Bedbugs are reddish brown bugs about the size of an apple seed that bite people when they sleep. Bedbugs are not attracted to dirt and grime. They seek warmth, human blood, and carbon dioxide. Anyone sleeping in a room with bedbugs can be bitten.
Bedbugs feed for less than 10 minutes and then hide again. They are not known to carry any disease but can cause itching and allergic reactions.
Bedbugs are more common in places where many people sleep, such as:
During the day, bedbugs hide in:
They may also hide under or behind:
You may see the bugs or you may see:
You usually don’t feel anything when a bedbug bites you. After you have been bitten, the area that was bitten may be:
You may see several bites in a line on your skin where several bed bugs have fed.
Some people have no reaction at all to bedbug bites. Other people have an allergic reaction that can include severe itching, blisters, or hives.
The itchy red bites usually go away on their own in 1 to 2 weeks. Try not to scratch. If you scratch the bites, you may break the skin or get an infection. If you think you may have an infected bite or if you have an allergic reaction, see your healthcare provider.
If you have a mild reaction to a bedbug bite:
If you have been bitten at home, you must also get rid of any bedbugs where you live.
It won’t help to spray furniture, beds, or clothes with insecticide sprays you can buy at the grocery store. These products do not work unless they come in direct contact with the bugs. You can use diatomaceous earth (DE) to kill bedbugs. DE is a special kind of powder that is sprinkled wherever bedbugs may hide. DE is not harmful to humans, but after a day or two, bugs who have contact with the powder die.
Here are some things you can do to help prevent bedbugs: