Bedbugs are small insects that live on the blood of animals and humans, and are known to cause infestations that are hard to control. Their round, flat, brownish bodies are about the size of an apple seed, except after feeding when they become engorged and reddish in color.
Bedbugs are notoriously hard to get rid of and often reappear even after comprehensive exterminations. Bedbugs hide in various places, including beds, drawer units, wallpaper, power outlets and even luggage. Bedbugs feed at night and retreat to their nesting areas during the day.
Apartment dwellers should notify their landlord about bedbug problems, states the EPA, and landlords should check surrounding units. Landlords may also be responsible for extermination in some jurisdictions. Treatment options include heat treatments, freeze treatments, diatomaceous earth and pesticides if absolutely necessary. Those dealing with bedbug infestations may need to seal items in bags until the bedbugs die, or simply throw away certain large items, such as beds and couches. The EPA asks people to clearly mark such items with spray paint.
Bedbug bites are generally plainless at first, only to become itchy welts later. Bedbugs will bite anywhere on the body where there is exposed skin. They often bite in rows, and their bites, unlike flea bites, do not have a red spot in the center.