This news item expired on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
Bed Bugs are Returning
Do you remember going to bed at night as a child with the saying “don't let the bed bugs bite?” You probably never thought you would actually have to worry about them biting you in your lifetime. Well, they are making a comeback and from the calls Buncombe County Cooperative Extension has received, they have arrived in Buncombe County! "Bed bugs" received their name from close association with human sleeping beds where they often seek refuge during daylight, only to come out to feed on the bed's occupants at night.
The adults are about 3/16” long; broadly oval and flat. The color is brown to reddish brown (after feeding). They emit an “obnoxiously sweet” odor from scent glands. Humans are the preferred host but if we aren't available, they will feed on other animals such as mice, bats, canaries, and English sparrows.
Although the bite of the bed bug is painless, most people (80%) develop an allergic reaction to the saliva injected by the bug as it feeds. A swelling usually results from feeding but there is no red spot like you would get from a flea bite.
The insect can be found throughout a bedroom and is not isolated to just the mattress area. They will crawl a considerable area to get a blood meal. The bed bug can be introduced into a structure by furniture or in belongings of someone who has been living in a bed bug infestation. They have also been found in transportation vehicles such as boats, trains, airplanes, and buses as well as in movie theater seats.
Find out how to get rid of bed bugs by calling Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522 or visiting the NC State Cooperative Extension website.