Pest Guide : What are bed bugs?

What You Need to Know About Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of birds and mammals. As its name suggests, Bed Bugs can often be found lurking between your sheets and around your mattress. These bugs are often found in private homes after they have caught a ride into the home on an unsuspecting host, but they are most common in places of public transit, hotels, and healthcare facilities. Despite the name, bed bugs can be found anywhere in a home including couches, chairs and in closets. We also find bed bugs in cars, movie theaters, airplanes... basically anywhere people are there can be bed bugs!

For the last few decades, Bed Bug activity has been fairly limited in the United States. However, these parasites are increasing in number, largely due to the increase in international and public travel. This fact is problematic because the bugs feed on blood and can cause skin irritation from the bite.

If you suspect that Bed Bugs are lurking in your home, it’s imperative to act quickly. These insects are skilled hitchhikers, meaning they can be spread to other homes in the house, as well as other homes in your area. To ensure the pest control goes over smoothly, trust the professionals of our team to eradicate your Bed Bug problem once and for all.

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How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs can rapidly reproduce within homes.

Bed bugs of various size compared to a penny

Bed Bugs are small insects that belong to the genus Cimex and the family Cimicidae. These species are defined as being ectoparasites that primarily feed on mammals’ and birds’ blood, with humans being the preferred host. Although there are other parasites belonging to this family, Bed Bugs are the most common.


Identifying a Bed Bug can be difficult because of how small the species is. Bed Bugs are incredibly small and are only about 1/4 inch in length by adulthood. Their body is flat yet oval-shaped. You can also identify Bed Bugs by looking for their distinctive reddish brown color. If the bug is round, flat, and reddish-brown, it is probably a Bed Bug.


Bed Bugs reproduce rapidly, making it important to understand the life cycle of this species. A single female can lay five eggs in one day. The eggs are slightly sticky whenever they are laid, which allows the eggs to latch onto the surface. These eggs are normally only one millimeter in size and have a whiteish color. It is difficult to next-to-impossible spot these eggs due to their size and color.

Once the eggs hatch, the Bed Bug will be in the nymph phase. These nymphs are no larger than a pinhead. As you might imagine, nymphs are difficult to see too, but they mature rapidly. During maturation, they shed their exoskeletons, which allows them to grow after every feeding. Juveniles will be slightly smaller than adults and have a lighter appearance, but they still look similar to adults.

Throughout the entire lifetime, Bed Bugs will prey on warm-blooded species, with humans being their favorite. Bed Bugs that are found in homes typically create eggs around the corners and crevices of mattresses. Whenever you fall asleep, they will bite into the human to drink the blood. Bed Bugs primarily hunt at night because they are a nocturnal species.

Bed Bugs normally look for blood every four or five days, but they can survive four weeks and even a year without eating. Bed Bugs will primarily hide out around your home and come out to eat at night. The average lifespan of a Bed Bug is 10 months to a year.

Signs of Infestation

Because Bed Bugs are so small and bite while you are sleeping, it can sometimes be difficult you know if you have a Bed Bug problem until it has escalated. Some signs of a Bed Bug infestation include:

  • Small blood spots on sheets and mattress
  • Small brown dropping
  • Small exoskeletons
  • Small white eggs or egg casings
  • Small bite marks or rashes around your legs, especially around clothing lines

You may especially want to look around the mattress’s tag and folds, and other areas where the Bed Bugs may hide.


Common Questions About Bed Bugs

Many people who find out they have Bed Bugs are ashamed because they feel it is a reflection of their home’s cleanliness and hygiene. Although Bed Bugs are more of an issue in areas with consistently bad hygiene, you probably have Bed Bugs for no fault of your own.

Bed Bugs are essentially the world’s best hitchhikers. They travel incredible distances by latching onto unsuspecting hosts. Bed Bugs will often latch onto clothing, luggage, and sometimes your body while you are traveling. If you keep a clean home, this is likely the cause.

Most people catch Bed Bugs while traveling. These tiny insects have been found on airplane seats, cabs, mass public transit, and hotel beds. Some have even been found in health care facilities. You can also catch Bed Bugs by flying internationally to countries that have less rigorous hygiene and pest control practices.

In other words, you could have picked up Bed Bugs practically anywhere. Because these small creatures are so good at latching onto fabrics and bodies, they could have hitched a ride to your home without you even realizing it.

Even though Bed Bugs are creepy and crawly, they aren’t particularly dangerous. Unlike many other parasites, there are currently no known diseases carried or spread by Bed Bugs.

The biggest concern about Bed Bugs is their bite. Their bite can cause skin irritation, though not everyone reacts to Bed Bug bites. Individuals can experience a small, red welt around the bite site. In the most severe cases, the bite can become infected if the individual does not have good hygiene practices.

This infection is not caused by the Bed Bugs bite directly. Instead, it is caused whenever other bacteria get into the bite site. If you suspect that your bite site is becoming infected, it is important to seek medical treatment right away. With treatment, the condition is short-lived.

Though Bed Bugs are not dangerous, you still don’t want them lurking around your home. Unfortunately, getting rid of Bed Bugs can be next to impossible for the amateur. Because they are so small, they can easily hide in between the crevices and seams of your mattress, sheets, floorboard, and even inside furniture.

Since it is so difficult to get rid of Bed Bugs, skip DIY methods and go straight to the professionals. DIY methods are almost exclusively ineffective when it comes to Bed Bug infestations. By trusting a professional, you know that the Bed Bugs are getting eradicated in the issue is being dealt with.

Our professional team provides extensive care and treatment for Bed Bug infestations. We provide a number of pest control options and techniques to ensure the issue is dealt with effectively. We can even get here as soon as possible to ensure the issue does not further spiral out of control or further spread.

Tips for Preventing Bed Bugs

  • Inspect second-hand furniture: If you're bringing second-hand furniture into your home, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for any signs of bed bugs before you bring it inside.
  • Use mattress encasements to protect your mattress, box spring, and pillows from bed bugs infestions.
  • Keep your home clutter-free: Bed bugs love clutter, so it's important to keep your home as clutter-free as possible. This can help make it easier to spot any signs of an infestation and can make it harder for bed bugs to find hiding spots.
  • Be cautious when traveling: Bed bugs are often brought into homes via luggage and clothing, so it's important to be cautious when traveling. Inspect your hotel room for any signs of bed bugs before you unpack your belongings, and keep your luggage off the floor and away from the bed.
  • Hire a professional pest control service.

How My Pest Pros Helps Eliminate Bed Bugs

My Pest Pros has more than a decade of experience treating bed bugs in homes, hotels, and medical facilities. We understand how frustrating it can be for your family to cope with bed bugs, and what it takes to quickly get rid of bed bugs in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland.

Professional treatments can be more effective than DIY methods and can help ensure that all bed bugs and their eggs are eliminated from your home.

We offer non-toxic bed bug heat treatments as well as traditional bed bug treatments that are highly effective and utilize the best EPA-approved products.

Our professional team not only eradicates current problems but also provides preventative care. With our protection plan, the tiny nuisances will be eradicated both now and in the future with regular treatment visits.

For ultimate protection, our professionals will work with you to find a customized solution for your bed bug problem, today and tomorrow.

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