Bed bugs are a growing problem. They can affect anyone and are brought in from an outside source. There are a lot of misconceptions about bed bugs and their behaviors. I get asked questions all the time about where they come from, where to look for them and how to get rid of them. Here, I am going to answer some of the questions I get asked most often.

1. Where do they come from?
The short answer is they are brought in from an outside source. They can be picked up on your clothing or bags at the gym, in doctors’ offices, schools, public transportation and more. There is also the chance that a guest may have brought them into your home. They do not have to stay the night to leave bed bugs behind. It is possible for them to be on clothing and get left behind on furniture. Another possibility is buying used items such as mattresses, sofas, chairs, and rugs.

2. Can you see them?
Yes! Some people are under the impression that they are too small to see with the naked eye but that is not the case. An adult bed bug is about the size of a pea. Although the eggs are quite small, resembling a grain of rice, you are still able to see them.

3. Can they burrow under your skin?
NO! I have had people say to me that they are itching and that they are worried that the bed bugs have burrowed under their skin and laid eggs. This is not possible. Bed bugs will come out to bite you but then they go back to their hiding spot.

4. What do their bites look like?

Bedbugs and their feces (the little black dots) on a mattress.

Generally, they are small red welts that resemble a mosquito bite. Bed bugs usually come in three, follow a straight line and match up with where your body lays against the mattress. Some people may have an allergic reaction to them, just like some do with mosquitoes, and the welts may be bigger and itchier. Other people have no reaction at all.

5. I think I might have bed bugs. What do I look for?
While bed bugs are small, they do leave visible evidence. There will not only be the bed bugs themselves, but skin casings, eggs, and excrement. Bed bugs like to hide so look on the edges and under the mattress, in the corners of dressers and nightstands, behind headboards and in spaces between the baseboard and wall. In the living room, flip your couch and chairs over and look underneath, remove the cushions and check all corners. There may also be blood spots on your sheets and blankets.

While the idea of getting bed bugs can be intimidating, don’t let this prevent you from living your life. Be cautious about used furniture, check hotel rooms before you bring your belongings in, and when in doubt, throw everything you can in the dryer on the highest heat setting for 30 minutes.

If you have questions that I did not answer, please reach out. I look forward to addressing your concerns.

Because Timing Is Everything!