How to Bug Proof Your Home from Bed Bugs

Pest Management In and Around Structures April 21, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Blood filled bed bug on human skin.


A single bed bug on human skin.

Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans, rodents and other animals. These insects are capable of transmitting certain disease causing organisms. They also inject saliva during feeding which can produce large itchy swellings on the skin, and these areas may become infected when scratched. In addition, bed bugs have stink glands that create odors and they also leave fecal spots on bed sheets.


  1. Launder all bedding routinely (even comforters and bedspreads).
  2. Regularly vacuum the home including all bedding and furniture upholstery.
  3. Do not buy secondhand beds, bedding or upholstered furniture. Try to eliminate cracks and crevices in flooring and walls. Repair cracks in plaster, wallpaper and paint on the walls and ceilings. Replace loose wallpaper and drapes that cannot be cleaned.
  4. Bed bugs are not microscopic.
  5. Amorphous silica gel and diatomaceous insecticides may be used to treat wall voids and attics, but do not use any insecticides on mattresses or bedding.
  6. Remember that tubular beds provide good habitat for bed bugs

View IPM related content for bed bugs.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.