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Environmental Health Division


Adult Bed bugs
  • 4-5mm in length
  • Reddish brown
  • Oval shape, flattened
  • Wingless
  • Nymphs (young)
  • Translucent (clear)
  • Gradually get darker
  • Look like small apple seed
  • Bed Bug Facts

    • Most active around dawn but will feed anytime.
    • Attracted by heat (from your body) and carbon dioxide (released when you breathe out).
    • Not associated with unclean homes but clutter provides great hiding places.
    • Feed on human blood, will feed on pets if they can get through the fur/feathers.
    • Have not been linked to diseases but the bites can be itchy, scratching may cause infection.
    • Can survive a long time without feeding (up to 18 months).
    • Infestations can start after a stay at infested hotels or motels.
    • Infestations can start if you buy infested clothing and/or used furniture.
    • Bed bugs can travel between units in an apartment building.
    • Infestation occurs in and around the bed: in the mattress, box springs, bed frame, and bedding.
    • Bed bugs can be found in carpeting, baseboards, electrical outlets, radios/telephones and picture frames. Any space wide enough to fit the edge of a credit card is big enough for a bed bug to hide.

    Prevent Bed Bugs

    • When staying at a hotel/motel, inspect your room before bringing items in, keep luggage and computer bags off of the bed. Hang clothing in closet farthest from bed. (How to Inspect)
    • Check luggage before taking it in your home and put clothes in dryer on high for 20 minutes.
    • Discuss bed bug issues before signing a lease for an apartment or house: who will pay if there is an infestation?
    • Use caution when buying second hand furniture and mattresses.

    Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

    • It will not be easy! Start by correctly identifying the bug. (MSU Extension)
    • Consult a professional exterminator.
    • Encase mattress, box springs and pillows in bed bug proof covers.
    • Inspect and remove as many items as you can from your bed room.
    • Do not start sleeping somewhere else, the bed bugs will travel and be harder to get rid of, especially in couches.
    • Vacuum mattress, bed springs and all areas around the bed. Take vacuum outside immediately and dispose of contents or vacuum bag, double bag and put in trash.
    • Seal up cracks and crevices with silicone caulk.
    • Set out glue traps around bed legs.
    • If getting rid of infested mattress, cut the mattress or spray paint it so that it will not be picked up and used by another family.

    Helpful links:

    MDCH Bed Bug Factsheet
    Let's Beat the Bed Bug!
    How To Move And Leave Bed Bugs Behind
    Bed Bugs: What Camps Need to Know
    Bed Bugs: What Schools Need to Know
    Resources for Property Managers
    Choosing a Pest Control Company
    Guidelines for Bed Bug Prevention and Control in Medical Care Facilities
    Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Bed Bugs in Shelters and Group Living Facilities

    The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department programs are open to all without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, height, weight, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

    Links to external sites do not constitute endorsements by Kalamazoo County.


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