How Bed Bugs Video

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

Updated: April 11, 2019

This article was co-authored by Jurdy Dugdale, RN. Jurdy Dugdale is a Registered Nurse in Florida. She received her Nursing License from the Florida Board of Nursing in 1989.

There are 22 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

Bed bugs are a growing concern since they’ve become more common in recent years and are extremely difficult to exterminate. While hotels are high on the list of bed bug concerns, any public place can be a haven for bed bugs. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent a bed bug infestation in your home. By avoiding contaminated materials, avoiding bed bugs while traveling, and protecting your home, you can prevent bed bugs.

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About this article

To prevent bed bugs, use protective plastic covers on your mattress and box springs so bed bugs will not be able to infect your bed even if you accidentally bring them home. When you’re staying in a hotel, check the sheets, mattress, and headboard for small brownish bugs, and contact management if you find any. Wash your travel clothes separately from your regular laundry and dry them on the highest possible heat setting. To learn how using essential oils can help repel bed bugs, read on!

Bed Bug Sex

Gross Science: How bed bugs reproduce is the stuff of nightmares.

There is nothing romantic about how bed bugs mate. In this video short, learn how these insects reproduce, and discover how female bed bugs have evolved to cope with an, er, irregular form of insemination.

Posted: April 11, 2013

For many of us, bed bugs basically define the word gross. After all, what could be more repulsive than an animal that sucks your blood while you sleep? Well, let me tell you a story that is sure to exceed even your worst nightmares. It’s the story of bed bug sex.

You see, male bed bugs have saber-like penises. When a male is ready to mate, he mounts any other bed bug that has just fed and is bloated with blood. If he finds a female, he takes his penis and stabs her in the abdomen, releasing sperm directly into her circulatory system. (In fact, on rare occasions he might even stab and inseminate another male if he’s accidentally mounted one.) He wounds the female, but she does have an immune organ, called the spermalege, which protects her from infection. For the record, females actually have fully functional reproductive tracts, but they use them exclusively for egg laying.

So just think—while you’re sleeping tight, dozens of bed bugs could not only be feeding on your blood, they could also be doing this:

Goodnight bed bugs.

PRODUCTION CREDITS Producer, Editor, Animator Anna Rothschild Production Assistant Allison Eck Original Footage © WGBH Educational Foundation 2013 MEDIA CREDITS (Bed Bug Penis) © Power & Syred (Bed Bugs Mating) © Rickard Ignell (Harlem Shake) Baauer (Brahmns Lullaby Music Box) ClassicBeauty/AudioJungle IMAGE (main image: bed bug) © WGBH Educational Foundation 2013

Is this a bed bug?

To assist in properly identify what bug is bugging you. Below is an identification platform to give you re-assurance you don’t have a bed bug or to set off an alarm you have a bed bug infestation so you can properly treat it.

Consider a residual type of treatment that kills them, but you spray on surfaces to create a barrier around you and your home.

It may make your skin crawl. but this what bed bugs look like

Important facts to remember when trying to identify a bed bug. Each bed bug has the following traits whether it be a nymph or fully grown adult.

  • Oval
  • Flattened unless full of blood
  • Wingless
  • Legs are towards the front.. and blood sac towards back
  • Body shaped similar to a football

Bed bug photos and size and species comparison

Questions. we’re in this together

Bed bugs can wreck havoc emotionally to there victims. Your not alone in this, yes it’s stressful but we offer assistance and complete procedures on how to get rid of bed bugs permanently .

If you have any questions, comments or would like to post pictures of your pest. Feel free to do so in our comment section.

This Post Has 8 Comments

I have a four bedroom home…how much spay would i need…have tried contact killer…seen ad on Facebook followed for about two weeks and yes it was taking a toll on my family…time to try green bean buddy

Hi Joseph, thanks for sending us your question. Yes, bed bugs do take a toll on the family and are somewhat exhausting to deal with. No worries, as a customer your going to have access to a Green Bean Buddy specialist and our guides. I will briefly answer your question, then share some tips on treatment so you get rid of the bed bugs for good.

