Bed Bugs

Edwin attended a National Pest Management Association Summit hosted by Bed Bug Central in Denver, Colorado.  Bed Bug Central focused its training on the recent innovations and proven most effective methods, tools, and insecticides available for controlling and eliminating bed bugs. This knowledge and practice allows EMC Pest Control and Cleaning Services to provide our clients with the latest in industry standards

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are insects of the cimicid family that feed exclusively on blood. Cimex lectularius, the most familiar bed bug, is most common because it feeds on human blood.

Bed bugs get their name because of where they like to live: warm houses and near or inside beds, bedding or other sleep areas. Bed bugs are primarily active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal. Unlike other bug bites, bed bug bites are often initially unnoticed.

Bed bugs are approximately 3/16 of an inch long, 1/8 inch wide. They are flat, broadly oval and have a brown to reddish brown color. Young bed bugs are tiny and appear translucent or are pale in color. The eggs are mostly white and very little, only about 1mm long.  The female lays from one to five eggs per day.  Over her lifetime, she lays anywhere from 200 to 500 eggs.

How to spot bed bugs

The earlier these bugs are found, the easier the elimination process. Recognizing the signs and symptoms is the best line of defense.  This can be done by inspecting furniture, baseboards, bedding and luggage for small eggs, about the size of a poppy seed, and for blood stains.

How they affect us

Several adverse health effects are known to be caused from bed bug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, like stress and irritability, anemia, secondary infections from scratching and allergic symptoms.  Bed bugs are currently not known to transmit any pathogens of diseases.


Be aware of your surroundings when traveling or staying in a bed not your own. Keep suitcases off the floor and the bed, the spots the bugs and eggs like to nestle. Multifamily housing may prove to be a bit more difficult in preventing. Vacuum and clean bedding frequently is a first step.  Seal cracks and reduce clutter also help in the prevention of these pests.


The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says “It is hard but not impossible to get rid of bed bugs.”  Do not apply over the counter pesticide on your own. This is especially important if you live in multifamily housing, like an apartment or condo.  This approach will cost likely spread the infestation of bed bugs instead of controlling and eliminating it.

Vacuuming up the bugs and heat-treating or wrapping mattresses, are proven to be effective. In fact, a combination of both heat and drying treatments are most effective. An hour at a temperature of 113 °F or higher, or two hours at less than 1 °F kills them.  A clothes dryer does wonders.  Other practices have proven a 100% extermination rate for bed bugs exposed to temperatures greater than 122 °F for two minutes or more. Starving them proves difficult because they are known to survive without eating or as long as 100 to 300 days. For public health reasons, individuals are encouraged to call a professional pest control service to eradicate bed bugs in a home, rather than attempting to do it themselves, particularly if they live in a multifamily building.

What to look for