Bed Bugs by dfgh4bnmu


									  New Hampshire
   Department of
Health and Human Services                 Fact Sheet
                          Bed Bugs
  What are bed bugs?                                   How does a home become infested
  Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the          with bed bugs?
  blood of mammals and birds. Adult bed bugs           In most cases, bed bugs are transported from
  are oval, wingless and rusty red colored, and        infested areas to non-infested areas when they
  have flat bodies, antennae, and small eyes.          cling to someone’s clothing or crawl into
  They are visible to the naked eye but often          luggage, furniture, or bedding that is then
  hide in cracks and crevices. They can live in        brought into a home.
  furniture, cushions, mattresses, and walls in
  your home. When bed bugs feed, their bodies          How do I know if my home is infested
  swell and become a brighter red. In homes,           with bed bugs?
  bed bugs feed primarily on the blood of              If you have bed bugs you may also notice
  humans, usually at night when people are             itchy welts on you or your family members’
  sleeping.                                            skin. You may also see the bed bugs
                                                       themselves, small bloodstains from crushed
  What does a bed bug bite feel and look               bed bugs, or dark spots from bed bug
  like?                                                droppings in your home. Bed bugs often hide
  Typically, the bite is painless and rarely           in or near beds and bedroom furniture, and in
  awakens a sleeping person. However, on               the tufts, seams, and folds of mattresses and
  sensitive people it can produce large, itchy         daybed covers. In more severe infestations,
  welts on the skin. Welts from bed bug bites          bed bugs may spread to cracks and crevices in
  do not have a red spot in the center – those         bed frames and box springs; behind
  welts are more characteristic of fleabites.          headboards; inside nightstands; behind
                                                       baseboards, window and door casings,
  Are bed bugs dangerous?                              pictures, and moldings; and in nearby
  There are currently no known cases of disease        furniture, loosened wallpaper, and cracks in
  associated with bed bug bites. Most people           plaster and flooring. Bed bugs may also hide
  are not aware that they have been bitten.            in piles of books, papers, boxes, and other
  People who are more sensitive to the bite can        clutter near sleeping areas.
  have localized allergic reactions. Scratching
  the bitten areas may lead to infection.              How can I get rid of bed bugs?
                                                       The best method to deal with bed bugs is
  How long do bed bugs live?                           Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which
  The typical life span of a bed bug is about 10       combines a variety of techniques and products
  months. They can survive for weeks to                that pose the least risk to human health and
  months without feeding.                              the environment. These techniques are:

             129 Pleasant Street   Concord, NH 03301    800-852-3345
   1. Consult a professional Pest Control            professionals may recommend using a
      operator to confirm that you have bed          pesticide. Ask the professional to use the least
      bugs.                                          toxic pesticide and make sure they follow
   2. Inspect your mattress and bed frame,           instructions and warnings on the labels. You
      particularly the folds, crevices and the       may need to leave the room for a day or more
      underside, and other locations where           until it is safe to reenter. Pesticides should
      bed bugs like to hide.                         never be sprayed on top of mattresses or
   3. Use a nozzle attachment on the                 sofas, though small amounts may be applied
      vacuum to capture the bed bugs and             to their seams by professional applicators.
      their eggs. Vacuum all crevices on             Again, it is important that you first discuss
      your mattress, bed frame, baseboards           these techniques with a pest control
      and any objects close to the bed. It is        professional.
      essential to vacuum daily and empty
      the vacuum immediately.                        How can I prevent bed bugs from
   4. Wash all your linens and place them in         entering my home?
      a hot dryer for 20 minutes. Consider              8. Washing clothing and bedding
      covering your pillows and mattress                   immediately after returning from a trip
      with a plastic cover.                                can prevent some infestations. Inspect
   5. Remove all unnecessary clutter.                      all used beds, sofas, or upholstered
   6. Seal cracks and crevices between                     chairs and bedding for signs of bed
      baseboards, on wooden bed frames,                    bugs before bringing them into your
      floors, and walls with caulking. Repair              home. Never bring discarded bed
      or remove peeling wallpaper, tighten                 frames, mattresses, box springs, or
      loose light switch covers, and seal any              upholstered furniture into your home.
      openings where pipes, wires or other                 Note: Furniture put out by someone
      utilities come into your home (pay                   else for garbage pick-up could be
      special attention to walls that are                  infested with bed bugs.
      shared between apartments).
   7. Monitor daily by setting out glue
      boards or sticky tape (carpet tape
      works well) to catch the bed bugs.             For specific concerns about bed bugs,
      Closely examine any items that you             call the New Hampshire Department of
      are bringing into your home. Consult           Health     and     Human      Services,
      professional pest control services and         Communicable Disease Control Section
      discuss options that pose the least risk       at 603-271-4496 or 800-852-3345
      to humans and the environment.                 x4496. For further information, refer to
                                                     the Centers for Disease Control and
Are pesticides necessary for getting                 Prevention website at or
rid of bed bugs?                                     the New Hampshire Department of
First and foremost, discuss techniques for           Health and Human Services website at
getting rid of bed bugs with a pest control
professional. The best way to get rid of bed
bugs is to clean, disinfect, and remove places
where bed bugs hide. However, because bed
bugs can live for weeks or even months
without food and water, pest control

           129 Pleasant Street   Concord, NH 03301    800-852-3345

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