When most people find a few insects in their homes, they write the situation off. They’ll just likely remove the bugs, without giving it a second thought. This might be different with a snake or a spider
, but an ant
, or a bed bug,
most people will write off. Unfortunately, that is entirely the wrong way to look at the situation, especially if you are dealing with bed bugs
. Heck, the sight of a bed bug
in or around the property is a surefire reason to get the pros involved.
What Are A Few Bugs A Big Deal?
It’s possible that a few bed bugs
could be in the home and it’s not a cause for concern, right? Wrong! Bed bugs
are social pests, meaning where there is one, there are many just right around the corner. You are going to be in double trouble if that bug you spot is female. This is because these bugs are prolific breeders and maters. A single female bed bug can lay as many as 500 eggs in a lifetime.
All that being said, spotting a bed bug in the home is such a huge cause for concern because bed bugs are cryptic pests. This means they will go out of their way to avoid detection. There have even been reported cases where they completely rearranged their sleeping habits to match that of their hosts. For instance, if you sleep at night and work during the day, the critter will start sleeping during the day so it can feed at night. Pretty stealthy, so why would these bugs be out in the open?
If a bug is out in the open, where you can spot it, it likely means that the infestation has grown so widespread that they started pushing each other into the home. You don’t need to be a pest management professional to see that this is a huge cause for concern.
Why Are Bed Bugs Are To Spot?
From what you’ve learned so far, you can likely deduce that bed bugs are extremely stealthy creatures. You combine this with the fact that they are slim as credit cards and a reddish-brown color that easily blends in with common household items, and it just makes everything all that more troubling. Another troubling thing you likely don’t want to hear is that not everyone reacts to the bites. Usually, most people use the bites as a sign and symptom of an infestation.
People who are not aware they are being victimized by these parasites will eventually end up facing full-blown infestations. This applies to most victims, which is one of the things that makes the situation so troubling.
Confirm The Infestation
What’s even worse is, bed bug bite marks are similar to that of flea and mosquito bites. Just because you’re waking up in the middle of the night with bite marks, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are dealing with bed bugs. You might have a flea or mite infestation on your hands. This is why you almost have to procure a sample of the bed to confirm the infestation. Unfortunately, this will be extremely difficult. That being said, if you are lucky enough to procure a sample, you should know that the buds are oval-shaped, reddish-brown, less than 10 millimeters long, and have small, segmented antennae.
Many would say that these critters look similar to cockroach nymphs, fleas, and carpet beetles. The bites will be similar as well. However, bed bug bites are more likely to appear on the feet, ankles, hands, arms, neck, and face.
The Signs And Symptoms
Learning to spot the early warning signs of a bed bug infestation will be key to successfully stopping the problem early. The earlier you start treating the infestation, the much better off you’ll be. You’ll potentially save yourself a bundle of money and a whole hassle of headache. That being said, in order to hit the infestation early on, you’ll need to know the signs and symptoms. Here are some of the things you’ll want to look for:
Bloodstains: Look for rusty, reddish-brown stains on the sheets and linen. This could be a sign that you’ve rolled over and squashed one of the bugs while it was feeding. It could also be dried blood from a recent feeding. Either way, it’s a sign of an infestation that you’ll surely want to keep an eye out for.
Exoskeletons: When bed bugs reach a certain age they will shed, similar to that of snakes and other reptiles. When doing so they’ll leave behind delicate, molted, and near-translucent skins. These skins usually resemble the bug right down to the letter, except for the color.
Eggs/Egg Casings: Bed bug eggs might only be about the sign of a pinpoint, but you’ll be able to spot them if they are there. Unfortunately, spotting them is not good, as it means a female recently hatched, bringing in more members to the family. You’re now going to have more bugs to contend with.
Fecal Matter: As distinguishing as it sounds, you can possibly spot fecal matter on the property during an infestation. This will usually show up in dark, blackish spots on the sheets. They’ll look similar to that of inkblots.
Bite Marks: As was mentioned earlier, not everyone reacts to bed bug bites, but most people. About 90 percent of the population does, so if you are one of the rare ones that don’t maybe your partner will.
Musty, Sweet Odors: When dealing with larger infestations it’s not uncommon to experience sweet, musty smells. Think of something similar to that of soda pop syrup.
Properly Searching For Bed Bugs
The truth of the matter is, when it comes to bed bugs, you will have to call in the pros at some point. Do-it-yourself methods and tactics just aren’t as effective and won’t likely eliminate the problem entirely. This doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can’t do or should do. You can start the search yourself, as it will move the process along. Procuring a sample of the bed will prove to the tech that you are dealing with a bed bug infestation.
What you’ll want to do is, strip all the linen and bedclothes from the bed. Take the pillowcases off, turn them inside out, and do the same with the comforters. Comb through all the creases and folds, while also flipping the mattress and box spring scouring every inch of them. Unfortunately, your search won’t end here. You’ll also have to get behind the baseboards, in the electrical outlets, and in the nightstands. Look for bugs, eggs, egg casings, exoskeletons, and fecal matter. All of these will be an indication of an infestation.