practices should keep bed bugs and lawsuits to a minimum.


Below are summaries of some recent lawsuits over the last two years:

Case #1 – Staten Island, New York, March 2009

In early 2009 a group of eleven tenants sued the owner of the Midland Motor Inn located at 630 Midland Avenue, Staten Island, New York. Among the eleven motel residents was a couple by the name of Edward Reed and Jaunise Rayford, who reported the situation to local new agencies, along with a vial of about a dozen bed bugs that were alleged to have been gathered from the furniture within their motel room.

The tenants sought an undisclosed amount of damages, contending that they were severely affected by the bed bugs, even suffering from resultant illnesses such as scabies, a contagious skin infection. In fact their lawyer, Alan D. Levine, even claimed that these skin infections were confirmed by their medical doctor. The tenants complained of trouble sleeping on a nightly basis, as well as multiple visits to doctors and hospitals.

The owner of the building, Kanti Patel, claimed every effort was carried out to make sure the building was bed bug free, even noting that the rooms were sprayed on a daily basis. He believes the bed bugs were brought in by the tenants themselves, as many of them were placed in the motel by project Hospitality, an organization that finds housing for the needy. After the manager of Project Hospitality was notified of the situation all of the tenants were relocated in city shelters the same day.

Although many believe the tenants were responsible for this bed bug infestation, the results of this lawsuit have not been publicly announced.

Case #2 – Nashville, Tennessee, July 2009

In mid July of 2009, The Tennessean (a local paper) reported that a woman by the name of Evangela Cowan was suing the local Rent-a-Center for $575,000, claiming that the furniture she rented form them was infested with bed bugs. The Rent-a-Center spokesman claimed the company carries out all measures to ensure that the furniture they provide is bed bug free, even going so far as to say that bed bugs are a rarity. He also stated that the company does everything they can to help customers when bed bug infestation is reported. However, Evangela Cowan claims she did report the infestation to the Rent-a-Center employees, and �they just looked at [her] as if they were not concerned.�

Although the results of this lawsuit were not published, it should be noted that bed bugs are not a rarity in society, in fact they are extremely common. Therefore it is very difficult to guarantee every piece of furniture is bed bug free, unless it is treated with Vikane gas, or is frozen for a few consecutive days.

Case #3 – Virgina Beach, Virginia, February 2009

In September of 2009, a woman by the name of Michelle A. Scott sued the La Coquille Motel, an oceanfront establishment located on 16th street in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The woman sought $100,000 for compensation of medical treatment for her son, due to the bed bug infestation. According to Ms. Scott, her son was permanently damaged by the bed bugs, suffering from intense itching, pock marks, rashes, scarring, and public humiliation.

The owner of the hotel, Dan Perrella contends that the woman’s son already had scabs when they checked into the hotel. In fact, he claims he asked them if everything was okay when he noticed this, and that Ms. Scott replied to him saying that the boy had chickenpox. Although the story hit news in September of 2009, the case was originally reported to the public health department in February. The results of this lawsuit have not yet been publicly revealed.

Case #4 – Portland State University, January 2010

The most recent bed bug lawsuit was reported in January of this year, when students of Portland State University reported a sever infestation in one of the campuses popular apartment complexes. One of the students, Kris Thomason, claimed he had to visit a doctor due to an allergic reaction caused by the bed bugs. Although fumigation was used in the apartment rooms, this method may cause the bed bugs to migrate to other rooms, which only serves to expand the infestation.

Although the case has been reported to the administrative offices, the school is not allowing students to retrieve their belongings from the rooms unless they pay the early move-out fee, or pay the rest of the rent due on their lease agreement. As a result many of the students are seeking legal assistance, in an attempt to sue the school for damages and for their belongings.

The results of this lawsuit have not been publicly announced, however many agree that the school should at least release the students belongings if they are unable to successfully eradicate the infestation.


The above cases are just a small portion of the total amount of lawsuits that have been filed against business owners and other establishments in the past 10 years. Most of the cases do not receive a lot of public attention, and many of them are settled out of court due to the effect a lawsuit has on the overall popularity of a business. Many business owners would rather settle the case and provide compensation, instead of dealing with all of the bad press that is associated with a bed bugs lawsuit. As the bed bug epidemic continues to worsen around the world, all business owners that operate an intimate consumer business such hospitality or furniture renting should practice strict guidelines to prevent the exuberant financial loss that may result form bed bug lawsuits.


CHICAGO – A Chicago woman is suing a New York hotel for $20 million after she woke up in her bed with moreover 600 bed bug bites.

Leslie Fox, a 54 year-old booking agent, said that after spending four nights last July at the Nevele Hotel in Ellenville, New York, she woke up with red, irritated, itchy welts all over her body.

“My body felt as if it was on fire. I just wanted to tear it off!”

“I had no idea what was happening to me. We noticed the blood on the bed. I became very upset and alarmed,” she said.

Her husband was also bitten, but it was not nearly as severe as his wife’s.

The bugs were sent to the UIC lab and were found to in-fact be bed bugs.

After the report was made to hotel officials, they were offered two free nights at the hotel. But Leslie Fox and her lawyer declined the offer.

Joe O’Connor, the hotel’s lawyer, said he and his client have not seen the lawsuit so he couldn’t comment on the matter. He said the Nevelel hotel in New York has frequent treatment and inspection measure in place being done by professional pest control companies.

O’Connor also stated that he had called the lawyer who filed the initial suit and was “trying to work things out.”

This is one of many suits filed in the US recently claiming bed bugs have attacked people.

Bed bugs are bloodsucking parasites, however, they do not transmit diseases. Their bites are usually painless, and it can take several days for bite indications to even be visible on the body.

