Some community members are experiencing problems with bed bugs in their homes. The following information explains how to identify and properly treat bed bugs, and avoid the spread of the problem. Feel free to post or otherwise distribute this information.
How do I know if there are bed bugs in my house or apartment?
- You have found an insect that looks like this in your home
- You have smelled an unusual, offensive odor
- Someone in your home has insect bites
What should I do if I think bed bugs are in my home?
If you rent your house or apartment, tell the owner or apartment manager. They should help you treat the problem with a professional exterminator.
Act quickly and follow these steps to eliminate the bed bugs and keep them from traveling to other homes:
- Locate all areas that bed bugs might be hiding
- Under, inside and behind household furniture
- Underneath items like lamps, radios, and phones
- Walls and items hung on or near walls
- Clothing, luggage, and closets
- Work with an exterminator to thoroughly treat all places where bed bugs live
- Clean out and take apart furniture so an exterminator can fully treat the home
- If you decide to purchase insecticides or pesticides, read the label and follow directions and safety precautions. Do not to let young children come into contact with harmful substances
- For furniture, only use products that are labeled for use on furniture. You may need to reapply the insecticide or pesticide after 1 or 2 days
- Clean everything and discard infested furniture, especially mattresses and sofas
- Thoroughly clean all belongings: furniture, household items, toys and clothes
- Talk to the property manager about how to dispose of infested furniture
- Be wary of used mattresses and other household furniture of unknown origin
What should tenants do if they live in a property that has bed bugs?
Property tenants can find information on how to control a bed bug situation by reading our Guidelines for Tenants page.
Can bed bugs make me sick?
Bed bugs do not tend to spread disease, but they can be irritating and their bites can cause allergic reactions to the skin (itching, swelling or burning). If you crush one with your hands or scratch your own bites, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly so you don’t cause an infection.
Health Department Fact Sheets by Language
- Bed Bugs Fact Sheet (English)
- Bed Bugs Fact Sheet “Chinches” (Spanish)
- Bed Bugs Fact Sheet (Burmese)
- Bed Bugs Fact Sheet (Karen)