What are bed bugs?
- A bed bug is a small insect without wings. It looks like a tick.
- Young bed bugs are smaller than the adult. They are about the size of a pinhead and are clear.
- Bed bugs do not fly but can move quickly.
- Bed bugs hide during the day.
- Bed bugs come out at night when they sense the warmth and smell of someone sleeping.
- Bed bugs feed off blood from people.
Do bed bugs spread sickness?
- Bed bugs do not spread sickness.
- Bites are often painless ad do not wake up the sleeping person.
- Bites can cause large, itchy bumps on the skin (like a mosquito bite).
Why don't people see bed bugs?
- Bed bugs have flat bodies.
- They are able to hide in cracks of mattresses, bedding, furniture, and curtains.
- They are very hard to spot without looking very carefully for them.
- Small brown-colored stains on mattress edges may be a sign bed bugs are there.
What should I do if I think I have bed bugs in my home?
- Clean any area where you find bed bugs.
- Wash bedding in hot water and use a hot dryer.
- Vacuum the area.
- Empty the contents or the vacuum bag into a sealed plastic bag and throw it away.
Go here for more information:
- Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Bed Bugs Sheet:
Last reviewed July 2017