Bed Bugs and Anemia?

This past Monday the University of Florida released details on their bed bug study to the Journal of Medical Entomology, stating that bed bugs do have the potential to cause massive blood loss. In the study, they found that uncontrolled populations of bed bugs can reach harmful levels for humans in three to eight months. The study also demonstrated that bed bugs feeding on a one-year child can have harmful effects when feeding daily in as short of a time as 11 weeks. Obviously this covers an extended period of time, but it is very easy for bed bugs to infest your home and remain there until they are eradicated.

While you typically hear stories about bed bugs attacking victims in hotels, bed bugs are considered hitchhikers and will travel home with you after a hotel stay by attaching themselves to your luggage. Out of town visitors can also bring bed bugs into your home through their travels.

So what do you look for to determine if you may be dealing with a bed bug infestation? Bed bugs are tiny, oval, brown and wingless insects approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ long. Their eggs are white, oval and about 1mm in length.
You can do a simple bed bug inspection by performing the following tasks:

  • Pull pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard.  You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.
  • Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
  • Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.

Corrective services for bed bug infestations require professional treatment to be eliminated so if you do suspect you have an infestation, contact a pest professional immediately for a free inspection.