Red welts and irritation dissipate after a week or so, but one doctor says each person will react a little differently to the bed bug bites.

Leslie Fox, who has seen multiple dermatologists, stated that she’s still dealing with the problem. Fox claims to be scarred and mentally-stressed whenever she sleeps in a motel and is afraid that she may have inadvertently brought home bed bug eggs that could hatch.

She stated that she now travels with a flashlight and a magnifying glass to help her locate bed bugs.


Bed Bugs are extremely common, yet highly annoying parasitic pests that infest millions of beds. Since the bed bug reproduces so rapidly, is so tiny, and is capable of hiding deep within the material of beds and other furniture, it can be very difficult to eradicate and infestation completely. Therefore bed bug extermination is usually very expensive, and is a burden on hotel, motel, and rental company owners everywhere.

Unlike other pests, bed bugs do not succumb to chemical baits that could lure them out of their hiding places, since they feed only on blood. This makes it very difficult to bring the bed bugs to the surface of the furniture where they can be exterminated. Since stronger chemicals such as DDT are now illegal, the extermination process usually requires several visits which also impacts the overall cost of the procedure.


When all of the factors are taken into consideration, the extermination can cost about $50,000 per building. Even after a thorough extermination, some bed bugs may remain, and quarantining a room is pointless, as the bed bugs can live for an entire year without a blood feeding. This means multiple exterminations may need to occur before the infestation is completely eradicated, and in buildings with lots intermittent visitors, such as hotels, the infestation can return very easily, as the bed bugs can transfer room articles of clothing and other personal belongings.

Although the cost of bed bug extermination can be estimated, the overall financial loss caused by these pests could be an immeasurable amount, as can be seen by the following examples of bed bug lawsuits within the past year.

How can you protect yourself from bed bugs?



Removing bed bugs is easy but you have to see them in order to effectively get rid of them. Killing bed bugs can be tricky and costly if you call a professional exterminator (recommended) to get rid of them. They will often charge $300 – $600 to treat a single room. And they don’t always guarantee the results. You may want to attempt to remove and kill as many bed bugs as possible before calling in the professionals.

Below are a few things you can do to get rid of and kill bed bugs.


Effectiveness rating: 4/10

Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol kills bed bugs on-contact. Find the surfaces bed bugs inhabit, including crevices and harborages. Mix the isopropyl alcohol at a 1:1 ratio in a spray bottle with water. Liberally spray the surfaces and crevices and allow to dry naturally. Less water is recommended for smaller areas or areas sensitive to water.


( Information on Heat used by Professionals to Kill Bed Bugs )

Effectiveness rating: 3/10

Many professional exterminators are now using heat to kill bed bugs. It’s safer and more effective than many of the chemicals traditionally used. Unfortunately the big commercial trailer-mounted BTU heating systems can cost up to $50,000.

A residential dryer can be effective for killing bed bugs on clothing, bedding materials, stuffed animals, shoes or any other soft articles which are “dryer-safe.”

When using the dryer, operate using small to medium size loads and run the dryer on high for at least 15 minutes. Remove the items immediately and seal them in a plastic bag for 24 hours. This will ensure that you kill all of the bed bugs.

Important: Please use your own dryer. Do not take the items to a laundromat or community dryer units. It is important to contain the infestations, and traveling with the items will only help spread the bed bugs and contaminate the other locations.


Effectiveness rating: 2/10

Steam cleaning is recommended for any surfaces infested with bed bugs. The problem is that many homeowners do not have access to adequate steam cleaning equipment. Heating unpressurized water to above 220-degrees will boil, so it’s important to make sure you proceed caution. Spray the infested surfaces with the steam, completely saturating the areas. Speed drying the surfaces is recommended to avoid damage or mold infestation to furniture or other articles.

As you can see, these options are a lot of work and are not very effective. However, if you can afford it, calling in the professionals is highly recommended!


There are many insecticides that are available in both dust and spray applications. Some of the primary ingredients to look for when choosing something proven to combat bed bugs include permethrin, propoxur, chlorpyrifos, cyfluthrin, fencalerate, benseneacatate, and resmethrin. Most of these products are available in retail and hardware store.

Hydoprene is an insecticide that does not actually get rid of bed bugs outright, rather it works to sterilize adult bed bugs. While the process may take a bit longer it tends to ensure the eventual end of the infestation.

For a more organic approach you might consider the use of non-residual pyrethrin. This form of insect control is derived from the chrysanthemum flower and routinely kills insects on contact.

You must first locate where the bed bugs live. Remember, just because they are called bed bugs, doesn’t mean they can’t live in other areas of the home. Once the bed bugs are located, there are many control methods that may be used to combat the bed bugs.

Vacuuming all visible bed bugs from the mattresses and box springs and their other known dwellings is an effective removal option. Ensure the vacuum bag is removed, sealed, and disposed of immediately after the vacuuming process. Mattresses and pillows can be cleaned, paying particular attention to the seams and ribbing of the mattress, to kill any remaining bed bugs. Seal the mattress and box springs in plastic bags to make sure any missed bugs do not attempt to escape. Bed linens and drapes can be dry cleaned or wet washed with a cleaning detergent and bleach in hot water.

Many pesticides are available for use. But only one is approved for use on bedding (Unsmoke Microban). They should always be used in accordance with the manufacturers’ label. Insecticides can provide instantaneous results for active bed bug infestations and residual protection against future infestations.

Insecticides are classified by the application method: Crease and Crevice, Indoor Surface, Indoor Space, and Fumigation. It is important to know the differences between each category in order to utilize the most effective treatments.

