CONTACT USEnvironmental Health Services
Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
3160 Center Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 588-5346
Fax: (503) 566-2986
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. Adult bed bugs are oval, wingless and rusty red colored, and have flat bodies, antennae and small eyes. They are visible to the naked eye, but often hide in cracks or crevices. When bed bugs feed, their bodies swell and become brighter red. In homes, bed bugs feed primarily on the blood of humans, usually at night when people are sleeping.
What does a bed bug bite feel and look like?
Typically, the bite is painless and rarely awakens a sleeping person. However, it can produce large, itchy welts on the skin. Welts from bed bug bites do not have a red spot in the center - those welts are more characteristic of flea bites.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
Although bed bugs may be a nuisance to people, they are not known to spread disease. They are known to cause allergic reactions from their saliva in sensitive people.
How does a home become infested with bed bugs?
In most cases, bed bugs are transported from infested areas to non-infested areas when they cling onto someone's clothing, or crawl into luggage, furniture or bedding that is then brought into homes.
How do I know if my home is infested with bed bugs?
If you have bed bugs, you may also notice itchy welts on you or your family member's skin. You may also see the bed bugs themselves, small bloodstains from crushed bed bugs, or dark spots from bed bug droppings in your home. Bed bugs often hide in or near beds and bedroom furniture, and in the tufts, seams, and folds of mattresses and daybed covers. In more severe infestations, bed bugs may spread to cracks and crevices in bed frames and box springs; behind headboards; inside nightstands; behind baseboards, window and door casings, pictures, and moldings; and in nearby furniture, loosened wallpaper, and cracks in plaster and flooring. Bed bugs may also hide in piles of books, papers, boxes, and other clutter near sleeping areas.
How can I get rid of bed bugs?
It is recommended that homeowners hire a licensed pest control professional to evaluate what type of pest is present, and to exterminate them if required. When bed bugs are suspected, a careful inspection must be undertaken and all possible hiding places with infested and adjoining rooms examined.
Where can I get more information about bed bugs?
Oregon Health Authority - About Bed Bugs
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To report a public health emergency, or make an urgent report of communicable disease, call (503) 588-5621 at anytime.