Bed bugs have been a pest of significance for literally thousands of years. This nocturnal parasite feeds on our blood, causing itchy bites and irritation not to mention great mental anxiety to us, their human hosts. While they have not been found to transmit disease, they are an important public health pest.
Concerned homeowners often ask the question, ‘Do I have bed bugs’? The best way to determine whether or not you have bed bugs is to regularly inspect your home, and particularly your sleeping areas, for signs of an infestation and less so for the bed bugs themselves, which could be quite difficult to find due to their size and nocturnal habits.
Educating yourself on what a bed bug infestation looks like and regularly inspecting your home and sleeping areas for the following signs will help you to uncover a bed bug infestation early. Prevention and early detection of bed bugs are keys to faster control, less expensive treatments and maintaining your ‘peace of mind’. Review the following signs to determine whether you may have a bed bug infestation in your home:
1. Dark spots 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch in diameter or red spots from a fresh feeding or from a crushed bed bug. These can be either small spots of dried blood left over from a feeding or even fecal spots from the bugs. Some spots appear dark and others look faded as though a magic marker had made the spot and the ink bled a little.
2. Bed bug eggs which are tiny, 1mm long white and elongated or eggshells, that may appear glued to a surface.
3. Cast skins that the nymphs (young bed bugs) shed as they grew through their 5 nymphal sizes.
4. Live bed bugs themselves that can be seen by the naked eye, although they are quite tiny. Bed bugs are flat and often hide in tight areas near the bed and their human host. Try sliding a credit card through thin gaps near the bed that may disturb the bugs and increase your chances of seeing them if they are present.
5. Another sign of a bed bug infestation may be unexplained bites on one person in a household. Note that although two or more people in a household may be fed on by bed bugs not everyone reacts to bed bug bites.
6. If the infestation is large, signs of bed bugs will be found beyond the bed and bedding and a sickly sweet odor will likely be present.
For more tips on uncovering a bed bug infestation in your home, refer to a previous blog on ‘How to Inspect for Bed Bugs’. If frequent travel, multi-unit living or having a college or student boarding away at school puts you at high risk for a bed bug infestation consider how an active mattress liner can help lower your risk of bed bug infestations. Learn more by visiting us online today.