Crease and Crevice application are for areas that are typically hidden or hard to reach. Granual pesticides and some wetsprays fall into that category. Granuals can be applied using either a puffer or a brush. Graqnuals are lighter and can penetrate further than insecticide wet sprays, therefore, they should always be used in places where with deep cracks and crevices. Granules are also preferred over wet sprays for treating the tufts, folds, and sleep surfaces of mattresses & bedding materials.

Indoor Surface treatment is for areas where the bugs are most likely to crawl en route to either their dwellings or to where they like to feed. This type of process is commonly referred to as residual treatments. They are designed to stay active for an extended period of time to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment. The sprays are to be applied to the bed frames and the non-sleeping surfaces of mattresses.

Drawers should be removed from dressers and flipped upside down, to ensure all surfaces are thoroughly sprayed. Spray wood and all walls at least 24 inches above the flooring for the entire room.

Indoor applications are used to kill bed bugs on contact. These insecticides are usually found in the form of aerosol sprays. When harborages are located, it’s recommended that you spray the insecticide in the air in the area toward the bed bugs.

Aerosols are recommended when treating materials like clothing or stuffed animals. These types of items can be placed into a plastic bag or a closet (which is also probably infested). Spray the aerosol into the closet or bag and close it for 10- 20 minutes.


Getting rid of bed bugs consists mainly of locating and thoroughly cleaning the areas where the bed bugs hide in during the daytime hours. Hiding spots can usually be found by looking for black or brown spots of dried insect fecal matter on various surfaces on which the bed bugs dwell.

Bed Bug eggs, egg shells and shed skins may also be found in dwelling areas. Early on during the infestation bed bugs are likely to be located only around the seams, tufts or crevices of mattresses or bed covers, but later they move to crevices in the bed steads. In a severe infestation bed bugs can be found behind base boards, window and door casings, pictures and picture frames, in sofas and furniture, ripped wallpaper & cracks in drywall and.

Management should focus on cleaning methods such as vacuuming, sealing loose wall surfaces, caulking cracks, and other dwellings. A thorough cleaning may need to be completed more than once because eggs may be missed, or bugs may be well hidden during the initial vacuuming. Vacuum the mattress, paying close attention to tucks and along seams. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag immediately after the cleaning.

After completing the cleaning process be sure the bed is moved away from any walls so that it does not make contact with them. Coating the bed legs for 3 to 5 inches with something to stop bed bugs from crawling up into the bed is typically recommended. Petroleum jelly is often used for this, but be sure to put something under the bed legs to collect any dripping. Remove all dust covers, and keep the bed covers and blankets off of the floor.

The services of a certified pest management company is often a good idea and may be needed in severe infestation situations.

If you decide to kill the bed bugs yourself, apply an insecticide that is specifically labeled for bed bug management. Apply to hiding places around base boards, door and wall moldings and floor boards. Caution: NEVER USE ANY INSECTICIDE ON A MATTRESS – unless the label specifically refers to application to a mattress. Most insect sprays are not registered for application to mattresses. People often opt rather to discard the mattress.

Use of Insecticides: (Not recommended for non-professional exterminators)

1. Spray the slots, springs and bed frame. Spray enough solution to wet thoroughly. Do not miss any areas where bedbugs might dwell or hide out.
2. Spray a light mist to the entire mattress. Open up the seams, tufts and folds. Material should always be completely dry before using it again.

List of pesticides labeled to get rid of bed bugs.
Delta Dust – 0.05% (deltamethrin)
Resmethrin – 0.3% spray
Suspend SC – 0.6% spray
Drione Dust
Flee/Dragnet FT – 0.5% spray
Malathion 57% EL – 4 table spoons per gal. of non-odor kerosene
Tempo 2 – 0.05 – 0.1% spray
Tempo 0.1% dust
Tempo 20 WP

Not recommended for non-professional exterminators!



If you think your home may harbor bed bugs, then you should check out every crack and crevasse you can find, from the crack behind the baseboards to the folds of drapes and even seams or tears in mattresses or other bedding, clothing, or clutter that may be lying about.  If you can fit a credit card edge into the crack, then a bedbug infestation can be hiding within that innocent-looking crack.

Lest you think that bed bugs are attracted to filth, you should know that infestations can be controlled by keeping a neat home since a vacuum can suck up bedbugs and eggs alike, however they are attracted to living things and feed on blood, not filth.  They can be brought home from hotels in your luggage and can even travel into your unit from other apartments or condominiums in a shared unit structure.

Identifying a bed bug infestation might be difficult since you will need to find and catch one of the creatures to have it identified.  Once you do, controlling the infestation can be just as difficult.

To get rid of your bed bug bites for good, start with a VERY thorough vacuuming, including every crack and crevasse that might harbor the bugs.  Bedding should be sanitized by running it through the dryer at 120 degrees, and the mattress itself should be steam cleaned if possible.  Truly getting the best of the bugs, however, typically requires professional treatment.

There are a variety of simple things that can be done to reduce the accessibility of your home to bed bugs. Calking openings on the outdoor of your home is an effective first step. If your attic has an opening that allows birds or bats to find lodging, you should block any entryways you may find. When birds or bats enter your attic they may also be bringing bed bugs that will drop after a feeding and find a new meal with one of your family members.

To discover the level of infestation you can place a few pieces of double-sided tape in various locations in your bedroom. Bed bugs will stick to the surface and you will get a clear picture in the morning if a more aggressive approach is needed. By adopting a higher standard of household cleanliness you may be able to further reduce infestation levels.

