Bed Bug Facts
Housing Cambridge receives numerous calls regarding suspected bed bug activity. If you suspect your unit has bed bugs, please call our office immediately.
The facts about bed bugs:
– Bed bugs are long and brown with a flat oval shaped body
– They are about the size of an apple seed (5-7 mm or 3/16 – 1/4 inch long)
– They look like a “true bug,” meaning they have a beak with three segments, antenna that have four parts, wings that are not used for flying, and short, golden-colored hairs
– And they smell. It’s a “musty-sweetish” odor produced through glands on the lower side of the body
Habitat and Behaviour
– Prefers dark, undisturbed areas near host
– Hides in crevices in furniture and baseboards near beds
– Is attracted by carbon dioxide and warmth that humans emit
– Being mainly active at night time; not often seen in light, especially when few in number
– A potential problem in dwellings with high turnover (e.g. hotels and motels)
– Ability to move to different rooms in multi-unit buildings
– Often brought in on luggage or used furniture
How Do You Get Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs do not cling to people but they are notorious hitch hikers and can hide in our belongings (i.e. suitcase, purse, laptop bags). From there they can be introduced into a home, hotel, office, hospital, or any other building as well as modes of transportation. Hygiene is not a factor in whether or not you get bed bugs.
Where they hide?
Evolution has made these critters pretty smart – they can hide just about anywhere; this is what can make finding them can be so difficult. Typical hiding places are mattress seams, behind pictures, box springs, in curtains, behind headboards, in sofas, behind baseboards, bed frames, along carpet edges and night stands.
Signs of Bed Bugs
If you suspect bed bugs, or want to be proactive, look for live or dead bugs or the skins they can leave behind when they are molting. After feeding bed bugs will regularly leave behind small spots of reddish-black fecal matter on your bedding, mattress or box springs. They will lay their eggs (1/32″ to 1/8″ in size) in dark crevices near feeding areas.
Residents should inspect bedding, mattresses, cushions, and furniture after finding early signs of bed bugs.