Bed Bug Basics

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What Are They?

Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans and pets. They are very small; their eggs are the size of a poppy seed and their larvae are the size of a grain of rice. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed. They hide in dark cracks and crevices. Most people are unaware of their presence unless they purposely look for them.

Inspect Your Home

It’s important to deal with bed bugs as soon as you suspect you have them. To find out if you have an infestation, use a flashlight to inspect your home:

  • Check the crevices in and around your bed including your bedding, headboard, mattress, box spring and bed frame.
  • Carefully inspect all the furniture and carpeting in your bedroom, at least within 10 feet of your bed.
  • Look for larvae as well as adult bugs and their cast exoskeletons.
  • Look for bed bug feces which look like dark reddish brown spots.


It can be difficult to prevent bed bugs, but there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk.

  • Be wary if purchasing used furniture.
  • Examine it carefully before taking it home.
  • Use a mattress and box spring encasement to prevent bed bugs from hiding inside.
  • NEVER pick up furniture that has been discarded or abandoned.
  • When traveling, inspect your hotel room as you would your home.
  • Never stay in a room that has signs of a bed bug infestation.
  • Ask to be moved to a different room.


Exterminating bed bugs is a complicated process. For this reason we do not recommend that you take them on without professional help. In fact, using store bought pest killers such as foggers can be very dangerous to your health & safety and can often backfire, causing your problem to spread from one room to other rooms in your home.

A professional pest control company is best equipped to assess your bed bug problem and can develop a customized eradication strategy to suite your individual circumstance. They have the appropriate equipment and pesticide formulations needed to successfully eliminate your bed bugs. Be sure to follow their instructions as to what you can do to help eliminate the problem in conjunction with their professional treatment.

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

A property owner is required to provide a safe, clean, habitable dwelling, free of any vermin infestation that may occur in the dwelling, for example in the walls, ceilings, and flooring.

A tenant is also responsible to maintain their personal belongings in a clean, safe manner, for example, your furniture, clothing, and personal items.


  • - for user submitted reports on bed bug infestations in hotels and motels in the U.S.
  • California Department of Public Health – Additional information and resources.
  • - Blog offering helpful tips and user submitted ideas on how to deal with bed bugs.

Contact Information

If you are having problems with a bed bug issue in your dwelling, please contact Neighborhood Services at (818) 548-3700 for information.






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