There are many different means by which domiciles become bed bug infested. People can acquire bed bugs at motels, hotels, thanks to increased domestic and international travel, and bring them back to their man domiciles in their suitcases. They also be picked up inadvertently by bringing infested furniture or clothing to their houses. If someone is in a place that is severely infested, bed bugs may actually movel onto and be carried by clothing, although this is not typical behavior. Finally, bed bugs may move amongst units in multi-family domiciles (such as condos and apartments), after being originally carried into the building by one of the above ways. This spread between homes is dependent in part on the level of infestation, on the materials used to separate units and whether or not infested contents are dragged through shared areas while being discarded, resulting in the shedding of bed bugs and bed bug eggs while being moved.

Common areas of infestations

Bed bugs are rather flat, allowing them to hide in tiny creases. A crevice big enough to fit a business card can house bed bugs. During the day they usually stay out of the light, hiding in such places as mattresses, mattress materials, bedding frames, furniture, carpet or baseboards. Bed bugs can settle in the open weave of towles; this will often appear as a grey spindle a centimeter or two long and a few threads wide, with a black dot in the middle. Bed bugs can be discovered on their own, but more often assemble in groups. They are not social bugs and do not build nests.

Groups of bed bugs are very often found in beds, usually either the crevices of a mattress, in the box spring, or within the actual structure of the bedding itself. They can also be discovered in a wide variety of places in a house, such as behind walls, behind pictures, within books (around the bed), in phones, or radios near the bed, within the folds of drapes. Bed bugs are capable of movling as far as 100 feet to feed, but they usually stay close to the host in rooms or on furniture where people may rest. Bedbugs feed every five to ten days.

Size of infestations

Little research has been conducted into bedbug behavior and population dynamics as these bugs weren’t common until fairly recently as to not have much economic impact as a common household pest.

Predictions on extent of infestation by geographic location are not of much value. There may be some climate-related factors of spread in the winter months as the bedbugs are killed in cold. However, it may be that they are also suseptable to heat in warm regions. The fact is that this kind parasite that lives near but not necessarily on or in its host has a highly-evolved method for survival that has been effective for millions of years. Bed bug populations can be huge when control is not being executed.

Detection of infestations

Bed bugs can be found often by looking for black stains on beds, which are the bed bugs’ pooh marks. These marks are easily seen on light-colored bedding.

Sometimes an engorged bedbug is accidentaly killed or disgorged by accidental crushing, resulting in a visible blood stain. Crushing them will produce a unique sickly sweet scent, which can also be detected in the air in a severe infestation situation.

Though bedbug bites can happen singly, they often follow a pattern of a grouping of three to four bite. These patterns of bites are caused when a bed bug is disturbed in feeding by movement, and then the bed bug resumes feeding at a later time. The effects of the bites on humans varies from person to person, but often cause red marks and swelling similar to mosquito bites. Some people have little or no noticeable reaction to bed bug bites. Those whose bodies do not initially react may eventually develop symptoms, however, due to an allergic reaction.

An effective technique for finding bed bugs is to have a light accessible from bed and to turn it on at about an hour before dawn, which is usually the time when bed bugs are most active. Bed bugs can also often be viewed during the day in normal sunlight.

Veterinarians may mistake bed bugs’ pooh on a dog’s or cat’s fur as “flea pooh”.

How Should You Deal with Bed Bugs?

Controlling bed bugs can be a difficult practice if the infestation has already occurred. Once bed bugs have found hiding places in your home, they can be both difficult to detect, and very difficult to remove. They live in dry dark areas and rarely come out to view during the day. Although they are often found inside bed linens or between mattresses, they can also take refuge in wall panels, floor spaces, behind trim pieces, and closet areas.

Sanitation is one of the best methods for preventing and eliminating bed bugs. Vacuuming areas around the bed and frequently changing bed linens is good practice in prevention.  Taking care to clean the cracks and folds of linens and mattresses is an excellent way of both, finding and preventing bed bugs from hiding in those areas.

If an infestation has already occurred, professional extermination services should be considered. Spot treatment of pesticides in common hiding places can have a great impact on an infestation. It is important that home owners assist the exterminator by making all areas of the residence accessible. Allowing the exterminator access to closets, bedrooms, basements, and all other areas of the house will help ensure that they bed bugs hiding places can be treated. In some heavy infestations, it may be necessary to treat adjoining apartments or houses in very close proximity. Bed bugs can disperse over a wide area, and if other homes or apartments are near by, they may become refuge for fleeing bed bugs.

Bed bugs can be a very annoying and disgusting parasite. Although not usually dangerous, bed bug infestations can be a menace. Clean living, and carefully inspecting and cleaning travel items is often enough to prevent bed bugs. Like the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”



Bed Bugs were first noticed in society by Americans in the early 1700’s. Many problems with bed bugs can be found in scripts and literature from this time period all throughout North America.

Many believe sail boats returning from Europe were found to be infested with bed bugs. And many of the sailors complained of being attacked by these bugs as they slept in their cabins.

Bed bugs have made a recent comeback. Some research indicates that up to 25% of residents in some cities have reported problems with them; usually in lower-class, urban areas. For these residents, bed bugs are not only a nuisance, but a problem bordering on epidemic levels. History has never seen such widespread and intense bed bug infestations.

The world saw a marked decrease in the numbers of bed bugs when DDT was introduced in the 1950s. The use of DDT as a pesticide was banned in the 1970’s and hardy bed bugs seemingly welcomed the news. In the past few years, levels of bed bug infestations have been on par with what was known previous to the mid century mark and they continue to rise.

With increased world travel, bed bugs are again making their presence felt as they are removed from one country and introduced to another through international transport on clothing, luggage and the human body. Bed bugs can be found on airlines and in cargo holds. Bed bugs can also be transferred from an overnight stay in a hotels, motels and Inns.

