ShapeRectangle 2ShapeXXnote2clipboardclockcredit@2xGroupShapeShapeShapeGroup 2GroupHeart - FontAwesomeGroupinstagram@2x (1)magnifying47map-markerGroupphoneShapesocial-pinterest-outlineGroupribbon001-test-tubeShapeShapesocial-youtube-outline

Fact Sheet: Bed Bugs

Home  >  Resources  >  Fact Sheets  >  Fact Sheet: Bed Bugs
Resources
Overview
Fact Sheets
Overview
Fact Sheet: Animal Quarantine
Fact Sheet: Backflow & Backflow Devices
Fact Sheet: Bed Bugs
Fact Sheet: Bedbug Guidelines for Travelers and Public Accommodation Facility Guests
Fact Sheet: Blue-Green Algae/Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Bloom (HABs) Physician Reference
Fact Sheet: Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps
Fact Sheet: Church Festival Food Safety
Fact Sheet: Cleaning up After Flood & Sewer Backups
Fact Sheet: Cockroaches
Fact Sheet: Collector Line Tips
Fact Sheet: Commercial Waste Handling and Good House Keeping
Fact Sheet: Connecting to Sewers
Fact Sheet: Cottage Food Operation
Fact Sheet: Dangers of Extreme Cold
Fact Sheet: Daycare Control Measures for Prevention of Communicable Diseases
Fact Sheet: Emergency Pet Kit
Fact Sheet: Extreme Heat
Fact Sheet: Farm Markets
Fact Sheet: Farmers’ Markets
Fact Sheet: Fight the Bite – Facts About Zika Virus
Fact Sheet: Financial Aid for Sewer Connections and Septic System Replacement
Fact Sheet: Fish Fry Food Safety
Fact Sheet: Flood Safety
Fact Sheet: Flooding in a Food Service Operation
Fact Sheet: Food Safety During Power Outages
Fact Sheet: Food Safety When Eating Out
Fact Sheet: Frozen Pipes
Fact Sheet: Gastroenteritis and Norovirus
Fact Sheet: Gastroenteritis in a Retirement/Assisted Living Facility
Fact Sheet: Get Rid of Roaches
Fact Sheet: Guide to Mosquito Control & Mosquito-borne Illnesses
Fact Sheet: Guidelines For Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection of Norovirus
Fact Sheet: Guidelines for Handling Bed Bugs in a School
Fact Sheet: Guidelines for Social Workers, Home Health Care Nurses, and In Home Visitors
Fact Sheet: Guidelines for the Control of a Suspected or Confirmed Outbreak of Viral Gastroenteritis in a Nursing Home
Fact Sheet: Hamilton County Public Health Flood Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet: Hand Washing
Fact Sheet: Handling Water from Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs
Fact Sheet: Heat
Fact Sheet: Hepatitis A
Fact Sheet: Home Aeration Units – Cavitette
Fact Sheet: Home Aeration Units – Coate Aer
Fact Sheet: Home Aeration Units – JET
Fact Sheet: Home Aeration Units – Multi-Flo
Fact Sheet: Home Aeration Units – Oldham
Fact Sheet: Home Swimming Pools
Fact Sheet: Homeowner’s Plumbing Permit
Fact Sheet: Household Sewage Treatment System Tips
Fact Sheet: Household Sewage Treatment Systems & Power Outages
Fact Sheet: How Germs Spread
Fact Sheet: How to be Safe Around Animals
Fact Sheet: Itch Mites
Fact Sheet: Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency
Fact Sheet: Leachfields
Fact Sheet: Lead Poisoning
Fact Sheet: Lice
Fact Sheet: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Sureus (MRSA)
Fact Sheet: Mold and Mildew
Fact Sheet: MRSA in a Prison Setting
Fact Sheet: Norovirus in Schools
Fact Sheet: Ohio EPA Semi-Public Sewage Disposal System Inspection Program
Fact Sheet: Privacy Practices, Our Legal Duty
Fact Sheet: Private Water System Testing
Fact Sheet: Rabies & Bats
Fact Sheet: Rodent Control
Fact Sheet: Scrap Tires
Fact Sheet: Septic System Abandonment and Sanitary Sewer Connection
Fact Sheet: Septic Systems – AdvanTex AX20 Treatment System
Fact Sheet: Septic Systems – Septic Tanks
Fact Sheet: Septic Systems – Subsurface Sandfilters
Fact Sheet: Sewage Treatment System Owners
Fact Sheet: Sewer Back-ups
Fact Sheet: Storm Drain Overflow
Fact Sheet: Stormwater Pollution and Yard Waste
Fact Sheet: Sump Pumps
Fact Sheet: Tattoos and Piercings
Fact Sheet: Vacuum Sealing + Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
Fact Sheet: Waste Disposal
Fact Sheet: Water Heater Permits and Inspections
Fact Sheet: Well Disinfection
Fact Sheet: When Do I Need a Plumbing Permit?
Fact Sheet: Whooping Cough
FOI Requests
Links
Partner & Public Health Research
Reports

KNOW THE FACTS! 

bed_bugBed Bugs

Bed bugs are a type of wingless insect found worldwide, that feed off the blood of humans and other mammals such as birds and bats. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to humans.

