Kalamaoo County

Environmental Health


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:

    Bed Bug Control in Residences
    Bed Bugs for the Medical Service Provider MDHHS Bed Bug Factsheet
    How To Move And Leave Bed Bugs Behind
    Bed Bugs: What Camps Need to Know
    Bed Bugs: What Schools Need to Know
    Choosing a Pest Control Company
    Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Bed Bugs in Shelters and Group Living Facilities

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