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Bed Bug Basics & Tips to Protect Yourself

Brought to you by the National Pest Management Association, take a fast-paced, educational trip through the history of bed bugs and their recent resurgence.  This video will teach you bed bug basics. Learn how to be vigilant to minimize your risk of encountering bed bugs and how to effectively deal with this resilient pest if you have an infestation.

Cimicidae, the family name of bed bugs, are small parasitic insects.  The most common type is Cimex lectularius (the common bed bug).  The term usually refers to species that prefer to feed on human blood.  All insects in this family live by feeding exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals.

Skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms are some of the health effects that have occurred from bed bug bites.  Diagnosis involves both finding bed bugs and the occurrence of compatible symptoms.  Treatment is otherwise symptomatic.

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects, roughly the size of an apple seed.
Prefering to feed on human blood, these insects get their name from their preferred habitat.

Bed Bug - Cimex LectulariusIn the developed world, bed bugs were largely eradicated as pests in the early 1940s but have increased in prevalence since about 1995.  Because infestation of human habitats has been on the increase, bed bug bites and related conditions have been on the rise as well.  The exact cause of this resurgence remains unclear; it is variously ascribed to greater foreign travel, more frequent exchange of second-hand furnishings among homes, a greater focus on control of other pests resulting in neglect of bed bug countermeasures, and increasing resistance to pesticides.  Bed bugs have been known as human parasites for thousands of years.

The name "bed bug" is derived from the insect's preferred habitat of houses and especially beds or other areas where people sleep.  Bed bugs,
though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts. [1]

1. [No authors listed] (2011). "Bed Bugs". Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-09-9.
Portions of content provided by:

Entomologist Paul J. Bello, PJB Pest Management Consulting, LLC. - Author of "The Bed Bug Combat Manual"