Bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, got their household name from their nasty habit of feasting upon humans while they sleep in their beds. Bed bugs can be found in just about every place where humans interact. This can include private homes, offices, schools, hotels, and even on public transportation.
Bed bugs are very elusive creatures. They are strictly nocturnal and they like to travel. Bed bugs have been known to hide in suitcases, cracks in baseboards, and especially in bedding or box springs. Despite typically feeding at night bed bugs take advantage of any time to feed, amongst heavy infestations bed bugs can feed around the clock. A typical bed bug takes around ten minutes to feed, and then they enter a dormant stage for roughly five to ten days. During this stage they use the nutrients from our blood and their mate to reproduce and lay eggs. Fortunately, bed bugs do not harbor any infections diseases, however, their bites are incredibly itchy and can become red and swollen with irritation.
So how do you prevent bed bugs from infesting your home? The best practice is to schedule regular pest control inspections. However, in between inspections it is important to vacuum your suitcases after vacation, regularly inspect bed sheets for blood and your body for bites, and to always properly disinfect any second-hand items that enter your home.