Bed bug Information
There are two human feeding bed bugs, the Common bed bug Cimex lectularius L. and the Tropical bed bug Cimex hemipterus Fabr. In Connecticut, we have the Common bed bug and the Eastern bat bug Cimex adhjuctus Barber. An expert, trained health department staff/ sanitarian, or experienced pest management professional (PMP) are able to distinguish between the two species. Do not attempt to identify them yourself. Bat bugs can readily feed on people and be mistaken for the Common bed bug. Control for the bat bug is different from the Common bed bug. The Common bed bug does not transmit human disease causing pathogens.
Characteristics of Common bed bugs
- Adults are lentil seed in size, Nymphs and eggs are much smaller
- Brown colored, flat, oval, with six legs and two antennae
- They walk. They do not fly or jump
- They do not bite. They feed on human and animal blood using piercing sucking mouthparts
- Feed at night, hide by day, and are shy; and
- Develop from egg to adult in 5 to 8 weeks
Step 3: Response if a bed bug is confirmed
- Contact local health department for support.
- Maintain calm professionalism. Anxiety will be telegraphed to staff and students
- Have staff/student visit school nurse for initial assessment. Maintain confidentiality. Do not stigmatize the person.
- Assess whether they were transferred onto the person or came from their residence
- Identify possible source entry points, such as:- backpacks, lunchboxes, travel packs, sports bags, books, clothing, pocketbooks, other personal items, lockers, school buses or other transportation
- Determine if residence where student/staff live, is being treated
- Keep detailed records
- Never self treat. Seek professional treatment
- Call a PMP withexperience in bed bug management
- Provide plastic bins or plastic bags for students/staff to store backpacks, lunch boxes, personal items etc. and manage laundry at home (and school when possible) as part of an IPM management program
- When possible have a dryer on school premises to heat treat articles (high temperature for 20 minutes)
- Vacuum cracks and wipe down location with soap and water where bed bugs were discovered
- Refer to PCP(pediatrician) for confirmation of origin of rash/bites is required for definite diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
- Communication and cooperation are key to resolving bed bug issues