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Bedbugs are ninjas

May 14th, 2010

Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed solely upon the blood of warm-blooded animals. They are sometimes mistaken for ticks or cockroaches. A mature bed bug is oval-bodied, brown to red-brown in color, wingless and flattened top to bottom. Unfed bugs are 1/4 to 3/8 inch long and the upper surface of the body has a crinkled appearance. A bed bug that has recently fed is engorged with blood, dull red in color, and the body is elongated and swollen. Eggs are white and are about 1/25 inch long. Newly hatched bed bugs are nearly colorless or straw-colored. Of the 90 or so species in the family Cimicidae approximately 7 will feed on human blood, but only 2 are commonly found: Cimex lectularius (bed bug) and Cimex hemipterus (tropical bed bug). However, some species that are bird ectoparasites will bite humans who come into contact with infested bird nests.

Some of the most common ways new bed bug infestations may be introduced include:

•Spending a night (or longer) in an environment which is already infested by bed bugs (hotels, homes, international flights, etc).

•Having someone visit from such an infested environment (bed bugs can be transported in luggage).

•Renting furniture or buying used furniture or bedding.

•Picking up discarded bedding or furniture from a curbside, trash collection point, or dumpster.

Check out health.state.ga.us/pdfs/epi/zvbd/Bed%20Bug%20Handbook.pdf

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