Q:

What causes bed bugs?

A:

Quick Answer

Although bedbugs are commonly associated with unclean living conditions, they can also take up residence in clean dwellings. Most bedbug infestations are caused by bringing bedbugs or bedbug eggs into a dwelling on luggage, furniture or clothing that has spent time in an infested location.

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Full Answer

Bedbugs are about the size of an apple seed. They are brown in color but can appear bright red after they have fed on human blood. Because they feed solely on human blood, they may live happily in even the cleanest of homes. An easy way to find them is to quickly pull back the sheets on a bed; they're likely to be hiding in the mattress seams. Although bedbugs are not known to transmit any diseases, they do leave itchy bites and are thus a major annoyance once they infest a home.

The best way to prevent your home from becoming infested with bedbugs is to avoid places in which bedbugs are found. When staying at a hotel, check the mattress for signs of bedbugs, which include dark brown or red fecal material, blood smears, and light-brown skins that the bugs have shed. If you suspect bedbugs are present, find somewhere else to stay. Always keep your suitcases closed while traveling, and don't place them on the floor. When you arrive home, inspect your items carefully for bedbugs before bringing them inside.

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