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Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. Adult bed bugs are oval, wingless, rusty red-colored, have flat bodies, antennae and small eyes. They are visible to the naked eye, but often hide in cracks and crevices. When bed bugs feed (usually at night when people are sleeping) their bodies swell and become a brighter red.
Typically, the bed bugs bite is painless and rarely awakens a sleeping person; however, it can produce large, itchy welts on the skin.
Bed bugs are difficult pests to control and elimination is not always a certainty. An integrated program of chemical and non-chemical measures, followed by monitoring, is recommended in trying to eradicate bed bugs.
A professional pest controller should be consulted to perform a thorough evaluation. Experienced pest control firms know where to look for bed bugs, and they have an assortment of management tools at their disposal.
Some infestations can be prevented by washing clothing and bedding immediately after returning from a trip.
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