There are many things that Northern Virginia homeowners need to know about bed bugs, and the following article explores five facts about them assisted with information taken from the Center for Disease Control.

Bed Bugs are Everywhere

To begin with, bed bugs are parasites that feed only on the blood of animals and people while they are sleeping. They are reddish-brown, small, and flat. They can be found all over the world. Bed bugs were once seen as a major problem primarily in third-world countries; however that is no longer true. In recent years the spread of bed bugs has been rising in the US, Canada, and United Kingdom, and other first world countries. They are found virtually everywhere, from rural areas to urban developments.

They Are Great At Hiding

The second thing you need to know is that while they are usually found in the places where people and animals sleep, they are quite adept at hiding. During the day, they seek refuge inside the seams of your mattress, inside luggage, tiny little cracks, the clutter around a bed, and even behind the wallpaper. This makes them very hard to find, and they can be quite clever at hiding. They do not travel very far during the day, tending to remain within 8 feet of where someone will sleep.

They Can Cause Health Problems

While they do not pose a major health risk, bites may cause a severe allergic reaction in some people, and this requires immediate medical attention. Normally, there is only a small bite mark or a rash in place. The pattern comes from the fact that they are methodical eaters, covering an area from one spot to the next until they are forced to move to a new host. Therefore the pattern is usually in a line or a small patch.

They Can Leave A Rash If You Are Bitten

An important thing you need to know, especially for Northern Virginia homeowners, is how to identify an infestation of bed bugs. The easiest way to tell is by a patterned rash of bite marks along your body after sleeping. These marks, however, may take up to two weeks to occur in some people, so there are other clues to look for. You might see the exoskeletons after the bed bugs have molted, or find them in the folds of your mattress or your sheets. You might find rust colored spots of blood excreted on the mattress or other furniture, or you might smell a sweet, musty odor.

Leave Bed Bug Treatments To The Professionals

The last thing you should be aware of is how you should properly treat the bites received from a bed bug. While they do not usually pose a serious health issue, the rashes can be irritating. However, they are easily treated by using lotions and creams that are antiseptic, taking an antihistamine, and by not scratching the affected area. The infestations themselves are best treated by spraying an insecticide or by calling a pest Control Company in that has experience in this area. You should also be sure to check quite often for any signs of their return.