For a four bedroom home, I would suggest to first do a heat treatment using the steamer.

Then use the bed bug killer and residual formulation: (4) 1 Gallon Bed Bug Killers or a 5 Gallon pail. To ensure you get rid of them, you will want to make sure to inspect every nook and cranny in those bedrooms. Also, look in the box springs and even picture frames on the walls. Then once you get an idea of the spots, you want to treat the bed, boxspring, barrier around the beds, to protect yourself from the bites. Finally, consider spraying around the walls, as the bed bugs travel room to room. And lastly, don’t forget about the couches. You may need to treat there.

I recommend a re-treatment every 3 to 5 days for the first month just to ensure your getting the ones that are coming out of hiding after the 1st treatment. Also, don’t drench, just spot treat so you budget the product for re-use when needed.

Keep in mind, where they may be coming from. You will want to know the source so you can treat it correctly. sometimes external sources like (backpacks, kids from school, clothing, public transportation, neighbors, etc are likely candidates for catching bed bugs).

Here are some guides to review to help you:

where bed bugs hide

how to do your treatment

Let me know if you have questions.

Bed bugs are takin a toll on my fAmily i have only found them in my room i cant sleep im scared im going to get bit again. I have closed my room off i have tried two different sprays. What do i do to get rid of them something that isnt expensive because money is tight these days

Hi Ashley, totally understand your position. We believe that our product is the only investment you will need to make in order to get rid of these bed bugs. We find a lot of customers come to us after trying so many different products on the market.

What’s important regardless what you choose to use. Is to stay consistent with the treatment. Don’t give up and remember these pests can re-infest from external sources so you will want to create a barrier around your home to protect yourself from these pests.

If they are in the bedrooms, then you will want to treat the bed, boxspring, picture frames, and spray a barrier around your bed before sleeping. This will help in killing the bed bug but also prevent re-infestations.

Be sure to go over these guides, and understand all the locations the bed bugs can hide. Then simply treat these areas consistently until the infestation is gone entirely. Depending on the size of infestation this may not be gone over night, so don’t get discouraged. Just continue consecutive treatments.

Another thing is… don’t drench when using our residual bed bug spray. Simply spot treat this will give you more product to use. The product has a residual which will is active and kills bed bugs for up to 30 days, sometimes longer as we had found in our 12 month case study.

If you feel comfortable, let us know your budget you have available and the size of your infestation.

We will do our best to steer you in the right direction. We wish to truly help our customers the best we can. Everyone has a budget! We understand that. So do we 😉 We will do our best to help.

How to Detect Bed Bugs

Detecting bed bugs can be difficult, as they are small in size and able to hide in tiny cracks and crevices. However, evidence of a bed bug infestation may be found in bedding and on mattresses. Live bed bugs leave clusters of dark brown or black spots of dried excrement on infested surfaces. Bed bugs also exude a subtle, sweet, musty odor.

Bed Bug Cluster

Where to Check for Bed Bugs

Bed bugs usually are found close to where people spend much of their time, and since bed bugs have flattened bodies, they like to get into small cracks and crevice near where people sleep. Examples include mattresses, box springs, headboards, footboards, bed frames and other furniture that is within 5-8 feet of the bed. Other common locations are cracks and gaps behind wall outlets, floor molding, window and door molding and where carpet edges meet the wall. Bed bugs have been known to occur in many different locations if their population is large and they have dispersed from their more common areas to areas where they are normally less likely to be found.

Bed bugs are easily transported into previously non-infested dwellings.

If you have detected a bed bug infestation within your home, contact a pest control professional to discuss treatment options.

Bed Bug Control

Cimex lectularius L.

Learn what bed bugs look like, and how to detect if you have a bed bug Infestation.

Find out how bed bugs infiltrate your home and where they are attracted to.

Learn about bed bug bites. their feces and how they can impact your health.

Learn how Orkin handles bed bugs, homeopathic cures and the cost of bed bug extermination services.


In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

When Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.


Signs of Infestation

If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
  • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

Bedbug Treatments

Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.


Bedbug Extermination

While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.


University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

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