Bed bugs are small, flat insects that feed on the blood of people and animals. Because of this, they tend to live in areas where people sleep; these range from apartments and homes to hotels, dorm rooms, and cruise ships. Bed bugs are spread when people travel; they hide in luggage, clothing, and bedding that are transported from an infected place to a new location. Their presence is more common in areas that experience high turnover in occupancy, regardless of cleanliness.
One of the easiest ways to notice a bed bug infection is through bites that appear on the body. Although bed bugs are not known to spread disease, they can be an annoyance and excessive itching can lead to secondary skin infections. A person's response to a bite can vary from person to person. The severity of the bites can range from an absence of any physical signs, to a small bite mark, to causing an allergic reaction in some individuals. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention. If you have any bites, treat them with an antiseptic cream and take an antihistamine.
You should check for signs of bed bugs when staying at a new place. Check the folds of mattresses and sheets for bed bugs or look for dark spots on sheets or nearby furniture. If you discover an infestation, notify the landlord, manager, or owner immediately and treat your clothes and luggage before returning home.
If you think you have a bed bug infestation at home, it is best to contact a professional pest control company or carefully research bed bug-specific pesticide. Another option would be to put all bedding and clothing in the dryer at high temperatures to kill the bed bugs living in those articles. You can also purchase mattress, box spring, and pillow encasements to trap bed bugs to detect further infestations.