This is a question it seems everyone asks themselves at least once in their life. Bed bugs are elusive creatures that no one wants to encounter or have to deal with in their home. There are simple ways of prevention to avoid bringing bed bugs into your home, but sometimes it happens. The best method to getting rid of bed bugs is doing so quickly. In order to do that, you have to know the signs and where to look because they can be easily missed.
Bed Bug Bites
Seeing a bite is normally the beginning of thinking there are bed bugs in the house, but a lot of people don’t actually have a reaction until they have been bitten multiple times. Commonly, they are small bites in a line, though some people have different reactions like hives and rashes. Bed bug bites should be treated by washing them with soap and water to prevent infection and help with the itchiness. If the itchiness continues, you can apply corticosteroids to help. If you begin noticing signs like this, there are some places to look for more evidence of bed bugs.
What to Look For?
The next place to look is on your bed sheets. You normally won’t see bed bugs during the day because they are nocturnal, but they leave signs behind like blood and fecal spots. Bed bugs normally only feed every five to 10 days when they are fully grown, but immature bed bugs will feed more often in order to molt. If you see little spots of blood on your bed or pajamas then that is a good indicator that something isn’t right. They may also leave behind fecal matter which are dark brown spots or smears where they feed or hide.
Bed Bug Shells
Another sign to look for is bed bug shells where they may live or feed. Bed bugs molt at least five times in their life and do so right after they feed because that is when they grow so large, they can’t fit in their exoskeleton anymore. They leave these shells behind wherever they molt, which may be on bed sheets or places they hide, like in cracks, crevices, and folds of bedding and furniture near where they may feed. Look in these places for varying sizes of shells, including small, pearly white eggs for an indicator that you have an infestation.
The Bugs Themselves
Bed bugs are nocturnal, so they come out to feed at night and hide during the day. Many people don’t know what they look like, but if you are able to see one, you need to know what they look like in order to properly identify them. Bed bugs grow a lot when they are maturing, but an adult bed bug is approximately 5 millimeters, which is about the size of an apple seed. They are flat and wingless insects that have a reddish-brown color. Once they feed, they swell and turn a brighter red color. If you see one, it means there are many more somewhere close by and it is time to bring a professional in.
There is a large fear of getting bed bugs, but many people still don’t take any precautionary methods. When you travel, take a small flashlight and do some investigating around the furniture and bedding for these signs. Take a trash bag and keep your suitcase or bags in there at night to prevent them from hiding there later. Thoroughly clean and inspect any second-hand furniture you bring into your home, especially mattresses and box springs. Finally, keep an eye out for your pets and inspect their areas often to be sure it is clean there as well.
Bed bugs can be very difficult to get rid of. If you find any evidence of bed bugs, then call a professional in pest control to come look. It can take multiple methods of extermination to get rid of bed bugs once an infestation has begun, so a professional will be able to do a proper investigation of where they are and create a plan of how to take care of them.