Bed bugs likely get their name from primarily making their home in beds or where people sleep. They live in sheets, mattresses, baseboards and furniture. They can be picked up just about anywhere - hotels, friend's house, daycare centers, movie theaters, schools or even retail stores. A bed bug can take in six times its weight in blood. Bed bugs are parasites that have existed since ancient times. Once on the decline in the US, they are once again very common and can be found throughout Baltimore and the state of Maryland. They are small, wingless insects that are reddish brown, flattened and oval, with microscopic hairs and grow to be about 1/8" long. Bedbugs are generally nocturnal and feed primarily upon the blood of humans. Bed bugs do not bite - they suck. Although bed bugs can feed on any warm-blooded animal, they primarily feed on humans. They do not transmit diseases at this point, but a number of adverse health effects may result from bed bug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms.
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