NVDAILY.COM | Living Well - A Virginia Cooperative Extension Blog

Posted September 27, 2010 | comments Leave a comment

The notorious bedbug

Bedbugs are on the rise.

This growing problem typically associated with hotels has seemed to have spread to homes and other buildings through human travel.

What do bedbugs look like?
Adult bedbugs are small and have flat oval reddish-brown bodies. They do not have wings. Younger bugs may be light brown or yellowish, but get darker after feeding.

What do bedbugs feed on?
Bed bugs usually attack humans, but have been know to also feed on other warm-blooded animals such as dogs, cats, birds, etc. They are after blood! Bedbugs do not bore under the skin; rather their mouthparts can penetrate the skin. Typically they attack the upper body, but bites may also appear on ankles and legs. People who are allergic to their saliva might experience skin irritation and slight swelling.

Where do bedbugs come from?
Bedbugs do not fly; they hitchhike from one place to another. They can be picked up from infested hotels, furniture, apartments etc.

How can you spot a bedbug?
Bedbugs usually hide in the daytime, but with careful inspection can be found in cracks and crevices such as the piping along a mattress, headboards, along the edge of carpets or rugs, behind pictures, under dust covers etc. They usually leave fecal stains (small brown/black spots) in mattress seams.

How can you avoid bedbugs?
When checking into a hotel, do a thorough inspection, especially of the bed: linens, pillows, headboard, and mattress. Do not store your luggage on the floor and check the shelves before placing the luggage on them. Be cautious about buying used furniture. It is recommended that used bedding display a tag that states the bedding was sterilized by a state-certified bedding sanitizer. Another option is to encase the mattress and foundation in zipped plastic covers for at least a year.

How do you manage an infestation?
It is best to contact a pest control company that specifically deals with bedbugs. There are chemical and non-chemical treatments available. Contact your local Extension Office for information.


Sources:
North Carolina State Univ. - http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/bedbugs.htm
Nebraska Extension - http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/BedBug263.shtml
Univ.of Illinois Extension-
http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/newsdetail.cfm?NewsID=18909


Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137