Bed Bugs

(Cimex lectularius)

Many of us first become aware of bed bugs as children, with the popular nighttime saying, “sleep tight, don’t let the beg bugs bite.” Most nights the bed bugs didn’t bite — but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a real threat. Millions of infestations happen every year, and the rate seems to be growing. They reproduce quickly, and ceaselessly, and they can hitch a ride home with you from nearly anywhere with you none the wiser.

Bed bugs are a serious pest with public health risks, and as such, many areas have enacted legislation that requires treatment that adheres to strict protocols. Due to the difficulty of eradication, and lack of effectiveness for most DIY treatments, most infestations need to be professionally handled.

The good news is that an infestation is easy to spot; but the bad news is that most people find out because they’ve got bites. Bed bugs feed on human blood and settle no more than a few feet away from their meal, making beds their primary location.

 

Biological Profile


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hemiptera
  • Family: Cimicidae
  • Genus: Cimex

How common are they?

Bed bugs can be found in virtually any environment that humans inhabit. They have spread to all continents, countries, states, and cities across the globe. Since they mostly live indoors, there are no strong seasonal trends, or geographic, weather-based population changes.

Health Risks


  • Known diseases: No known disease
  • Bites: Yes, painless
  • Stings: No

How dangerous are they?

In order to feed on human blood, bed bugs need to bite. The bites often happen during sleep, and are painless. Most appear on the lower back, arms, or legs, in a small cluster, connected by a line. In rare cases, allergic reactions can occur.

Pest Treatment Factors


  • Cost: Medium
  • DIY-Friendly: Yes
  • Lifestyle Impact: Medium

How hard are they to get rid of?

While bed bug infestations can be successfully treated with DIY resources, professional treatment is significantly faster and more likely to be effective. The downside is cost, and the potential embarrassment of having treatment procedures carried out in your home.

In some areas, there may be legal requirements that impact treatment methodologies, protocol, and responsibility.

Recent published articles

How long does it take to get rid of bed bugs?
How long does it take to get rid of bed bugs?

It’s hard to give a number on DIY treatments, but let’s give it a shot. Let’s take a look at some basic facts about bed bugs and see if we can figure out a rough timeline: Bed bugs live for 2-6 months on average (though some can survive up to a year without a meal) […]

How long do bed bugs live?
How long do bed bugs live?

First, we should begin by saying that it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get rid of bed bugs by waiting for them to die off. Females lay anywhere from 1-7 eggs per day — and most of them are going to hatch (97+% in most home environments). However, it is certainly possible, given enough […]

How do you get bed bugs?
How do you get bed bugs?

Nearly everyone who discovers they have bed bugs has the same first question: “How did I get bed bugs?” The short answer is that you probably brought them home. Do you have any new furniture or clothing that you purchased secondhand at a resale shop? Have you just returned from a long summer abroad? As […]

How to check for bed bugs
How to check for bed bugs

In just a couple of minutes, you can sleep soundly, knowing that the bed bugs won’t bite. To spot bed bugs, it helps to learn a little about their behavior. Bed bugs hide during the day Unless an infestation is particularly bad, you probably won’t walk into a hotel room and see them crawling on […]