Bed Bugs in the UK

Most people have heard of bed bugs, but perhaps aren’t exactly sure what they are or just how serious a problem they can be. Bed bugs – or cimex lectularius ; as they are technically known, are not actually harmful, although they are certainly a nuisance as they like to feed on human blood. Bed bugs are usually about a quarter of an inch long, although after feeding, they can grow to three times their normal size – and are reddish brown in color.

Bed bugs are not indicative of an unclean or untidy home and they can be found in even the cleanest environment, often in sheets and bedding, behind pictures and in cracks in the wall. They can be found behind loose wallpaper, and in wood furniture. Apart from the actual creatures themselves, tell-tale signs of bed bugs include blood spots, discarded skins and tiny specks of excrement. And of course the bites, which many people don’t notice until the next morning; they can appear anywhere on the body, particularly on the face, arms and legs.

Bed bugs are not a recent problem in the UK; they have actually been around for centuries – although the problem has worsened during the last couple of years or so. The problem also seems to be cyclical – at the beginning of the 20th century, it is estimated that bed bugs were biting around four million people in London on a regular basis; and some countries had an even worse problem an estimated 33% of homes in Stockholm were infested around that time.

During the 1950s and 60s, the bed bug problem diminished significantly in the UK, partly due to the increased availability of newly developed insecticides. But the problem seems to be back again – the UK based pest control company Rentokil estimates that the number of bed bugs has increased by around 40%. The worsening bed bug problem is thought to be caused largely by an increase in overseas travel and by people inadvertently bringing bed bugs into the country. This problem was apparent in Australia; following the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the country suffered from a bed bug infestation and it was estimated around 95% of hotels in Sydney were affected.

Some experts also seem to think that the poor UK economy is partly to blame for the increased numbers of bed bugs. More people than usual are traveling between cities in search of work and often staying in hotels; they may be literally carrying bed bugs from one location to another in their luggage or clothing. And an increase in the number of people buying second hand bedding or clothes can also worsen the problem, as bed bugs can often be found in old sheets, bedding, clothes and mattresses and again, people are� carrying bed bugs from one place to another.

It’s also estimated that a lot of bed bug infestations in the UK go unreported. Many people are understandably ashamed if they discover bed bugs in their home and would rather try to deal with the problem themselves, than report it. Local councils are also reluctant to advertise the fact that that they may have a bed bug problem; and companies that specialize in pest control are not always willing to identify the towns or cities where they have discovered a bed bug infestation.

Rentokil and other pest control companies in the UK have tried to alleviate the bed bug problem by attempting to destroy the pests with a new chemical. This strategy is effective only up to a point as sooner or later, bed bugs will simply develop an immune system to any new or experimental chemical that is being used and the process has to be repeated all over again.

Bed bugs can often be found in UK airports and other transportation hubs, such as bus and railway stations. They also tend to be found more in larger cities, which usually have a more transient population. And not surprisingly, hotels and rented accommodation tend to have the worst problem with bed bugs as they process new arrivals on a regular basis, potentially bringing bed bugs with them in their luggage. It isn’t just cheap hotels either; top hotels can have a problem with bed bugs despite their best efforts to rid themselves of the tiny pests. In 2007, a well documented incident concerned a problem with bed bugs at one of the UK’s top hotels, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental in London. A prominent attorney and his wife sued the hotel for several million dollars after suffering hundreds of bites during a five day stay at the hotel in 2006. The couple also claimed in their lawsuit that the bed bugs infiltrated their luggage and clothing and subsequently infested their apartment in New York after they had returned home.

The Mandarin Oriental case has led to several other bed bug lawsuits, both in the UK and overseas, although it can be difficult to accurately determine just how many, as hotel companies naturally don’t welcome the publicity. If you do encounter bed bugs in your hotel or rented accommodation, a more practical solution is probably to notify somebody as soon as possible and have them exterminated. And if you don’t have insecticide handy, various other things that are believed to kill bed bugs include eucalyptus oil, lavender and sweet rice.

Bed Bugs in the EU (European Union)

Many people grow up familiar with the phrase �Sleep tight, and don�t let the bed bugs bite��, but aren�t aware that bed bugs are real insects that really do pack a nasty bite. At one point considered to be all but extinct in some regions, they have in recent years begun to make a comeback in numerous countries around the world. One of the areas where bed bug infestations have really started to increase in frequency is Europe; many European nations have seen a noted increase in bed bug populations despite efforts to control or reduce them. In some portions of Europe the number of infestations have actually been reported to nearly double with each passing year. In order to impart a better understanding of bed bugs and the effects of bed bug infestations in Europe, more information on the bugs, their bites and the increase in infestations in Europe can be found below.

Characteristics of Bed Bugs

Though some believe that bed bugs (also known as Cimex lectularius) are too small to be seen easily by the naked eye, adult bed bugs are actually nearly the size of an apple seed (though their actual size can range from 4 to 6 millimeters or 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch.) The bugs are wingless and possess a flat, oval body that is generally brown in color (though immature bed bugs are translucent) with bands of small hairs that give the bug the appearance of having stripes. They live exclusively off of the blood of warm-blooded mammals and other animals, and often live in nests or bedding so that they can bite their victims as they sleep. They tend to be most active approximately an hour before dawn, biting their victims with a mouthpiece made up of two tubes that inject them with saliva to prevent clotting and then suck the blood from the wound.

