It is likely that bed bugs are the most commonly known ectoparasites to humans. Nearly every child has heard the reminder, “Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” Prior to World War II, bed bugs were fairly common in homes. Due to the introduction of modern pest control products in the 1940s, this insect faded from the American scene, and has only recently reappeared as a unique pest problem in buildings. These parasites are blood feeders, and they crawl into beds during the night while their victims sleep. The bite is painless and a number of bed bugs may feed for an extended period of time on any area of exposed skin. The resulting bite wound may show generalized minor swelling into a raised bump followed by itching. Commonly, skin reactions to bed bug bites may not show up for 1-2 weeks after the bites. Fortunately, bed bugs do not carry or transmit any human disease, but the mere presence of any blood-feeding insect is disconcerting, at best.
Eggs are deposited in small cracks in the bed frame, mattress seams, or in baseboards, trim or furniture near the bed. The first instar nymphs that hatch from eggs are tiny, no larger than a letter on a penny. Five nymphal stages occur to reach the adult stage and each requires a blood meal. The nymphs and the adults reside near one another, hiding in such cracks awaiting nightfall when they might venture out to feed. In some cases, the offending bed bugs are harboring many feet from the bed in cracks in furniture, baseboards, doorframes, or even within voids in the wall. If populations become large, or when a host becomes scarce because no one sleeps in the bed for a period of time, bed bugs may crawl into other rooms or squeeze through walls to enter neighboring locations. They may also be transported from place to place hiding in furniture, clothing and blankets.
Bag all clothing and bedding materials to be washed in high temperatures
Empty closets, dresser drawers and remove all decor items from walls and surfaces.
Move large furniture items from baseboards so they can be fully treated.
Vacuum and or steam seams of mattresses and box springs, couches and chairs.
Be prepared for your family and pets to leave the home for SIX hours to allow sufficient time for treatment and subsequent ventilation.
Size: up to 1½ inches
Color: light to dark brown
Leaf-footed bugs are so named because the hind legs are flattened and shaped like the edges of leaves. A variety of leaf-footed bugs may migrate into homes seeking a spot to overwinter. In most cases, the number of bugs involved is small, but on occasion, a single home or building may become particularly attractive to these bugs and other overwintering pests. Some species produce an obnoxious strong odor when handled or disturbed. One of the more common leaf-footed bugs that may enter homes is the squash bug, Anasa tristis. Squash bugs overwinter as unmated adults and mate the following spring after they return to the garden. Another, the western conifer seed bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, feeds on the seeds of several species of pines and Douglas fir and has increasingly become a more common occasional invader pest in structures. Eggs are laid on typical host plants in late spring, and the nymphs feed on needles and young cone scales. They mature into adults by mid-August, and may fly to homes in fall to overwinter.