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Bed Bugs: Are not considered a Health Risk

The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) often receives complaints about bites from bed bugs. While they are a nuisance, studies on bed bugs have not shown them to carry any diseases and therefore are not something that DCHD has jurisdiction over.

How can you get rid of bed bugs?

DCHD Environmental Section recommends that property owners hire a professionally licensed pest control agency to evaluate what type of pest is present and to exterminate them if necessary. Time and money can be wasted attempting to eliminate an infestation if an insect is not identified properly. Controlling and removing bed bugs involves different procedures than the removal of other pests and will require multiple visits. A pest control professional should perform a thorough inspection, and when bed bug hiding places are found, provide chemical or non-chemical means of control to the infested rooms. A professional may use pesticides and specialized equipment, such as steam cleaners, to kill the bed bugs. After two or three weeks, ensure that the pest control professional returns for follow-up treatment. Usually, at least two treatments are necessary to eliminate bed bugs.

Should I report a bed bug infestation to local authorities?

Yes. Bed bugs are considered a public health nuisance and when found in hotels, prisons, nursing homes, hospitals and public transportations and should be reported to the Douglas County Health Department.

What does the Health Department do about bed bugs?

DCHD sanitation section works with property owners and business to make sure that they are using an integrated pest management plan in order to eliminate bed bugs on their property. DCHD also provides education to homeowners on how to treat and reduce/eliminate their bed bug problem. DCHD is not a pest control agency and will not treat for bed bugs.

Quick Facts

  • A single, sexually-mature female bed bug can start an infestation.
  • Bed bugs hate light, so if you can’t change rooms, sleep with the light on.
  • Bed bugs can go months without food.
  • Bed bugs can survive in 110°F temperature for several days.
  • Bed bugs can survive freezing temperatures for several weeks.
  • Bed bug eggs are very sticky and difficult to remove, making them efficient hitchhikers.

Where can I get more information?

You can get more information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bed bug webpage.
Bed Bug Fact Sheet: State of California Health and Human Services


Call DCHD Sanitation Section 402-444-7481



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