Effect of Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites generally produce swelling in the area surrounding the bite much like mosquito bites do, though in many cases these bites are distinguishable from mosquitoes because they feature a red dot in the middle of them similar to flea bites. The bites tend to itch quite a bit, the result of an allergic reaction to a chemical in the bed bugs’ saliva. Bed bug bites can take a week or longer to appear and often appear in groups of three, with the bites spaced approximately 6 millimeters or 1/4 of an inch apart. Around half of all people bitten by bed bugs never show any signs of the bites at all, though they may experience anxiety, insomnia, or in some cases even nausea as a result of being bitten. Antihistamines and other internally-taken medications often do little to reduce the itching of bed bug bites, though the application of some topical medicines such as Hydrocortisone cream or the application of heat can work quite well.

Increase in Infestation Reports in Europe

Though bed bug infestations had at one point nearly been eradicated in cities and towns throughout Europe, the number of infestation reports has been growing steadily since the turn of the century. It is believed that at least part of the reason for this rise in infestation has to do with the ease of traveling from one area to another, with bed bugs occasionally tagging along for the ride. The bugs wind up staying in the seats of airplanes, buses and other means of public transport, eventually clinging to a passenger and finding their way into residential homes. Houses with no history of bed bug infestation have suddenly become infested soon after visiting relatives leave, while rental properties and hotels have had infestations to begin after housing foreign visitors. Infestations have been reported in upscale housing as well as cheap hotels, proving that bed bugs aren�t a sign of filth but instead are simply opportunistic parasites who are able to get in to even the cleanest European homes.

Consequences of Bed Bug Infestations

In addition to the discomfort of being bitten by bed bugs and the cost of treating bites that itch or become infected, there are a number of other consequences of bed bug infestations. Hotels and hostels have been faced with lawsuits resulting from guests that have suffered numerous bed bug bites while staying with them, though they generally offer to settle the suit out of court in an effort to avoid bad publicity. The threat of these lawsuits has led to some hotels to increase their rates in order to enact a more thorough extermination plan, while some hostels have had to resort to changing their policies so that guests are required to shower before they are even able to visit their room. Similarly, some smaller airlines have had to raise rates in order to secure more thorough cleaning services to prevent bed bugs from stowing away in seating and luggage holds� a consequence made even worse by the already high cost of fuel.

Treating Infestations

A large part of the reason that bed bugs had all but died out was the widespread use of harsh pesticides such as DDT as a means of treating cockroach and other insect infestations in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. As more countries began to realize the hazardous nature of these chemicals they began to ban them, not realizing that the drop in bed bug infestations was related to their use. This doesn’t mean that harsh pesticides are required to get rid of bed bugs, of course; a number of safer and more environmentally-friendly pesticides can easily kill bed bugs, and they can also generally be eliminated by washing sheets, vacuuming carpet, and steam-cleaning mattresses and other furniture.

Get Rid of Bedbugs, Scabies and Lice


Bed bugs are perhaps some of the most resistant household pests known to man, able to infest homes by the millions if left unabated. Thus, the methods used to exterminate bed bugs are relatively extreme in comparison to extermination methods used for other pests. Bed bugs are generally not affected by conventional methods such as average insecticide sprays or repellents, and studies have even shown that they are oblivious to toxic chemicals and in some cases will even remain on coated surfaces for days!

General Bed Bug Extermination Practices

The only way to fully eradicate a bed bug infestation is to conduct a thorough inspection and cleaning of the entire infested area. Once the area is clean a professional pest control agent will then use a variety of extermination methods to rid the house of bed bugs. Certain high-strength insecticides can kill bed bugs, however the use of insecticides alone has been shown to leave small amounts of the tiny pests behind. Given the rapid reproductive nature of the creature, it is not surprising to see the infestation return to full strength just weeks after a failed extermination attempt. Therefore several exterminations are usually necessary before the infestation can be completely eradicated. Due to these repetitive and tedious tasks that are involved with bed bug extermination, it is usually a quite costly endeavor. There is however a guaranteed way to kill bed bugs without the costly expense and environmental dangers of using a professional pest control service and toxic chemicals.

Bed Bugs and Temperature Sensitivity

Perhaps the most exploitable genetic weakness of the bed bug is their sensitivity to high and low temperatures. Bed bugs cannot live for more than 10-20 minutes at temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason some people choose to soak their mattresses in freezing cold water in an attempt to free their homes of bed bugs. Unfortunately bed bugs live in areas other than the bed itself, and will inevitably return to the mattress once it is placed back into the infested environment. It is simply not feasible, nor possible to soak electrical appliances, expensive furniture or bedroom walls in freezing cold water. Thus heat is the safest, cheapest, and most effective way to rid the home of bed bugs.

Using Heat to Kill Bed Bugs

Unlike harmful chemicals, or even cold water, heat can penetrate the surfaces of objects with ease, thus killing bed bugs that are hidden deep within the cracks and crevices of the house. Whereas cold water would easily ruin many household items such as televisions and phones, temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit will not. While there are certain situations that would not be suitable for heat treatment, it does seem to be the optimal solution in most instances. There are two main types of bed bug heat treatments that are currently used: thermal heating and steam heating.

Steam Heating to Kill Bed Bugs

People have been using steam to kill insects since the early 1900’s. However the practice has recently been abandoned in favor of simpler heat treatment techniques. Using high temperature steam in an occupied household can prove to be very difficult, as it requires precise control and various precautionary measures. If the tip of the steam emission tip is too far from the infested object, the treatment will be rendered ineffective. On the other hand if it is too close, then the object will become saturated with moisture, presenting other secondary issues such as strengthened dust mite infestations and surface mold hazards.

