Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. They are usually active at night when people are sleeping. The bite of a bed bug is usually painless, and a person may not even know that they have been bitten until a large itchy welt appears on their skin several days later. While these bites may be a nuisance, bed bugs do not transmit disease to humans.
Adult bed bugs have flat rusty-red-colored oval bodies. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed. They are big enough to easily see, but often hide in cracks in furniture, floors, or walls. When bed bugs feed, their bodies swell and become brighter red. They can live for several months without feeding on a host.
The Erie County Department of Health does not perform inspections to identify bed bugs or provide extermination services
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
- Bed Bugs Booklet (ECDOH)
- What’s Bugging You (Cornell University)
- Bed Bugs - Guide for Property Owners, Managers and Tenants (NYC Health)
- Stop Bed Bugs Safely (NYC Health)
If extermination is needed, occupants or property owners should hire a licensed professional exterminator, also known as a Pesticide Applicator, for chemical control of a bed bug infestation.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation operates the certification program for Pesticide Applicators. Click here for information regarding this program and to search for licensed professionals near you.