Bed Bugs: What They Are, How To Identify And Control Them

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on human blood. They are found worldwide and are known to be one of the most challenging pests to control. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, but they can cause skin irritation and psychological distress.

In this article, we will explore what bed bugs are, how to identify them, and effective ways to control them.

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that belong to the family Cimicidae. They are nocturnal and feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs are oval-shaped and about the size of an apple seed. They are flat and can fit into tiny spaces such as cracks, crevices, and seams of furniture, walls, and floors.

How to Identify Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are nocturnal and are most active at night when they feed on human blood. It is often difficult to spot a bed bug infestation until it has become severe.

1. Bites

Bed bug bites are often the first sign of an infestation. They usually appear in clusters or lines on exposed skin areas such as the face, neck, arms, and legs. Bed bug bites are not known to transmit diseases, but they can cause itching, swelling, and redness.

2. Blood Stains

Bed bugs are known to leave small blood stains on bedding and furniture. These stains are the result of bed bugs being crushed while feeding.

3. Fecal Stains

Bed bugs also leave fecal stains on bedding and furniture. These stains are small, dark spots, usually found in clusters.

4. Eggshells

Bed bugs shed their skins as they grow. These skins look like small, transparent eggshells and can be found near infested areas.

How to Control Bed Bugs?

Controlling bed bugs is a challenging task that requires a combination of methods. Here are some effective ways to control bed bugs:

1. Inspection

The first step in controlling bed bugs is to inspect your home for signs of infestation. Start by examining your bedding, furniture, and walls for blood, fecal, or eggshell stains. Use a flashlight to look for bed bugs in cracks and crevices.

2. Vacuuming

Vacuuming is an effective way to remove bed bugs from infested areas. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to prevent bed bugs from being trapped and released into the air.

3. Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is an effective way to kill bed bugs and their eggs. Use a steam cleaner with a high temperature to kill bed bugs in cracks and crevices.

4. Encasements

Encasing your mattress and box springs in bed bug-proof covers effectively prevents bed bugs from infesting your bedding. These covers trap bed bugs inside, preventing them from feeding and breeding.

5. Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments are often used to control severe bed bug infestations. These treatments should only be performed by a licensed pest control professional. Chemical treatments should be used alongside other methods for maximum effectiveness.


Bed bugs are a common household pest that can cause skin irritation and psychological distress. Identifying and controlling bed bugs can be challenging and requires a combination of methods. By inspecting your home regularly, vacuuming, steam cleaning, using encasements, and chemical treatments, you can effectively control bed bugs and prevent infestations. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional for assistance.

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