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Building a Healthy Community

Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs
Dental Hygiene
Diabetes and Exercise
Head Lice
Meth Abuse
Personal Hygiene
Tuberculosis (TB)


What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small, oval, wingless insects the size of a pencil eraser that are flat and reddish-brown. It hides during the day and comes out during the night to look for blood. They belong to the insect family Cimicidae, which bite people. They may sometimes be mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches.


Bed bugs feed by sucking blood from humans or animals

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are most likely to be found when sanitation conditions are poor or when birds or mammals are nesting on or near a home. Crowded living quarters also facilitate (help) the spread of bed bugs.

Their flattened bodies allow them to conceal themselves in cracks and crevices around the room and within furniture. Favored hiding sites include the bed frame, mattress and box spring. Clutter around the room offers additional sites for these bugs to hide, and increases the difficulty in eliminating bed bugs once they have become established.

Because bed bugs readily hide in small crevices, they may accompany (as stowaways) luggage, furniture, clothing, pillows, boxes, and other such objects when these are moved between apartments, homes and hotels. Used furniture, particularly bed frames and mattresses, are of greatest risk of harboring bed bugs and their eggs. Thus, one should carefully scrutinize and consider the history of any used furniture, particularly ‘street’ items so plentiful at the beginning and end of each academic year.

What a Bedbug Bite Looks and Feels Like?

If a person gets bitten by a bedbug, the bite will feel itchy. Bedbug bites look like little red bumps, and they can sometimes occur in a line on the body

What You Should Do?

If you think you've been bitten by a bedbug, wash the bites with soap and water. Put on some calamine lotion to help with the itching. An adult can find an anti-itch cream at the drugstore for you. Try not to scratch the bites too much, because this can make the bites become infected.

Can bed bugs harm humans?

Bed bugs are not believed to carry diseases; however, they do bite and suck blood from humans. In the act of feeding on human blood, they may inject their own saliva into the bite area, causing an area of itching and swelling. Bed bugs are most active at night and bite any exposed areas of skin while a person is sleeping. Bed bug bites may go unnoticed or be mistaken for flea or mosquito bites. Bed bugs also have glands that may leave odors, and they also leave dark fecal (poop) spots on bed sheets and around their hiding places.

Do bed bugs cause harm or spread pathogens (disease-causing germs)?

Bed bugs seek out people and animals, generally at night while these hosts are asleep, and painlessly sip a few drops of blood. While feeding, they inject a tiny amount of their saliva into the skin. Repeated exposures to bed bug bites during a period of several weeks or more causes people to become sensitized to the saliva of these bugs; additional bites may then result in mild to intense allergic responses. The skin lesion produced by the bite of a bed bug resembles those caused by many other kinds of blood feeding insects, such as mosquitoes and fleas. The offending insect, therefore, can rarely be identified by the appearance of the bites. A physician should be consulted to rule out other causes for the lesions and to offer treatment, as needed. The affected person should resist the urge to scratch the bites, as this may intensify the irritation and itching, and may lead to secondary infection. Physicians often treat patients with antihistamines and corticosteroids to reduce allergic reactions and inflammation. Despite what you may have heard or read elsewhere, bed bugs are not known to transmit any infectious agents.

How do I know if my home is infested with bed bugs?

Most cases of bed bugs will require treatment by a pest control expert. A variety of low-odor sprays, dusts, and aerosol insecticides can be used to get rid of bed bugs including Sleeptight. These must be applied to all areas where the bugs are observed as well as spaces where they may crawl or hide. The pest control company can help you determine if the mattress can be disinfected (cleaned) or must be discarded (thrown away). Since beds cannot be killed with insecticides, it’s often necessary to discard infested mattresses and beds. To prevent bed bugs from crawling onto a bed, pull the bed frame away from the wall, tuck sheets and blankets so they won’t touch the floor, and place the frame legs into dishes or cups of mineral oil.  Sleeptight spray has been known to halt the problem check grocery stories or talk to pest control.

If you are a tenant, contact your property manager or landlord to discuss your respective obligations, and to agree on a plan to manage the infestation. Generally, landlords are legally required to contract with a licensed pest control operator.

Click here for information on do it yourself pest control

click here for brochure on getting rid of bed bugs

Feces(poop) stains left behind by bed bugs

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"Malamapono no na keiki i ka pae 'aina o Hawaii"~
Caring for the children of Hawaii