Just the thought of bed bugs is enough to send most of us into a cringe and unfortunately, they often find their way into the cleanest of homes. Most homeowners don’t even realize they have an infestation until the problem is advanced and they see active bugs, egg sacks, or nymphs. The best way to keep your home bed bug free is to inspect your beds and upholstery regularly and look for tell-tale signs that bed bugs may be nearby.
Bed Bug Signs That Are Often Overlooked
You may never see a bed bug, but it is easy to spot the signs of their presence, if you know what to look for. These signs are easily overlooked, so make a habit of checking for them when you clean:
- Tiny fecal stains or blood stains on your sheets, mattress, pillows, or pajamas
- Bites on the neck, face, arms, ankles, or other uncovered skin at night or early morning
- Itchy skin on uncovered skin at night or morning
- A musty, sweet smell means an established infestation
- Empty eggshells or exoskeletons left behind during molting
Look for stains, eggshells, and exoskeletons in the cracks and seams of your mattress and other upholstered furniture. Any of these signs mean you have a fight on your hands to get rid of these pesky creatures.
What do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Many people never see bed bugs, even though they may have many hiding away in their furniture. They are small, approximately 2/10 inches long (1/2 centimeter), flat, and wingless. They feed on blood, turning them from their normal light tan to brown color to a brownish red after a meal.
They like to hide in mattresses or upholstery and come out to feed while you are sleeping. They are attracted by your body heat and the carbon dioxide in your breath. If you see a bedbug or suspect you have an infestation, you should take steps to treat it immediately.
Is it Bed Bugs? Bed Bug Bites vs. Mosquito Bites
We are all familiar with the round puffy white or reddish bumps that appear a minute or two after a mosquito bites you. But many people mistake a bed bug bite for a mosquito bite without knowing the difference.
Bed bug bites are often unnoticed at the time of the bite. They leave reddish bumps or splotches that may become itchy and burning, however may have no symptoms at all. Usually, the bed bug will continue to bite in the same area, leaving a series of welts in the same spot. The bites take a few days to heal and may form a pattern.
What Else Looks Like Bed Bug Bites?
Flea bites and bed bug bites are often confused. Flea bites leave small red, itchy bites on the ankles and feet. Flea bites clear up quickly, while bed bug bites remain for several days.
Another possibility is spider bites. They leave behind red skin, swelling, and pain. Some spider bites can be serious, depending on the type of spider.
How Can Smithereen Pest Management Help?
Smithereen Pest Management has a team of bed bug experts that can help you decide how to best treat your bed bug problem. We can:
- Perform a thorough inspection
- Help you understand bed bugs and how to get rid of them
- Teach you how to avoid re-infestation
- Show you the best strategies to deal with your bed bug problem
The first step in getting rid of your bed bugs is to give us a call. We’ll help with the rest.