Bed bugs are never far away

Feb 16, 2024, 13:30 PM by Fred Speer

Last fall, the headlines coming out of Fashion Week in Paris were not the latest looks from Dior or Prada, but the presence of a not-so-new runway sensation – bed bugs. From high-end hotels and restaurants to the city’s subway system, reports of bed bugs were rampant and the headlines in the press just as frequent.

Did the outbreak represent a resurgence of this most unwelcome pest, or was it just bed bugs being, well, bed bugs?

According to noted bed bug researcher Dini Miller, a professor and urban pest management specialist at Virginia Tech, the populations that plagued Paris last fall did not appear out of nowhere.

“It has the media excited, but in all honesty, these populations don’t develop just overnight,” said Miller in an interview with Scientific American. “This is just getting attention again. And I promise these bed bugs have been there for a while.”

What you need to know about bed bugs

While bed bug activity typically spikes during the summer, bed bugs are active all year. Clark, California’s friendly bed bug prevention and control expert, would like to share some basic facts on bed bugs – where they are found, what they look like, and if they are dangerous.

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that get their name from their habit of taking refuge in beds and feeding on humans while asleep. Bed bugs are skillful hitchhikers, readily latching onto suitcases, clothes, or anything else they can find, and ending up wherever these items land. Their hitchhiking techniques allow infestations to spread rapidly.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are found in nearly every place people gather, including residences, hotels, schools, offices, retail stores, and even public transportation.

What do bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs are reddish-brown, flat, and oval-shaped insects with six legs and two antennae. They grow to about 3/16th of an inch in length and 1/8th of an inch wide. They will become redder in color, swollen, and elongated after feeding.


Can bed bugs fly?

Although these insects have reduced wing pads, bed bugs do not have wings and cannot fly.

What do bed bugs eat?

Bed bugs only eat blood. Bed bugs do need to eat regular meals to survive and develop. However, it’s possible for adult bed bugs to go several months without eating a blood meal. These insects dine on many warm-blooded animals, but they primarily feed on humans, latching onto any exposed skin. Bed bugs typically require 5 to 10 minutes to engorge with blood. After feeding, they move to secluded places to digest their meal, mate, and lay eggs.

Are bed bugs nocturnal?

Bed bugs are often described as nocturnal creatures because they typically come out at night to eat, though they can sometimes take a blood meal during the day. They come out at night as they are drawn to the warm, steady stream of carbon dioxide a person emits while they sleep.

Where do bed bugs hide?

As their name suggests, bed bugs often hide in the bedroom. They also hide in:

  • Cracks and crevices in walls or wood, behind baseboards
  • Armchairs and couches
  • Within bedding, inside box springs, and around mattress buttons
  • Stuffed animals
  • Suitcases, backpacks, and seams and pockets of purses
  • Upholstery of bus seats and seats, carpet, and vents on airplanes
  • Clothing
  • Inside electrical switch plates


Are bed bugs dangerous?

Bed bugs are less dangerous than they are a nuisance. Bed bug bites are virtually painless and do not transmit diseases. However, people can develop an allergic reaction to the saliva transmitted during bites, which can cause red, itchy welts that can often be relieved with topical steroid creams.

Call California’s trusted, friendly bed bug expert at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at if you think bed bugs have made their way into your home. Be sure to ask about Clark ProActive, a new service from Clark Pest Control that’s designed to eliminate bed bugs from your home and keep them gone. Let us protect your family from these annoying pests.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.