Bed bugs are parasitic insects with flat, brown, oval-shaped bodies. They are small bugs, growing to only about 4 to 5 mm as adults. Nymphs are smaller and much lighter in color – almost a translucent cream color. Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and animals and need these meals to survive and reproduce.
The main danger from bed bugs is from their bites. They typically come out at night to feed, leaving you to wake up with a line of itchy red bumps on your skin. While usually not dangerous on their own, these bites do cause allergic reactions in some people. Furthermore, if you scratch at them, you may end up with a secondary infection. Although bed bugs are not known to spread disease, they do cause a lot of stress and emotional distress when they infest your home. If left untreated, they will quickly grow in number into a sizable infestation.
It’s possible to pick up bed bugs any time you go out in public. They are good at climbing onto clothing or bags unnoticed. If this happens to you, you may bring them home without realizing it. Although bed bugs are active year-round, they are most active during the summer, making that the most likely time of year for you to accidentally pick one up. There is also a rise in infestations during the holiday season, as they often travel with people taking vacations or trips to visit family.
Bed bugs can be found in almost any public place, but once they’re in your Utah home there are certain spaces they’re likely to be found. Although beds are not the only place they hide, they’re not called bed bugs without reason. They can often be found on mattresses along the seams, on sheets or blankets, or between the mattress and the headboard. Upholstered furniture is another favorite spot for bed bugs. They often hide behind picture frames on walls, along the edges of walls or cracks in the floor, and even inside electrical outlets.
Bed bugs are difficult to prevent because they don’t enter your home in the same way other pests do. The best way to prevent them is to check yourself and any bags, boxes, or packages before you go into your home. Conducting regular inspections of your home is a good way to stay on top of any bed bug infestations that are just beginning. It’s also important to inspect hotel rooms you stay in while traveling before you bring your luggage inside.