Thermal Heat Used to Kill Bed Bugs

The most popular method of killing bed bugs with heat is call thermal heating, in which the temperature in the house is gradually raised using various techniques. There are several methods used in thermal heating extermination practices. Some companies use high powered heating devices and fans to raise the temperature in an even manner throughout the infested area. An emphasis must be placed on heating the area quickly, as the bed bugs are known to flee from the high temperatures and return once the heat has returned to normal. Thus a thorough inspection and heating of the entire surrounding area is absolutely necessary to ensure success during the thermal heating process.


While heat is commonly used to kill bed bugs and other pests, it is not a suitable solution for every situation. In some instances, heating an entire household to a temperature above 115 degrees is not plausible. For example, if it is 20 degrees outside, then it would be quite difficult to raise the internal and external temperature of the household rapidly. Other risks associated with heat extermination include possible damage to walls and other heat-sensitive structures within the house. Professional heat extermination services usually conduct a thorough examination of all prospective households before beginning the extermination process.

The Bed Bug Heat Method In-Depth

There are several reasons why traditional methods to rid your home of a bed bug infestation may leave you feeling hot under the collar. Trying to eradicate the bed bugs making you and your family miserable using harsh chemicals can pose a health risk to your family. Many of the chemicals used in the extermination of bed bugs can aggravate allergies, and respiratory conditions. Chemicals are messy, expensive, can harm the environment, and may not kill off an entire bed bug population. Surviving bed bugs including their eggs will breed and repopulate your mattress and other areas in your home in no time at all.

It can be quite an undertaking to rid your home of bed bugs on your own and the results can be disappointing. You may wind up having to redo the job several times over because these pesky critters are a hardy insect that are difficult to get rid of. If you have a large infestation of bed bugs, it’s unlikely that you will be able to successfully kill and remove all of them yourself. A qualified exterminator has extensive knowledge about the breeding, feeding, and life cycle of the bed bug and the best techniques for successfully removing them. You might want to consider hiring a professional to handle the job for you.

Locating bed bugs is not as easy as you might think. These insects are tiny and hard to see. The black specks you may have noticed on the sheets on your bed, is actually the fecal matter produced by bed bugs. Don’t let their name fool you either. Bed bugs do not just take up residence inside your mattress. They can be living in the cracks in your floors, inside shoeboxes in your closet, in the bottom of the clothes hamper, and in other not so obvious nooks and crannies in your house. Typically, an exterminator will use both magnifying and monitoring equipment to pinpoint where bed bugs are in your home. This is crucial for finding the breeding center of a bed bug population to target breeding females and for extermination and removal along with adult male bed bugs. Isolating bed bug problems can save you from wasting money on treating your entire home, which only the severest of beg bug infestations will need.

Exterminators use a variety of methods to kill and remove bed bug populations from residential and commercial spaces. More and more exterminating professionals today also offer customers chemical-free solutions for ridding their living environments of bed bugs that won’t put your health at risk or cause damage to the planet. One such modern bed bug extermination technique utilizes high heat to kill the bed bugs and industrial strength vacuums to remove their carcasses and fecal matter from bedding and other places in your home.

Let’s take a closer look at the process of using heat to kill bed bugs. How hot does it need to get to kill a bed bug? To kill off bed bugs the temperature needs to be about 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Exterminators use industrial heaters to accomplish this quicker and using a lot less energy than would be required if you were to use your home’s heating system or portable heaters.

Killing bed bugs is only half the job. It is necessary to remove the dead carcasses, eggs, and fecal matter from your living space in order to entirely eliminate the potential for skin and respiratory irritation from these bed bug leftovers. Trying to pick it all up with a residential vacuum cleaner will often spread the matter around rather than it ending up in the sweeper bag. Some of it can also end up in the cleaner’s hose and fall back out onto the floor when you store your vacuum away. Certified exterminators are a better solution for this problem because they can use industrial strength vacuums to remove bed bug carcasses and other materials from your home.

Removal of dead bugs and remnants such as feces and eggs should be included in your extermination contract. Read the contract thoroughly before signing any agreement for services. Also ask the exterminators questions on anything your aren’t sure of so that you know what the service professional intends to do to find and fix your bed bug problem, and what rights you have if something goes wrong.

You can use the internet to research professional exterminators and extermination companies that use methods such as heat to kill bed bugs. Exterminators keep themselves abreast of new research and techniques used to eradicate bed bug infestations and to prevent them from overtaking your living space in the future. You may wish to speak with an extermination professional about the itchy bed bug situation robbing you and your family of comfort and a good nights rest.



Bed bugs draw blood from their hosts by piercing the skin with a small beak-like apparatus. The saliva of the bed bug may be introduced to the human body during the bed bug’s feeding and may cause some redness or swelling, most bed bug bites are harmless. Since bed bugs are not generally known to carry disease, they are not generally considered to be health risks. There have been some reports of allergic reactions occurring after being bitten by bed bugs, and anaphylaxis is always a concern with any type of allergic reaction.

Bed bugs usually attack their hosts at night while the host is asleep. Often times humans awake with very little or no knowledge at all of the bites for hours. Later, as the bed bug bite starts to itch or swell, it may be attributed to fleas or mosquitoes. This makes it very difficult to diagnose an infestation, until the infestation reaches considerable size.

If there is any good news, there are no confirmed cases of disease being spread by bedbugs in the same manner as mosquitoes and ticks (also common blood meal enthusiasts who can spread West Nile, Malaria and Lime Disease).

There are some individuals who are highly allergic to the bite of bed bugs and may experience anaphylaxis which is a highly allergic reaction that can lead to anaphylactic shock (much like a bee sting might in certain individuals).

