Bed bugs

Bed bugs have been common in U.S. history. Despite a dramatic decrease in bed bug populations seen in the 1940’s and 1950’s, the U.S. is one of just many countries that is experiencing an alarming resurgence in bed bug populations. Utah, like many states in the U.S. has seen an increase in the number of bed bug infestations in hotels, multi-unit housing complexes, and in private residences.

The exact reason for the increase in bed bug infestations is not known. Although experts believe it may be associated with increased resistance of bed bugs to available pesticides, greater domestic and international travel, lack of knowledge regarding bed bug control, and lack of education regarding the prevention and spread of bed bugs.

Bed bugs do not transmit infectious disease to humans. Therefore, they are not considered a public health threat. However, their bites can cause sores on the skin that can itch and can be painful. These sores can last for a week or more and can become infected if scratched to the point that they become open wounds. Bed bug bites can itch and look like a raised red bump or flat welt. They are often mistaken for mosquito or flea bites.

Bed bugs are small insects (adults are about 1/4 inch long) that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Adults are reddish-brown in color and larva are a clear-yellowish color. They usually feed at night and can go weeks to months without feeding. They nest in close proximity to sleeping and sitting areas. Since bed bugs are so difficult to remove, a bed bug infestation is best handled by a professional pest control company.

Information for the general public

Information for hotel/motel owners

Information for landlords/property owners

Information for home health care and social workers

Information for schools/childcare

Prevention/removal of bed bugs