Bed bugs occur worldwide and bridge all economic and social strata. Bed bug infestations in North America have become much more widespread over the past ten years. Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, approximately 1/8 inches wide, broadly oval, and flat. Immature bed bugs (nymphs) are tiny and appear translucent or pale in color. The eggs are pearly white in color and the only 1 mm in length, thus they can be tough to detect with the naked eye. Inspections for bed bugs include looking for live bugs, shed exoskeletons, and black stains created by fecal droppings. These insects feed exclusively on blood. However, there has been no evidence to suggest that bed bugs transmit any diseases. Bed bug bites are essentially painless and often go unnoticed while the bugs are feeding. They hide in cracks and crevices, typically associated with beds and sofas, and can be difficult to detect. Therefore, infestations can grow rapidly and persist indefinitely until proper corrective actions happen. Reactions to bed bug bites can range from no reaction at all to a very severe allergic reaction, and the level of response tends to vary depending on the person.
Bed bugs do not enter homes from the natural outdoor environment. Instead, they must come into the home from a previously infested environment. They make their way into a living space during travel, on rented or used furniture, guests or visitors, or other means. Often, the exact source of the infestation is unknown. Ways to prevent introducing an infestation into your home include avoiding discarded furniture, inspecting used furniture before entry into your home, briefly examining hotel/motel rooms before staying in them, and being aware of the signs and symptoms of bed bugs so that you can identify an infestation as early as possible. It is best to leave the treatment of bed bugs to highly trained and experienced professionals due to the compound nature of bed bug infestations.
If you believe you may have an infestation of bed bugs in your apartment, please contact property management immediately. If you are in a personally owned home, it is highly recommended you contact a knowledgeable professional as soon as possible.