We don't have a huge bedbug problem in Fort Collins, but that doesn't mean we're  immune to them. In fact the 'Great Sofa Round-Up' at Colorado State University came to a halt, partially because of people's fears of bedbugs.

I know every time I travel I'm terrified of finding bed bugs. In fact, we checked our sheets 3-4 times a day on our recent trip to Florida just because of our paranoia. On that trip I realized that I had no idea what I was even looking for. Other than...bugs.

I spent a few hours perusing the web to learn what the little critters actually looked like and put some of the most valuable info I found all in one place for you.

As to the question of, "Do we have bed bugs in Fort Collins?" The answer is yes. Bed bugs can be just about anywhere. (Just a few years back Denver was a top-ten city in bed bug infestations in the country.)

A website called BedBugs.net lists six reported cases of bed bugs in Fort Collins (three of them were at the same place). You can compare that to the 24 reports they list in Denver, two in Greeley, one in Loveland, and zero in Cheyenne. I have no idea how accurate that website is and it only includes hotels with reports of the bugs, but you look at their map of the county, and there is no 'safe-haven' from the disgusting little creatures.

Now, what exactly do they look like?

This video from National Geographic had a lot of info about the bugs, but I think it may have made me a little more leery of them than I already was.

And here's another video, this one is a how-to on inspecting for bugs.

WedMD has a pretty handy little slideshow of the bugs that you can see HERE.

What is a bed bug?

Bedbugs (or bed bugs) are small, elusive, and parasitic insects of the family Cimicidae. They live strictly by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. The name "bed bug" is derived from the insect's preferred habitat infesting houses and especially beds or other common areas where people may sleep. Bedbugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts. -From Front Range Pest Control

Why should we worry about bed bugs?

The CDC says that the bugs are not a medical or public health hazard. Their bites can lead to very different responses from people and severe allergic reactions may require medical attention.

However, they are gross. They can leave itchy red bumps all over you and can leave rusty-colored blood spots from the fecal matter that they leave on mattresses, sheets, fabric and furniture.


If you want to read up more on bed bugs and see a few more pictures Colorado State University Extension has a whole write-up about the blood-sucking insect here.