The absolute last thing a homeowner wants is for their home to be infested with bed bugs. Although bed bugs are not known to spread or transmit viruses or diseases, their itchy bites can make most individuals scratch hysterically, leading to skin infections and possibly bleeding.
Numerous indications of bed bug presence can be found within and around the beds they normally infect. Once these critters suck your blood, your legs, arms, underarms, and other exposed parts of your body will all have red, swollen bite marks. Additionally, wherever bed bugs go or hide, they would always leave behind a lot of telltale signs like excrements, exoskeletons, bloodstains, musty stench, and eggs.
Bed Bug Appearance and Behavior
Bed bugs resemble apple seeds. However, despite their tiny size, bed bugs may cause you a significant amount of stress and inconvenience. They range in color from pale brown to dark, reddish brown. When they fill their bellies with blood, their bodies get rounder and practically bright red in color. Initially, they have flat and oval body forms.
The frequency of blood consumption by bed bugs is every 5 to 10 days, and they are fairly resilient critters. The United States Environmental Protection Agency theorized that these creatures can survive with an empty stomach for many months, even a year. They do indeed suck blood, specifically human blood, every night for roughly ten minutes when their victim is fast asleep. They are wingless creatures, therefore all they do is quietly and stealthily crawl, making it difficult for others to detect them right away.
Despite not being able to fly, bed bugs may move fast around walls, floors, and ceilings. Over the course of their lifetime, female bed bugs can produce hundreds of eggs, each approximately the size of a grain of dust.
Spotting Bed Bug Indications
Bed bugs don’t have anything good to give, which is why they are regarded as nuisances and pesky creatures. No matter how undetectable they may be, there are several indications of bed bug activity that we simply cannot ignore. In order to take the necessary action to get rid of them before they spread and take over our home, we need to be able to recognize these indicators. For starters, look for these three major signs:
- Very itchy bites on different body parts
Clearly, having such extremely itchy bites all of a sudden after you’ve slept the night before is a warning sign you may have bed bugs inside your home. Because they initially resemble mosquito bites, bed bug bites are frequently misdiagnosed as mosquito bites. Bed bugs leave behind tiny, swollen red patches after biting. The mark may have a lighter red ring surrounding a dark red center.
How can we tell if the bites are mosquito bites or bed bug bites? Well, if the bite marks are grouped together and follow a zigzag or straight pattern, bed bugs are probably responsible for the bites. Bite marks can be found on the person’s face, neck, arms, legs, armpits, torso, and any body part you expose while sleeping. The bites from bed bugs could or might not itch depending on the sensitivity of the person bitten, but some people show extreme allergic reaction to bed bug bites. Also, bed bug bites usually take longer, like several days or weeks, before they totally heal or disappear.
- Dark excrements on mattresses, linens, and walls
The excrements or feces of bed bugs are typically rusty or dark brown because they have consumed blood from their host. These liquid wastes have the appearance of stains or smears that are present everywhere they live or hide. They look similar to dark spots made by a marker seen more commonly on the sides or seams of mattresses, padded furniture, wallpapers, and other linens since these are their usual hiding spots. Suitcases, materials made of fabric, old or used beds and furniture, and other items people carry when traveling are like vessels that allow bedbugs to transfer locations and infiltrate your home undetected. Bed bugs can squeeze into spaces as narrow as a credit card due to their flattened bodies. Unlike ants and bees, bed bugs do not build nests; instead, they prefer to reside in colonies in dark concealed areas. Mattresses, bed frames, box springs, and headboards are frequently where they first hide since they provide easy access to prey for nighttime attack.
- Molted skin (Exoskeletons)
Every time they feed, young bed bugs must molt. They will go through five skin changes before reaching full adulthood. Immediately following a blood meal, bed bugs shed in their regular hiding spots, leaving behind their transparent and tan colored skin castings. It can be difficult to see these very tiny exoskeletons. The shed skin soon gets dry and flaky, so touching it will make it break or disintegrate. To confirm if you are dealing with bed bugs, you can look for their exoskeletons in areas where they hide or tuck themselves away, such as the bed’s corners, underneath, and other spaces close to your bed.
Aside from these three primary indicators, however, there are also other telltale signs of bed bugs, namely bloodstains on bed sheets and musty odor that won’t seem to go away. Also, once the infestation has already gone severe, a couple of live bed bugs will start showing themselves. Spotting one or two of these pesky pests is a sure sign that they have already grown their numbers to a huge extent and that you must already take action. Simply paying attention to the signs of bed bug activity will allow homeowners to determine whether bed bugs are in fact scurrying around within their residences. Examining every area or space in the home where these insects might be lurking would be the next step. Bed bugs move so quickly and proliferate fast. If you can find these pesky bugs, you may use practical solutions–such as heat treatment–to completely get rid of them and stop them from coming back into your house. Most of all, it’s important you contact your trusted local pest control company and have a licensed bed bug exterminator examine your property as soon as possible.
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