Can you tell me if this is an actual “bed bug”? I did find it in my bed and...
Yes, this is a bed bug nymph (an immature stage). I have an ID card with photos of various stages of bed bugs and other household insects at my website, u.osu.edu/bedbugs
Bed bug infestations typically are best handled by a licensed pest management professional. See https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-2178-11 for tips for choosing a pest management company (see pg. 4 regarding bed bugs) One of their first steps should be to estimate the extent of the infestation in your residence. Control of bed bugs is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that involves a variety of control techniques including chemical and non-chemical measures such as sanitation, steaming, vacuuming, encasements, pitfall traps, monitors, and chemicals applied to targeted sites (bed bug hiding places—see below). There is no “magic bullet” for killing bed bugs. It is very difficult to get rid of bed bugs without using multiple tactics. Insecticide treatment is one approach, but it takes an average of 3 insecticide treatments by a professional. Heat treatment is another approach; when done properly, heat treatment can require a single treatment but it often is about double or more the cost of an insecticide-alone approach. Furthermore, it often is useful to include an insecticide treatment at the time of a heat treatment since there is nothing left to kill any new bugs behind once the heat is gone.
Bed bugs hide during the day in dark, protected sites. They seem to prefer fabric, wood, and paper surfaces, but they can be found on almost any type of surface that is not extremely slick. They usually occur fairly close to the hosts’ sleeping sites, although they can travel far distances. Early in an infestation, bed bugs are found primarily on or near sleeping sites such as in tufts, seams, and folds of box springs and mattresses, in crevices of the bed frame, and in crevices of upholstered furniture where people sleep. Particularly in heavier infestations, bed bugs also may occupy hiding places further from the bed. They may hide in window and door frames, electrical boxes, floor cracks, baseboards, furniture, and under the tack board of wall-to-wall carpeting. Bed bugs often crawl upward to hide in pictures, wall hangings, drapery pleats, loosened wallpaper, cracks in plaster, and ceiling moldings.If you wish to speak with me for additional information, please email me your phone number and a good time to call you. Rather than use eXtension, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .