Are you worried that you have bed bugs?
These pesky little critters can be a nightmare for homeowners. They cause itchy and painful bite marks, and they can spread through a house in no time. If you travel, you can even bring them with you.
Do you know how to identify bed bugs so you can start to fix the problem as soon as possible?
We know all of the ins and outs of bed bug identification so we’re here to help you out. Whether you’re preparing for the future or you’re in the middle of a full-force infestation, we’ve got you covered.
Keep reading for several ways that you can identify bed bugs so you can get bed bug pest control services before it’s too late.
The First Warning Sign: Bed Bug Bites
Often, people don’t realize that they have a bed bug infestation until it starts to present itself via small red welts or itching. Bed bug bites are the first sign that you have a bed bug infestation, and you don’t even need to know how to identify them by sight.
These bites happen while you’re sleeping and they occur in areas that are exposed to the mattress or under loose clothing. Bedbugs bite to suck your blood.
A side note: not everyone responds to bed bug bites. This means that while it’s a good indicator, not feeling bites doesn’t mean that you don’t experience them. Bed bugs have an anesthetic in their bites that may stop you from feeling the telltale itching and burning.
It’s also possible for people to attribute these bites to other things, like allergies, mosquitoes, or fleas. Checking for bedbugs and visual signs of bedbugs is an important next step even if you’re almost positive that they’re the source of the bites.
Because bed bugs suck your blood when they bite, a good sign of bed bugs is an assortment of tiny blood stains on your shirt and mattress.
They’re hard to spot. When you start experiencing bites, look closely at your clothes and your sheets to see if there’s any indication of blood.
Some people get fecal spots confused with blood spots after a series of bed bug bites. While they look similar from a distance, up close it’s easy to tell which is which.
These fecal spots are dark in color instead of red because the blood has been digested. Instead of small dots, they appear in smears.
While bed bugs themselves hide during the daytime, making them difficult to spot, they molt their skins every so often and leave them behind in plain sight.
As bed bugs reach adulthood, they shed their skins to accommodate their growing bodies. The shells are light brown and clear, and they can appear in the thousands even if you haven’t noticed an infestation yet.
Check around your bed, your headboard, and the sides of your mattresses to see if you can find any of these shells. Because they don’t move, they’re easier to spot even though they’re tiny.
Bed bugs shed their entire skin, so it will look like an actual bug rather than flakes.
The Bugs Themselves
If you’re lucky (but not lucky enough to avoid an infestation), you’ll see a living bed bug in your home.
The bugs are small, but not invisible. They grow to be about five millimeters, making them very visible to the human eye. The problem is that they’re more likely to come out at night and they see you as a danger. They aren’t prone to appearing when you’re awake.
Lifting your mattress, checking behind any loose wallpaper near the bed, or looking behind any loose belongings, are the best bets for seeing the bed bugs while they’re alive.
You may also see dead bed bugs in the crevices of your mattress or headboard. Bed bugs live for anywhere between two and four months, but it may take a month or two to notice them. While their lifespan is short, they can lay hundreds of eggs in that time and eggs only take a few days to hatch. Your problem will grow exponentially until you handle it.
What to Do When You’ve Identified Bed Bugs
So you know that you have bed bugs. What do you do now?
You can’t get rid of a bed bug infestation on your own. You’ll be surprised at how far these bugs can spread, so even if you think you’ve rid your bedroom of them, they may be in the walls, in the living room furniture, in your linens, and in the bedrooms of your family members.
Contact a professional through a bed bug pest control service to make sure that they’re eradicated completely.
In the meantime, it’s a good idea to clean. Remove all of the contaminated linens and run them through a washer and dryer. The dryer should be on the high heat setting to make sure that all of the bed bugs die. Keep the linens in plastic bags after this until you’re sure that bed bugs are gone.
Bed bugs can live for several months to a year without a host, but they don’t respond well to heat.
Do You Know How to Identify Bed Bugs In Your Home?
Knowing how to identify bed bugs is important for every homeowner or renter. Bedbugs are common, and there are so many ways to bring them home without even realizing it. Having bedbugs doesn’t mean that your home is unsanitary.
If you need help getting rid of your bed bugs, we have bed bug pest control options for you. Contact us to learn how we can help you and set up an appointment today.