Bites and Treatments
In the mean time, bed bug bites can cause welts to rise on your skin along with a patch of redness around the bite itself.  There may also be scabs from where you were bit, especially if you have been scratching the bites (you might also be scratching in your sleep).  If you have small, itchy red bumps, particularly ones that tend to cluster or form lines of several bites, you may have bedbugs.

If you have bites that itch, treat them with a topical anti—itch cream like cortisone, and apply antiseptic ointment to any breaks in the skin to prevent infections from your scratching.  If you are experiencing any severe reactions, talk to your doctor to see if you might need further treatment.  You may need to take antihistamines to relieve mild to moderate allergic reactions until the infestation can be cleared up

Bed bugs can be a very creepy problem, but the bites are easily treated at home in most cases, and while the infestations can be hard to cure, a professional exterminator can help you to identify and treat your bed bug problem and get you back to sleeping tight.
Bed bugs aren’t usually known to spread any blood-borne pathogens. However their bites can be itchy and stressful.

Suggestions to treat bed bug bites:

* Resist the urge to scratch the bites.
* Use calamine lotion or creams to treat the bed bug bites.
* Apply an ice-pack to the affected area to help relieve swelling.
* Thoroughly disinfect the bites with anti-septic soap to reduce any risk of infection.

*** See a doctor if the area develops an infection.



Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are so named because they recognize their meal will come when humans are most vulnerable. They live in cracks and crevices within your bed and linens. They can be found on wooden slats, springs as well as the bed frame. They can also live in wallpaper crevices, electrical wall plates, light fixtures, wall hangings, cabinetry as well as carpet fibers and wooden floorboards.

For their size, common household bed bugs are extremely fast. When the lights go out they make their way from their hiding place and find locations on a human host that can accommodate their rich tastes (generally legs, arms, shoulders and waist).

Bed Bug Feeding Habits

Bed bugs are typically active at nightime, with a maximum attack period about an hour or two before sunrise, though given the chance, they may try to feed at other times throughout the day. Attracted by warmth and the presence of CO2, the bug penetrates the skin of its host with two hollow injector tubes. With one tube it injects its saliva, which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics, while the other tube withdraws the blood from its host. After a five minute blood meal, the bug returns to its hiding area. The bites can’t usually be felt until a few minutes or hours later. Although bed bugs can live for up to 20 months without a meal, they usually look for blood every five to ten days.

Bed bugs are often falsly associated with dirt. They are attracted by exhaled CO2, not by filth, and they feed on blood, not garbage. The cleanliness of their surroundings has no effect on bed bugs.

Bed bugs have been known to carry pathogens in their bodies, including plague and hepatitis-B. But they have not been linked to the transmission of any diseases and are not a medical threat. Some people can get skin irritations and scars from scratching bed bug bites. While these bugs are not thought of as a vector of transmissible diseases, they are a serious irritator and will create a lot of worry and alarm. With some people, it may precipitate mild cases of delusory parasitosis.

Bed Bug Reproductive Habits

Female bed bugs can lay up to five eggs in a single day and up to 700 during a typical life time. Their eggs are able to be seen by the naked eye, and measure 1mm in length (approx. 2 grains of sugar) and are a milky-white in color.

Some bed bug species make use of a mating-plug, secreted by the male upon withdrawal after bug fornication, effectively sealing the vaginal area of the female to protect against other males. Among these species, the male impales the female via her stomach, thus avoiding a mating-plug.

Bed Bug Behavior
Bed bugs start life as an egg, laid by an adult female. Female bedbugs exude an adhesive when eggs are laid affixing them to concealed surfaces. Hatchling bed bugs are poppy seed sized. Adult bed bugs are oval shaped and ¼” in length. Colorations of bed bugs range from off-white after molting to burnt orange or dark brown. Bed bugs go through five molts before becoming sexually mature adults. bed bugs cast their shed skin each molt. bed bugs only require one blood meal to develop to the next stage. Well fed adults may live from 6-18 months. bed bugs can survive for months between feedings.

Bed bugs are wary and cautious. When disturbed, bed bugs actively scurry trying to escape seeking shelter in dark cracks and crevices. Bed bugs prefer to feed at night while their hosts are sleeping. bed bugs when hungry will feed during the day. Bed bugs can move from room to room by passing through wall cavities and conduits through which wires and plumbing pipes pass. Bed bugs are most abundant close to where people sleep, dwelling in and near bed or furniture used for sleeping. Favored harborages for bed bugs include: box springs, mattresses, bed frames, picture frames, nightstands.

In Summary:
Bed bug infestations can start for a number of reasons. Most bed bugs find a new home because they were transported from place to place by travelers. Often times, they hitch rides in suit cases or laundry to end up in the home of their next host. It is recommend that when traveling to areas that are known to have higher numbers of infestations, the traveler should make sure to sleep with clean bed linens and wash laundry before taking it back home. Motel, hotels, and other sleeping areas that have high turn over rates for travelers are at a much greater risk for infestation.

Bed bugs will usually take refuge some place near their food source. Since their food source is mostly sleeping humans, the most logical place to find a bed bug is near the bed. Bed bugs will use their small flat bodies to hide themselves in the crevices or folds of sheets and mattresses. They will usually stay hidden during the day, and come out only at night to feed. This makes them very difficult to detect, and infestations can become very large and out of control before they have ever been seen.

At night, while the host is asleep, the bed bug will venture out and find its food source. It can take up to ten minutes for an adult bed bug to fully engorge itself with blood. As they fill themselves with their hosts blood, their bodies enlarge and turn a darker red color. They will then crawl back to their hiding spots where they will digest their meal and sleep until time to feed again.