Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation
There is no doubt that recognizing the signs of a bed bug infestation can save you and your family from an ongoing ordeal inside your home, but are you aware that seeing bed bug signs can actually save you from getting a bed bug infestation in the first place? It's true. These are hitchhiking bugs. Before you see the signs of an infestation in your home, you may see them somewhere else, like in a hotel room, a taxi cab, a library, a movie theater, your place of work, the home of a relative or friend, and more. Bed bugs have been found infesting a wide range of locations. If you recognize the signs, you may be able to keep these blood-eating insects from riding back with you to your home.
It may seem strange to have identification as one of the signs of a bed bug infestation, sort of like saying, "If you see these bugs crawling around, you have these bugs." But, it isn't quite that straightforward. That thought process might work for describing the signs of a raccoon in your house. But, that is because you're not likely to see a raccoon digging in your kitchen trash, and then and move on as if nothing is going on. Sadly, bed bugs are often dismissed as an irritating gnat, or some other biting insect.
If you see an insect about the size of the tip on a pen sucking blood out of your arm, hand, or leg, you may want to take a closer look before you squish it and move on. In its first instar, a bed bug won't be much more than a speck on your skin, but as it feeds, it will become more noticeable. While its transparent skin makes it hard to see when it is unfed, the bright red color of your blood inside its abdomen will make it easier to see.
Examine the tiny bug that is feeding on you. See if, along with transparent skin, it also has 6 legs, two antennae, and no visible wings. If it fits this description, it is a bed bug in its first or second instar.
As bed bugs mature, they take on a rusty red coloring. If the bug that is feeding on you is smaller than an apple seed and has horizontal indentations on its abdomen, it is probably a bed bug. Look closely and see if you can see black, feces-coated internal structures inside the bug. If you can, it is definitely a bed bug.
Things Left Behind By Bed Bugs
When bed bugs infest, they will leave traces of their presence in the form of shed skins, tiny white eggs, blood stains, feces, and streaks caused by feces. You are most likely to find these in the creases of mattresses, around the stitching in upholstered furniture, on sheets and pillowcases, by carpet edges, on baseboards, in luggage, and on clothing. It is a good idea to look for these if you plan to stay overnight anywhere. It is also good practice to use the light on your smartphone to search for these while sitting in a movie theater or some other dark place that has a seat or a couch. The minor inconvenience of searching for bed bugs could save you a big inconvenience in the long run.
Bed bugs use pheromone scents to communicate with each other. If there are enough bed bugs infesting one spot, this smell will become noticeable. Some compare it to the smell of a damp, locker room towel. If you smell something, take a closer look, no matter where you are.
If you see bites on your skin, or the skin of someone else, those bites could be the sign you need to recognize the presence of a bed bug infestation. Though bed bug bites can be confused with bites from other insects, there are a couple distinct differences.
Individual bed bugs will feed multiple times. Therefore, bed bug bites will often look like a trail across the skin. Bites from fleas, mosquitoes, and other pests will usually be random on the skin.
Bed bug bites are often associated with a rash. In some cases, this rash can take on a purple coloring. If you see bites with a purplish, red rash around them, you may want to take a closer look for other bed bug signs.
It is never fun to be bitten by bed bugs. Remember to keep an eye out for all the signs of a bed bug infestation. And, if bed bugs take root in your home, remember to give American Pest Solutions a call for immediate relief from these traumatizing insects.