Biology and Behavior
Bed bugs are elusive, nocturnal creatures that come out at night to feed exclusively on blood. They are very resilient and may live up to 12 months without a blood meal. Contrary to popular belief, poor sanitation does not cause bed bugs. Bed bugs are not limited to the bed or the bedroom but instead will disperse throughout a dwelling. They will crawl considerable distances to obtain a blood meal.
How Did This Happen?
Bed bugs can be introduced into a structure via used furniture or in the belongings of someone who has been living in a bed bug infested situation. Bed bugs like to travel and will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply.
Common Hiding Places
Bed bugs like to hide in small cracks and crevices close to where humans rest and sleep. You may find them behind baseboards, upholstery, and in furniture crevices. Other places to check are wall hangings such as picture frames, nightstands, stuffed furniture, floorboard cracks, behind loose wallpaper, light switches, door and window frames, conduits, etc. In heavy infestations, you may find bed bugs in wall voids, attics, and other enclosed places.
How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?
A physical sample of an actual bug or egg is required to be 100% certain that you have bed bugs.
Bite symptoms are a good indicator but cannot be diagnosed with 100% certainty. Medical professionals cannot give a positive diagnosis simply by examining bite symptoms.
There is a very good chance you have bed bugs if you keep repeatedly waking up each morning with bite symptoms on your body that were not present when you went to sleep. However, if bites occur at various times of the day in various locations such as at home, in the car, at work, etc. bed bugs are much less likely to be the cause of them. Another primary clue to an infestation will be the presence of bed bugs and/or small red to reddish brown fecal spots here and there on surfaces.