Omaha Public Radio News
9:57 am
Thu September 9, 2010

Bed bug infestations in Douglas County

Omaha, NE – Douglas County health officials say they've received several reports of bed bug infestations.

A news release from the Douglas County Health Department says bed bugs have to be brought from one place to another. An infestation can happen after traveling, or come from used furniture. Health Department Resource Specialist Phil Rooney says once the bugs are in a home, they're hard to get rid of.

"Once bed bugs are introduced to a certain place, they start reproducing, and they can hide in the walls without eating for six months to 12 months. They're attracted to warm bodies so then they come out and feed and they reproduce," Rooney says. Once that happens, the bugs may lay eggs, and insecticides won't kill those

Rooney says another extermination method involves heating a home to 150 degrees. That kills both the bugs and the eggs. Rooney says both methods should be done by a professional.

Rooney says the bugs don't transmit diseases. "But they certainly are irritating and they do feed on your blood. Just see them at one point in their growth or at one point before they've fed on you they'll be kind of a lighter brown or a yellowish brown, and then a darker brown, and then really a reddish brown when they've fed on a person."

Bed bugs are less than a quarter of an inch long, making them hard to see. Vacuuming and cleaning thoroughly will remove the eggs. The Health Department says reducing clutter in your home can also help get rid of bed bugs.