Western UP Health Department

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Image of a bed bug

You’ve probably heard the saying “Good Night, Sleep Tight & Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite.” Those bugs commonly mentioned in a bedtime ritual are becoming more and more real in homes and businesses across the country. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to humans, however the presence of this nuisance pest can result in itchy, painful bites and significant extermination costs.

How are bed bugs spread?

Bed bugs can enter your home in a variety of ways. They can be located on clothing or furniture brought into the home, or they can travel in/on luggage as an unfriendly reminder of recent travels. Because bed bugs feed mostly at night, they’re most commonly found in bedrooms or other places where people sleep. Within those areas, bed bugs may be found:

  • In seams, creases and folds of mattresses
  • Behind electrical plates or outlet covers
  • Behind a bed frame or headboard
  • Under rugs or edges of carpeting
  • Within folds and creases of curtains
  • Behind baseboards
  • Within furniture (between cushions, or under drawers)
  • Within electronic devices (alarm clocks, phones, TV’s located in sleeping areas)

How can I tell if I have bed bugs?

Because bed bugs mainly infest bedrooms, if you find bites that occurred during sleep, bed bugs may be the culprit. You should carefully inspect bedding, curtains, and other dark spaces within the room for signs of bed bug activity. Besides finding an actual bug, you may notice black or brown spots along the seams in the mattress or other places the bugs hide.

What should I do if I find bed bugs?

There are several types of bugs that closely resemble bed bugs. Because of the cost to erradicate bed bugs, you’ll want confirmation that you do in fact have bed bug activity in your home. If you suspect bed bug activity, try to collect a specimen for identification. Then you can work with an exterminator to treat the infestation.

For more information about bed bugs, please visit:

State of Michigan-Emerging Diseases

Getting the Bed Bugs Out: A Guide to Controlling Bedbugs in your Home

Bed Bugs: What Schools Need to Know

Bed Bugs & Mattresses: A Fact Sheet for Michigan Consumers