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Photo: Close up of bed bugs on a mattress seam.

Close up of bed bugs on a mattress seam.

The bed bug, (Cimex lectularius L.), is a blood sucking insect that is closely associated with humans. It is occasionally found in poultry farms and on indoor pets (dogs, cats, rodents). Since the late 1990s, there has been a steady increase in the number of bed bug infestations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. They can be found in hotels, dormitories, homes, and shelters. The recent increase in bed bug cases may be related increased travel and the lack of effective control tools. In most parts of the U.S., only one species of bed bug is encountered. A similar species, bat bug, is occasionally found in homes that have active or recently eliminated bat infestations. Bat bugs and bed bugs look very similar, but have different behaviors and are found in different locations. Therefore, it is important to correctly identify the species before doing any control work.

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