Bed bugs | Ministry of Health NZ

SummaryBed bug, photo by Piotr Naskrecki / Public Health Image Library.

Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of sleeping people and animals at night. During the day, they hide in dry, dark places.

The bites of bed bugs arent usually a health hazard, but they can be irritating. Scratching at them can cause infection.

If youve got bed bugs, youll need to find the infestation, then treat it with pesticide.

Many people pick up bed bugs in their luggage when theyre travelling. You can also bring them into your home in second-hand furniture, bedding or clothing.

Bed bug bites affect everyone differently.

The bites of bed bugs arent usually dangerous.

You can kill bed bugs by washing and drying bedding and clothing at high temperatures. However, its important to figure out where the actual infestation is, as they often hide in furniture and walls.

If you think you may have bed bugs, have a look in and around your bed. Bed bugs hide in dry, dark places, such as mattresses, headboards and bed frames, furniture, drapes, and cracks in walls and floors.

You may find live bugs, cast-off skins, eggs or faecal stains (small dark brown or black marks).

Check other bedrooms in the house, too: bed bugs cant fly, but they can crawl short distances.

Once youve found the infestation, you should use a pesticide to kill the bed bugs: ask at your hardware store or supermarket. Alternatively, you could hire a pest control expert. (If concerned about pesticides, ask about eco-friendly products.)

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Bed bugs | Ministry of Health NZ

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