Small, reddish brown, wingless insects that is oval in shape; about 1/4 inch long, similar to a tick in appearance, visible to the naked eye. They feed on the blood of humans and animals. They do not spread disease but their bites are irritating and can produce itching and welts. Named “bed bugs” because they thrive where people sleep. They are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide from human breath and are often active just before dawn though they may feed at other times. They can live up to 18 months without feeding. Generally nocturnal. During the day they hide in crevices, bed frames, mattresses, blankets, pillows, behind picture frames, in drawers, etc.
Bed bugs are found all over the world: 5-star hotels, hospitals, dorms, etc. They are spread unknowingly by travelers — not because people are unclean or live in certain environments. There is currently a population explosion worldwide because of the banning of certain pesticides and increased global travel. They are generally brought in personal belongings such as backpacks, bedding, luggage, and used furniture. Once here, they can move through holes in walls to adjoining rooms.
Avoid bringing bed bugs to home by cleaning your luggage and clothing immediately after travel (wash with hot water and use a dryer on the hottest setting). You can also use a steam cleaner on your belongings; bed bugs are killed by heat, not by cold or drugstore insecticides. Remember to keep your luggage away from the bed and floor while away. Use a dresser or luggage rack instead. Avoid bringing used furniture into your room, since bed bugs can hide in the tiniest of crevices. You can also purchase a mattress cover to help keep the bugs off your bed.