Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.
Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.
To view a video on how to inspect for bed bugs, Click Here
For more information about Bed Bugs in Schools and Daycares, view this document from the Illinois Department of Public Health: BedBugs_Schools_DayCareCenters
Bed bugs should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard. Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.
Bed bug bites are painless. The bed bug injects saliva to ensure belood flow, and ingests the host’s blood through needle-like mouthparts. The bed bug retreats to its hiding place after feeding to digest the meal. It will return to feed again in three to ten days.
Reactions to bed bug bites vary. Sometimes an individuals may not even know they’ve been bitten until redness and swelling appear around the bite. Sometimes the individual will have intense itching. Some individuals will have inflamed swollen spots tha may occur or have a rash-like appearance.
Blood smears on bedding may indicate bed bug infestation, along with brownish black specks (bed bug feces) and the amber-colored “shells” (shed exoskeletons) of bed bugs.
Heavy infestations can be detected by the peculiar must sweet odor of bed bug secretions.