Bed bugs are parasitic insects. Small and flat in size and reddish-brown in color, these wingless insects feed solely on the blood of sleeping humans and animals. Bed bug infestations usually occur in sleeping areas.
Bed bugs are very good at hiding due to their small size. Signs of infestation include bed bugs in the folds of mattresses and sheets, the appearance of exoskeletons after molting, and a sweet, musty odor. Bed bug bites affect people differently. Bite marks on the hands, face, neck or other areas of the body may be a sign of bed bugs. Bite marks can take up to 14 days to appear. In some cases, a severe reaction may occur. Bed bugs are not known to spread disease.
Everyone is at risk for getting bed bugs, although those who travel frequently or share living quarters have a higher risk of infestation. Bed bug infestations are treated with insecticide spray. A professional pest control company can diagnose and treat bed bug infestations. The best prevention against an infestation is regular inspections of mattresses, sheets and sleeping quarters. For travelers, inspecting luggage and overnight bags is essential. Many travelers carry bed bugs unknowingly, infecting areas as they travel from location to location. Inspection is the best prevention.