Rockingham County Health and Human Services
Felissa Ferrell
Director of Health and Human Services
Felissa Ferrell
Director of Social Services
Ernesto Moseley, MPA, BS
Health Director

Rockingham County Seal
Bed Bugs

Why are Bed Bugs spreading so rapidly?
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  •          Phenomenal explosion in major metropolitan regions 
  •     Increase in travel, loss of pesticidal tools & changes in how the industry operates
  •      Multi family housing & where they’re from
  •      Cruise ships
  •      Bed Bugs are master hitch hikers & hard to detect in low numbers 
  •      Public generally does not know what bed bugs are, how to avoid them, how to recognize a problem 
  •      Most modern insecticides are not effective

How are Bed Bugs being spread?

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  •          Furniture company delivering new furniture on same truck they took old furniture away on
  •     Furniture donated through Goodwill, Salvation Army and other thrift stores
  •     Yard sales
  •     Dumpster diving/curbside shopping

Biology of Bed Bugs

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  •      Feed exclusively on blood – take approximately 5 minutes to feed
  •      Leave host after feeding and hide nearby
  •      Life cycle – must take blood meal between life stages
  •     Egg
  •     5 instar stages
  •      Adult
  •      7 days between each instar stage
  •      35-48 days from egg to adulthood
  •       Females will lay 1-5 eggs per day (up to 200 in a lifetime)
  •       Adults can live 6-8 months(sometimes >1year)

Inspection and Detection

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  •      Equipment: flashlights (good for moderate to heavy infestations), Bed Bug detecting dogs (can find a single egg/bug), traps, heat (hair dryers)
  •      Where to look: box springs, bed frames, cracks, crevices, 85% will be close to where host is when resting majority of time, will go to ceiling corners in colder months


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  •      Nocturnal - normally move & feed at night
  •      Don’t jump or fly – move into suitcases at night – can move fairly fast
  •      Very mobile and can travel between apartments and dorms
  •      20% of apartments could be infested & not aware of problem
  •      Move into other units above, beside & behind location of initial infestation
  •      People that are bitten don’t always have a reaction
  •      Bed bugs will make bites in a line along person’s skin
  •      Not vectors – not know to carry diseases

Selecting a Pest Control Vendor

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  •      Services offered, abilities, experience, staffing
  •      Control options
  •      Conventional insecticide treatment (2-4 follow-up visits on average)
  •      Steam – very time consuming
  •      Freezing “cryonite units”, chest freezers (1 week minimum)
  •      Fumigation – no residual chemical afterwards
  •      “Thermal Remediation” Heat to 120°F for 5 hours (clothes dryer will kill bed bugs – 30 minutes on hot cycle)
  •      Nuvan Prostrips – DDP – Alternative to fumigation – not approved in living spaces
  •      Health Department Complaint Calls – schools, medical offices, nursing homes, lodging facilities, homeless shelters, etc.
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      371 NC 65 Wentworth, North Carolina 27375 | Phone: 336-342-8140 | Fax: 336-342-8356 | Contact Us
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