Authors as Published

Molly Stedfast, Entomology, Virginia Tech; Dini M. Miller, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Entomology, Virginia Tech;

Cover, Bed Bugs: How to Protect Yourself and Your Home

This publication is available in PDF format only, Ebook coming soon.

Bed bugs have been a pest of humans throughout history and were a common pest in the United States at the turn of the previous century. They were essentially eradicated in the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s largely because of the use of the insecticide DDT, which was readily available to consumers and was broadly applied with little regulation. Since the 1990s, we have seen an increase in bed bug infestations in the United States. There are many theories about why bed bug infestations have returned including increases in international travel, the transfer of secondhand furniture and clothing, a higher turnover of occupants in multi-unit housing, widespread resistance to insecticides (including DDT); and a lack of bed bug awareness and precautions worldwide. While these factors all contribute to the rise in infestations, we need to remember that bed bugs are natural ectoparasites of humans. When we consider the billions of people living on earth today compared to 100 years ago, it should be no surprise that there are more bed bugs.

This book will give you information that you need to identify a bed bug, and the signs of a potential infestation. You will also learn about how bed bugs can get into your home. Use this guide to learn how to check yourself and your home for bed bugs, and what management tools should and should not be used in your home.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

May 14, 2013