Scientific name: Cimex lectularius
Common names: human bedbug, wall louse, mahogany flat,crimson rambler
- Color: mahogany brown
- Flat, looks like a small watermelon seed with legs
- Size: 1/5" (5mm) long x 1/8" (3mm) wide
- Abdomen prominently segmented side to side
- Can't fly; dysfunctional, atrophied forewings
- Very fast runner when exposed to light (roach like)
- Eggs: white, 1mm slightly bowed; glued in place
- Hatch in 6-10 days; longer if cool
- 70 - 82° F optimal for eggs
- Eggs die when temperature is less than 55° F or higher than 98.6° F
- Nymphal instars: 5, each requiring a meal of blood
- Lifespan: greater than 560 days
Survives months without food
- Uncovered areas, e.g., ankles, neck, face
- Similar to flea but no red center
- Immediate red, itchy wheal
- Often bites in approximate rows as if it cannot decide where to bite
Suspect bedbugs when the following is observed:
- Itchy bites but no fleas or mosquitoes in evidence
- Dwelling is co-inhabited by birds or bats
- Structure is used by transient populations
- Blood stains/red spots/smears on walls or curtains
- Black/brown spots (excrement) seen at hiding and resting places
- Quickly flip the mattress and look for running bugs
- Sickeningly sweet odor (heavy infestation)
- Call EH&S; to get pest control services: 206.543-7209.
- Be able to positively identify pest (specimen).
- Make certain bites are from bedbugs, not fleas or mosquitoes.
- Clean up and de-trash the infested room.
- Wash and dry all clothes and bedding on hot cycle.
- Vacuum, dry clean, fumigate or discard infested mattresses.
- Discard mattresses with torn seams, tears in fabric, deep crevices and seams, etc.
Replace with seamless mattresses with bug proof covers.
- Prevent removal of bedding and furniture to other dwelling places until infestation is over.
- Consider the adjacent rooms and the hallway as a single unit. Don't treat just one room. Bedbugs wander.
- Ask residents on both sides of the infested room and across the hallway whether they:
- are getting bitten and/or
- have seen any strange-looking little bugs (show picture).
- Remove and treat any bed boards or frames.
- Expand treatment in concentric circles from bed(s).
- Apply insecticide to all cracks and crevices in structure and nearby furniture.
- Pyrethroids or equivalent to flush insects from hiding places.
- A residual insecticide to provide longer term killing effect.
- Re-apply periodically until certain that bedbugs are eliminated.
- Also treat:
- Cracks, joints in bed frames
- Cracks in plaster, paneling, walls and wall paper
- Window and door frames
- Pictures and wall hangings, lights mounted on walls
- Furniture seams
- Repeat above treatment several times even if no bugs are observed.
- Replace wood bedsteads with smooth, seamless product.
- Repair wall cracks, peeling wallpaper and any other likely hiding places.
- Expect recurrences over a period of years.