How you get bed bugs.
As you are traveling this holiday season please be vigilant of stowaway vampires, bed bugs. They can be hiding anywhere, but are most commonly found in apartments, dorm rooms, hotels, and rental homes. These creatures are the ultimate hitchhikers and can fit into the smallest hiding places out of sight. During the day, these creatures hide so well they can be almost impossible to detect. You can pick up these hitchhikers while visiting friends and family – or they can be delivered to your home via your friends and family. They do not fly or jump, however they are very quick, skillful climbers. They can climb onto/into clothing, purses, or suitcases. They will crawl onto your clothing, even during the day, if you sit for more than a few minutes. Buying used furniture or other items can also introduce bedbugs into the home. These are the most common ways to get a bed bug infestation.
Infestations can also occur if you have an infestation of bats or birds in your attic or wall. These bugs also feed on bats and birds, while living in their nests. When the population of these bugs increase, they will look for food elsewhere – like your nest (your bed). Once an infestation is established it is very difficult to eliminate.
What do bed bugs look like?
Bedbugs are oval shaped, brown or reddish brown, and slightly smaller than an apple seed as adults. They are about 4mm in length at their largest, but will be much smaller as juveniles. The juvenile bed bugs can be nearly invisible, they can be the size of a pin head just after hatching. The juveniles are nearly translucent unless they are full of bright red blood. At any life stage, the bed bug’s bodies are very flat and paper thin. Once they have fed, they become a darker brown/red, they become elongated and engorged.