Bed bugs are parasitic insects, meaning they feed on a living host. Typically, these pests feed on human blood while they are at rest, which is where they earned their title: “Bed Bug.” Bites from these insects vary in side effects but can result in small red blisters, skin rashes, allergic reactions, fatigue, fever, and even lasting psychological effects. The most common symptom is a series of approximately three bites in a straight line that itch. Bed bugs target areas of the body that are easy to access, such as an uncovered arm or leg. While research shows that bed bug bites do not transmit infectious diseases, they can, on rare occasions, cause complications including areas of dead skin or vasculitis.
These nursery-rhyme pests don’t play games. Bed bugs are known for being masters of hiding, allowing them to quickly reproduce and become an infestation. While tidiness can help in locating them, they ultimately do not discriminate between clean and dirty homes. The first sign of an infestation is usually the row of itchy bites as well as ink-like droppings they leave behind while feeding, which are often visible on bedsheets or in the seams of the bedding and mattress. Once any of these are detected, it is imperative to get professional help, as these pests are nearly impossible to eradicate using DIY methods.