12 Fast Facts About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are insects that feed on human or animal blood. They are some of the many pests that can invade your home and be a health risk for you and your family.

But these insects are not that simple. They have secrets that you might find surprising. Here are some fast facts about bed bugs.

1. Bed bugs can live almost everywhere

Don’t let the name bed bugs confuse you. These pests don’t just live in beds. They can live practically anywhere in your home, from your furniture to your walls. So, if you have a bed bug infestation, make sure to check beyond your mattress.

Give particular attention to cracks, crevices, holes, and dark spots, as these are some of the favorite hiding areas of these bloodsuckers.

2. Bed bugs are only a few millimeters small

One of the facts about bed bugs you need to know is that their eggs can be as small as one millimeter and adult bed bugs can be as big as seven millimeters, which is roughly the size of an apple seed. Their size makes them harder to track and kill. But the good thing is, their size is still big enough to be visible for those with okay to good eyesight.

3. Bed bug eggs are often found in clusters

Bed bug eggs look like small white grains. They are often found in clusters. This is good news, because eggs in clusters will be easier to spot. This will make the process of eliminating these pests from your home more manageable.

But it’s also not uncommon to find lone eggs around.

4. Bed bugs hide their eggs in the most unsuspecting places

Bed bugs can hide their eggs in your mattress, furniture, carpet, wall, and even clothing. These pests usually put the eggs on the cracks, crevices, and holes where they can’t be spotted immediately unless you specifically look there. They are also more likely to put the eggs on light-colored areas to somehow camouflage the milky white eggs.

Bed bug eggs can be found in unsuspecting places
Bed bug eggs hidden in a box spring. Image source: Bugwood Wiki

5. Bed bugs are not known to spread diseases

Bed bugs are not known to spread any kind of disease to humans. But this doesn’t mean they are not a health risk to you and your family. These pests can bite and make their victims itchy.

The itchiness can lead to intense scratching that may eventually result into skin infections. The itchiness can also lead to sleep deprivation. There are also instances where bed bug bites cause an allergic reaction to their victims.

6. Bed bug bites are often found in a straight line

When you look at bed bug bites, many times you will see a discernible pattern. The bites form a straight line. When bed bugs bite, they can be dislodged from the blood vessels they are biting. They will end up moving to a blood vessel nearby. They repeat this process over and over until they form a line.

But it’s also not uncommon to find lone bites, especially when bed bugs immediately find a good blood vessel to suck on or when they are not dislodged during feeding.

7. There is a reason why you can’t feel bed bugs as they bite you

One of the most common signs of a bed bug infestation is waking up with bed bug bites. But how are these people not feeling the bites of the bed bugs while they sleep? Surely, they will wake up from sting, right?

Bed bug saliva contains a mild anesthetic that can make their victims not feel anything during the biting.

Image source: James Heilman, MD [CC BY-SA 3.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

8. Bed bug bites don’t itch immediately

The mild anesthetic in these pests’ saliva can also delay the itchiness of the bites. The bites become itchier and itchier as time goes by, as the saliva wears off. There are also instances where bed bug bites don’t become itchy at all. Different people can have different reactions to bed bug bites.

You can use over-the-counter medication to control the itch, such as antihistamines, creams, and steroids.

9. Bed bugs are more likely to bite on exposed skin

Bed bugs are more likely to bite on the exposed parts of your body, such as your arms when you wear short sleeve or sleeveless clothing in your sleep.

There is nothing smart about this. Bed bugs just prefer exposed skin because they are more accessible than the covered parts of your body. So, you can say that one way to protect yourself from bed bug bites is to cover up.

10. There are obvious signs that your home is suffering from a bed bug infestation

If you want to know if your home is suffering from a bed bug infestation, there are obvious warning signs you can look for, such as the following:

  • Live bed bugs crawling around
  • Bed bug eggs in cracks, crevices, and holes around your home
  • Bed bug carcasses, particularly in the mattress and furniture
Image source: Entomology at the University of Kentucky

11. There are also signs that are not so obvious

A bed bug infestation can also leave signs that are not as obvious as the ones listed above, such as the following:

  • Dark brown or black stains in the mattress and furniture, as these are bed bug fecal matters
  • Blood stains in your bed covers and pillows, as these are bed bugs you have squashed in your sleep
  • Musty smell in the potentially infested room, as bed bugs release pheromones into the air

12. You can kill bed bugs with pesticides or heat

If you think you are suffering from a bed bug infestation, be assertive and start killing the pests using pesticides and heat. Dichlorvos and pyrethroids are some of the ingredients you should look for. But take note that bed bugs are starting to develop resistance against pesticides, so manual methods may be more effective.

One manual method you can try is vacuuming, but this doesn’t kill bed bugs effectively. A more effective manual method is heating, as heat can kill bed bugs in all their life cycles, if the heat is strong enough. But be careful, because this method has caused fires before. It’s best to consult a professional pest controller.

Arm yourself with these fast facts about bed bugs

If you are suffering from a pest infestation, it’s important to know the pest you are dealing with. Arm yourself with these fast facts about bed bugs. So, if you are suffering from a bed bug infestation, you will know the nature of these bloodsuckers, where they hide, how to fight against their bites, and kill them once and for all.

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