Bed Bugs FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions About Bed Bugs


What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small, nocturnal insects that feed on blood. Despite their name, bed bugs can be found in a variety of environments outside of bedding such as furniture, walls, office buildings, college dormitories etc. Recently bed bugs have undergone a massive resurgence and are quickly becoming a worldwide problem.


What do bed bugs look like?

Adults are small, brownish insects, just under a ¼” long and are relatively flat. They are nearly as wide as they are long, and oval. Immature bed bugs (nymphs) resemble the adults, but are much smaller and lighter in color. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent and are no bigger than a pinhead (1 mm).


Do bed bugs transmit disease? What are their bite symptoms?

No. Although bed bugs carry over 28 human pathogens, there has been no documented case of bed bugs transmitting disease. The medical concerns of bed bugs are typically limited to the itching and inflammation associated with their bite. The bites effects are similar to allergic reactions and can vary from itchy welts to a severe and painful rashes that requires medical attention. Often, the emotional trauma associated with discovering a bed bug infestation is considerable.


How do you get bed bugs?

Bed bugs need to be introduced into an environment. They do not jump or fly but are excellent hitch-hikers and can be transported on clothing, luggage, used furniture and various other objects. Risk for bed bug exposure increases in several of the following situations:

  • Purchasing or using second-hand furniture and mattresses.
  • Entertaining or being an overnight guest.
  • Staying in hotels, college dormitories, boarding schools.
  • Children coming home from summer camp.


How will I know if I have bed bugs?

The most reliable way to confirm you have bed bugs is to contact an entomologist or pest management professional and have them identify a sample collected from your home. However, there are key warning signs that you may have an infestation:

  • Going to bed and waking with bites, welts or rashes. Bite marks may appear in a rows and clusters.
  • Dark spotting or blood droplets on mattresses or bedding. These are waste products bed bugs excrete while digesting a blood-meal.
  • Visible observation of eggs, molted insect skin, or the insect. The failure to locate an insect does not indicate they are not present. Adult bed bugs are difficult to locate and immature bed bugs can be difficult to see due to their size.


How can I prevent infestation?

There are several steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of infestation:

  • Carefully inspect or avoid second-hand furniture, mattresses and bedding.
  • During hotel visits, do not place luggage on the bed or furniture until you have inspected the bedding, mattresses and headboards.
  • When traveling, periodically inspect your luggage and bag.
  • Encase your beds with bed bug proof encasements such as Protect-A-Bed bed encasements.


If I think I have an infestation what should I do or not do?

Upon discovering an infestation, DO contact a licensed pest management professional such as Frame’s to evaluate your problem. You may want to AVOID discarding bedding and mattresses as this can spread the infestation throughout the house. Also, AVOID attempting to resolve the issue yourself as improper treatment could spread the problem throughout and increase costs to eliminate the problem.


How long can bed bugs live?

Bed bugs can go without feeding for 20 to 400 days, depending on temperature and humidity. Older stages of nymphs can survive longer without feeding than younger ones, and adults have survived without food for more than 400 days in the laboratory at low temperatures.


What temperature will kill bed bugs instantly?

Heat penetrates into small crevices that cannot be inspected. Lethal temperatures for bed bugs range from 117 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 F. The walls of hot boxes reach a higher temperature than the suggested lethal range in order to permeate belongings placed within, killing all bed bugs in all their stages.


Are there different types of bed bugs?

There are roughly 90 species of bed bugs in the world. However, there are only 3 that bite humans. They are C. lectularius, C. hemipterus, and L. boueti. In the US, C. lectularius and C. hemipterus are most common and are found in places like mattresses, sofas, and carpets.


How fast can a bed bug infestation spread?

Fast. Bed bugs can travel up to 4 feet per minute meaning that they can quickly travel between floors and rooms. This is why it’s so important to start treatment as soon as possible. Within a few days there can be a full-blown uncontrollable infestation.


Do bed bug bites itch?

Bed bug bites will start off as painless, but the bumps will eventually become itchy and irritated. Bites can occur on any exposed skin such as your neck, back, face, arms, or legs. Any place is pretty much fair game for bed bugs! Some people may develop severe reactions other than just itching such as fever, blisters, and/or difficulty breathing.


Are bed bugs just in beds?

Unfortunately, no. Bed bugs can be found in carpets, wallpaper, furniture, luggage, and clothing just to name a few. Their small, flat bodies make it possible for them to fit into even the smallest of places.


Where are bed bugs most prominent?

Bed bugs are most common in hotels and homes where there are many visitors. Bed bugs can easily spread through clothing and luggage making frequent travelers at higher risk for ‘catching’ a bed bug.


How effective are home remedies for bed bugs?

There is no substitute for professional pest management. Choose the licensed experts at Frame’s for the safest and most effective solutions to bed bug problems.


What are popular bed bugs treatment types?

There are a number of options to effectively get rid of bed bugs, but sometimes it can get confusing when trying to decide which option would be best for your situation. The two most common methods used by pest management companies to kill bed bugs are Whole Room Heat Treatments and Insecticide Treatments.

Whole room heat treatments involve a pest management company, like Frame’s, bringing in specially designed equipment to raise the temperature in your home to kill the bed bugs. Heat treatments do not offer any residual effects and your home could quickly become reinfested after a heat treatment if prevention steps are not taken.

Insecticide treatments that are conducted thoroughly and correctly by a licensed pest management company can be a very effective way of controlling bed bugs. Three different types of insecticides should be used in order to achieve the best result.

  • A fast-acting, contact insecticide for use on surfaces that humans frequently touch, i.e. sofas.
  • A residual insecticide for inside furniture, cracks and crevices and the underside of surfaces we touch.
  • A dust insecticide for cracks, crevices and voids, such as electrical outlets and baseboards.


Where can I find more information on bed bugs, inspection, and prevention?

Contact Frame’s at 1-800-252-8478 to request more information or to schedule an inspection.


Have more questions—Contact us today!.