Some key facts about bed bugs include that they are parasitic, they are most active at night, their habitat spans the globe and they can be very tricky to kill. Although bed bug bites are very unpleasant, they do not pose a major health risk, according to CDC.gov.
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed off of warm-blooded animals. Although many species prefer humans, they can also feed on birds or mammals. Their diet consists mainly of blood.
Bed bugs tend to come out at night, as they prefer to hide in dark places such as mattresses, dressers and bed frames in the daylight hours. However, they are not truly nocturnal, and they can sometimes bite during the day.
Bed bugs live in Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia. However, their population has expanded rapidly in the United Kingdom, the United States, continental Europe and Canada. They tend to stick close to their food source in indoor environments. Although they can move up to 100 feet in one night on their own, they most commonly get transported from place to place in luggage, clothes and furniture. They do not have a preference for dirt and grime, so they can infest clean spaces as easily as they can dirty ones.
Bed bugs are particularly difficult to get rid of. They are resistant to insecticides such as insect foggers, which may simply move the population around. Reducing clutter can help manage an infestation. Cleaning and freezing clothing and other items can help kill them, as can professional quality insecticides and room temperatures over 122 degrees. In cases of bad infestations, disposal of furniture and mattresses may be necessary.
Most people get itchy red bumps on their skin after bed bugs bite them. However, some people do not react to bites. Although the bites are unpleasant, they do not spread diseases and do not pose health risks for most people.