 

What are bed bugs (Cimex lectularius)

Bed bugs are a type of wingless insect found worldwide, that feed off the blood of humans and other mammals such as birds and bats. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to humans.

 

Who is at risk of getting bed bugs?

Anyone who comes in direct contact with bed bugs can carry them into their homes in clothes, second hand beds and bedding, furniture, or suitcases. Infestations are not tied to unsanitary living conditions; even world-class hotels have reported bed bug problems.

 

How are bed bugs spread?

Bed bugs may be found in homes, motels, hostels, movie theaters, transportation depots, and rest rooms. They may be accidentally moved with clothes, suitcases, furniture, and other personal items. Bed bugs may also be transported in second-hand or rental furniture. Bed bugs do not fly or jump, but they move quickly over floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture.

 

What are the symptoms of bed bugs?

Red itchy welts are an indication of an infestation. Bed bug “bites” occur when the bed bug is actually drawing blood. Saliva that is injected during the bite can produce swellings on the skin that may itch and become irritated and infected when scratched. It may take as long as 14 days for a welt to appear from a bed bug “bite.” Common areas on the body that are affected involve the arms and shoulders. For the most part, bed bugs only feed in the dark. During the day they hide in dark cracks or crevices.

 

What is the treatment for bed bugs?

It is important to note that bed bugs do not carry any human diseases. Suggestions to treat the bites include:

  • Resist the urge to scratch. Scratching may only intensify the itch and cause an infection.
  • Wash the bites with antiseptic soap to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Apply an ice pack frequently to help relieve swelling.
  • See your health care provider if you develop an infection.

 

How should I check for bed bugs?

Bed bugs are difficult to identify because of their small size (1/4 to 3/8 inch) and because they like to hide in dark cracks or crevices. Usually the first sign of a bed bug infestation is the appearance of small rusty spots on your mattresses and bed linens. These are bed bug droppings and feces. There may be an offensive sweet odor in rooms with heavy infestation. At first, bed bugs are likely to be found only on the tufts, seams and folds of mattresses and daybed covers; later they spread into crevices in bed frames, couches, chairs, and other furniture in the home. Once they multiply, they may be found in baseboards; window and door casings; pictures and picture moldings; loosened wallpaper; cracks in plaster and partitions.

 

How can I prevent bed bugs?

Preventing bed bugs can be difficult in any home or living space. Indirect measures can go a long way in controlling bed bugs: monitoring for signs of bedbugs in your home, vacuuming regularly, and checking your belongings. Prevent bed bugs from getting into homes by checking clothing, used furniture, and belongings before entering the home and monitor where you have visited. Continue to reduce clutter and unwanted items in your home and hire a professional exterminator to inspect your home if you suspect there are bedbugs.

 

What can I do if my home is infested with bed bugs?

Complete elimination of a bed bug infestation may be difficult without the services of a licensed exterminator. It may even take as many as three or more treatments to gain control of an infestation. Do-it-yourself measures used by homeowners and renters sometimes cause more problems than benefits.

 

Some general guidelines are:

  • Reduce the amount of clutter to achieve a good treatment and eliminate hiding places.
  • Inspect furniture in the home and any used or new furniture purchased.
  • When returning from a trip, inspect your luggage and clothes for bed bugs. Clean luggage appropriately with a vacuum and normal washing and drying of clothing.
  • Vacuuming and steam cleaning of infested mattresses and furniture is effective in killing bed bugs living in seams and buttons. Dispose vacuumed contents in a sealed plastic bag and straight to the outdoor trash can.
  • Pull bed and bedding away from the walls to reduce the risk of bugs crawling from the wall to the bed.
  • Cover mattresses and box springs with durable covers that zip.
  • Wash bedding and garments in hot (120° F) water.
  • Put clothing in a dryer for at least thirty minutes to kill bed bugs.
  • Contact a licensed pest exterminator to treat your home in conjunction with the guidelines mentioned above.

 

If you rent a home or apartment within Hamilton County (excluding cities of Cincinnati, Norwood, or Springdale) and you think you have bed bugs, please contact the Hamilton County Public Health at (513) 946-7800. Sanitarians will work with your landlord to eliminate the problem.

 

Download a printable version of this fact sheet here (Spanish/Español).

 

250 William Howard Taft Road
2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Phone 513.946.7800 Fax 513.946.7890
hamiltoncountyhealth.org