The National Pest Management Association conducted a study that they declared bed bugs the No. 1 pest in America. These little critters have been a problem for centuries. Sayings like “Hit the hay” or “Hit the sack” come from the Middle Ages back when mattresses were filled with hay. People would hit their hay mattresses to get rid of any bugs nesting inside.

What are bed bugs?

Adult bed bugs are very small, about the size of an apple seed. They are brown and shaped like an oval with six legs. If they have not fed on human or animal blood recently, their bodies are long and flat. They are smelly, with a sweet and musty odor. Bed bug eggs are very small, reaching the size of a sewing pin head. One female bed bug can lay 200 to 250 eggs in her lifetime. Under normal circumstances, bed bugs can live about two to four months.

Where do they live?

Now that you know what bed bugs and their eggs look like, here are common places they like to hide. Naturally, bed bugs are most often found in bedding. More specifically, they tend to choose mattress seams and sheets. If the infestation is extensive, bed bugs live between chairs, couches and curtains. They are also in outlets, under loose wallpaper and behind picture frames.

What are common signs of an infestation?

Bed bugs leave red or rust-colored spots on sheets and mattresses. Pin-sized dark spots, which is their excrement, can also be found on sheets and furniture. Small, white bed bug eggs are a sure sign of an infestation.

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