Bedbugs are small insects that are common in New York City. Adult bedbugs have flat, brown oval bodies and are about the size of an apple seed. They are usually active at night and feed on blood in order to grow and reproduce.
Bedbugs do not cause or spread diseases, but their bites can lead to infections. Some people do not have a reaction to bites and may be unaware that bedbugs are in their home until they see them.
Bedbugs like to hide inside of mattresses, under the mattress seams, and especially in the cracks and crevices on the box springs. Other than beds, these bugs often hide in cracks in furniture, floors, walls and other areas near where people sleep or lounge.
If you spot bedbugs in a residence or public place, you can submit a bedbug complaint online or by calling 311.
Bed bug infestations can be safely controlled. You can wash clothes and, in most cases, treat furniture to get rid of bedbugs. You should only throw away furniture if there are no acceptable treatments that can rid them of bedbugs, or if advised to do so by a pest management professional.
The New York City area has more than a thousand pest control companies and thousands of licensed pest management professionals. To get rid of bedbugs, you need to be clear with companies about what you want done and monitor the service you get.
The chance of picking up bedbugs when you travel is low, but it is important to take simple precautions. Bedbugs can hitch a ride on clothing and luggage, especially in places where travelers sleep. They are rarely found in planes, trains and motor vehicles. If you have bedbugs at home and will be traveling, take precautions so you do not spread them to other places.
Bed bug data from the NYC Community Health Survey can be viewed on theEnvironmental Public Health and Sustainability Tracking Portal.