Despite their name, bed bugs can live in a variety of environments and are not exclusively found in beds. In fact, if you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, checking your bed is only one part of the process. Keep reading to learn how to properly detect bed bug infestations.
Knowing Your Enemy
If you’re not familiar with bed bugs, any creepy crawler can be alarming when found in your bed. However, there are some major signs to keep an eye out for. They are reddish-brown in color, wingless, and oval-shaped. They can hide in all sorts of places, not just bedding. They can be found in cracks in walls or floors, behind wallpaper, or in any other tight place where they can hide. They have even been known to set up shop in places like remote controls, TVs and even computers. They tend to be busiest in the night, and they will feed on the blood of any person or animal they can find.
Don’t Ignore the Signs
Bed bugs are one of the most frustrating pests you can encounter. Although bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, they can cause a number of other health problems. Bed bug bites can result in skin rashes, allergic reactions, and psychological effects, such as insomnia and anxiety, due to their constant biting. If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, it is important to act fast. It gets harder to kill bed bugs the longer the infestation is allowed to go on. Here are some signs to look for that will help you detect bed bug activity in your home.
Small Blood Stains on Sheets or Pillowcases
Bed bugs bite their hosts while they are sleeping. These bites typically result in small blood stains on bedding materials. When their host rolls over, they can kill bed bugs, resulting in a small stain from crushing an engorged bug.
Excessively Scratching During the Night
If you wake up with unexplained bites on your body, it is likely that bed bugs are the culprits. Bed bugs usually bite people who are sleeping, so this is a telltale sign of an infestation.
Bed bugs shed their exoskeletons as they grow. These shed skins can be found in the same places where bed bugs are often found, such as mattresses, box springs, and bed frames.
Sweet Musty Odor
Another sign of a bed bug infestation is a sweet musty odor that is often described as smelling like coriander. This odor is produced by the scent glands of male bedbugs and is used to attract female mates.
A common sign of bedbugs is small fecal stains on mattresses or sheets. These stains are left behind after the bugs feed on their hosts’ blood.
Eggs and Eggshells
Bed bugs lay eggs which hatch into nymphs (immature insects). The eggs and eggshells can be found in the same places where adults and nymphs are often found such as mattresses, box springs, and bed frames.
Of course, seeing live insects is another surefire way to know if you have a bedbug problem. These insects are often found hiding in cracks and crevices during the day and come out at night to feed on their hosts’ blood.
Avoiding Bed Bug Infestations
The best way to prevent bed bugs is to practice regular cleaning and vacuuming habits. It is much harder to kill bed bugs than it is to prevent them. Be sure to wash all bedding in hot water at least once a week, and vacuum regularly, paying special attention to cracks and crevices where bed bugs could hide. If you suspect you have an infestation, contact a professional pest control company immediately for help.
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