Now, someone to call when the bed bugs bite

Entomologists at the University of Minnesota have established phone and email hotlines to offer information and help on dealing with bed bugs.

Matt Herbert

Entomologists at the University of Minnesota have established phone and email hotlines to offer information and help on dealing with bed bugs.

Bed bugs have had a recent resurgence in North America as a result of increased travel, changing insecticide use and the lack of public awareness, according to the UniversityâÄôs website.

Bed bugs are oval, flat, brown and wingless parasites that feed on blood, and are about the size of a wood tick. If the bed bug has consumed blood, the coloring may change to a purplish-red color. They are typically most active at night and some people break out in a rash, while others see few symptoms beyond a red spot.

The website warns against âÄúscavengingâÄù beds or furniture left on curbs and encourages an inspection when buying used furniture. Infestations occur most often in bedrooms, the website said.

The phone line for the University’s new bed bug center is 612-624-2200.