Are you unsure if you have bed bugs present in your home? Here’s a few ways to be sure.
No one wants to have a bed bug problem, but unfortunately, every home can be susceptible to these blood-sucking insects. Many homeowners and residents have no idea what to look for when trying to figure out if bed bugs are present, which can delay treatment and cause the situation to get worse. Today, we’re going to discuss how to know if you have bed bugs and then touch on the most effective treatments available.
Common Warning Signs of Bed Bugs
The good news is that there are several common warning signs of bed bugs. You simply need to watch for the clues and then act upon the evidence right away.
Here are a few tips on how to know if you have bed bugs in your home:
Live Bed Bugs
The most obvious sign you have bed bugs is actually seeing one or more of them crawling around. This doesn’t happen too often because even adult bed bugs are small and typically stay hidden until it’s time to feed, but it can definitely happen. You can identify bed bugs by their reddish-brown color are approximate size of flax seeds. They also resemble other small insects such as spider beetles and carpet beetles.
Bed Bug Eggs
Bed bug eggs can be tricky to deal with because they’re so small and not all bed bug treatments work against them. These eggs are only about one millimeter long and appear as white ovals. They can be found loosely stuck on a variety of surfaces, but can sometimes be hard to recognize unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. A female bed bug will typically lay between one and seven eggs per day, so you might find quite a few in a single location.
Just like many other insects, bed bugs shed their exoskeleton as they transition from one life stage to the next. These bed bug shells are very small and will often be crushed, but it’s common to find some of them intact and hidden in mattress seams and within cracks and gaps of wooden furniture. These casings are yellowish-brown in color but also translucent, which makes them easily identifiable.
If you roll over onto a bed bug while it’s feeding or once it’s engorged itself on your blood, a bit of it might squeeze out onto your sheets, clothing, or pillows. This usually doesn’t kill the bed bug, but will leave behind a red or rust-colored stain that may appear as either splotches or smears. This may also happen while a bed bug is feeding because let’s just say that they don’t always have great table manners.
Like all other pests, bed bugs can leave behind their feces pretty much anywhere. These appear as tiny brown or black specks that are approximately the size of a pen tip. You can find these fecal stains on sheets, pillows, clothing, headboards, mattresses, and box springs. In some situations, you may even see fecal spots on a room’s curtains or walls.
Red, Itchy Bites
One of the most obvious signs that you may have a bed bug problem is waking up with small, red, itchy bumps on your skin that often appear as a cluster of three or four bites in a line. Although other insects will bite from time to time, bed bugs actually feast on you at night which often makes these itchy spots inevitable.
For most people, these bites can be treated with ointment and rarely cause infection. However, keep in mind that nearly a third of people aren’t bothered by bed bug bites and won’t exhibit any symptoms at all.
A Musty Smell
When you have a number of bed bugs in a specific room, then you may experience a musty odor. This is caused by a pheromone that the bed bugs release when they’ve been disturbed or threatened. The smell has been compared to cilantro, raspberries, and other somewhat sweet odors, but a severe infestation causes it to smell more like wet towels or moldy laundry.
Getting bitten in the middle of the night is an unpleasant experience that can often lead to a restless night’s sleep. If you wake up several times in the middle of the night or feel unusually fatigued when you wake up, this could be another indication of an active bug bite situation. Each person will react to bed bug bites in a different way, however, so your sleeping pattern may or may not change.
Odd Pet Behavior
If your pets are behaving in a strange way or especially if they’re scratching a lot, then they probably have fleas. However, if you give them a once-over and you don’t find any evidence of fleas or ticks, then bed bugs may be what’s feeding on them at night. If you think this might be the case, give your pets a thorough bath and wash their beds and other items in hot water.
Best Method to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you wind up with a bed bug infestation, the best thing you can do is call a professional pest control company right away. These experts have a variety of elimination methods at their disposal, with a bed bug heat treatment being the most popular and effective.
With this eco-friendly treatment, the temperature of your home is raised to a level where bed bugs can’t survive and will die even if they’re in a great hiding spot within your furniture. This method will also kill bed bugs in all of their life stages including adults, nymphs, and eggs.
Contact ProHealth Pest Control for Fast bed Bug Control
Once you’ve learned how to know if you have bed bugs and determined that there’s an infestation, it’s time to call the professionals at ProHealth Pest Control. Our experts will assess the situation and provide you with the options available to you. If you have any questions about bed bug control or would like to set up an appointment, call (727) 310-0521 today to schedule a free consultation.