Signs To Look Out For To Determine If You Have Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are small, flat, oval-shaped insects that feed on human blood. An infestation can happen anywhere, even in the cleanest homes. Knowing the signs of bed bugs can help you detect an infestation early and take action. Here, we provide the key things to look out for.
One of the most apparent indicators of a bed bug infestation is small, red, irritated bites on your skin. You’ll often see the bites clustered together in a line or group. Bed bug bites can take 2-3 days to appear after initial feeding, so check areas like your neck, arms, and legs regularly for any bite marks.
The bites may be random or create a recognizable pattern on your body. Carefully inspect your skin, especially after waking up or sitting on upholstered furniture, for evidence of bites.
Though some people do not react to bed bug bites, they can confirm the presence of the pests.
Inspect your sheets, mattress, and bedding for tiny dark blood stains or smears. These spots are left behind when bed bugs are crushed. The blood spots could be reddish-brown or black.
You may also notice similar staining on upholstered furniture, carpets, and rugs near the bed. Examine pillowcases and the underside of mattresses, too. The number and size of the blood stains can vary greatly, depending on the extent of the infestation.
A few spots may signal a small problem, while copious staining indicates a larger bug population.
Molted Bed Bug Skins
As bed bugs mature from nymphs to adults, they molt or shed their outer exoskeletons. These discarded skins can be found in areas where bed bugs hide. Look in fabric folds, seams, and tufts of mattresses, furniture, and behind headboards.
The cast-off skins are translucent, light brown, and very tiny – about the size of a poppy seed. They may accumulate in large groupings in heavy infestations. But even just one shell can indicate their presence. Carefully inspect these prime spots where sloughed skins tend to collect due to the bugs’ natural movements.
A robust and musty-sweet scent may arise from an infestation. This odor comes from pheromones and scent glands the bugs use to communicate. Some liken the smell to rotting raspberries or almonds. Others say it resembles the herb coriander.
The smell is distinctive, but not everyone notices or recognizes this stench. Be alert for any unusual and persistent sweet odors in areas where you sleep or sit for long periods. This smell could indicate bed bugs even without other obvious markers.
Look for tiny black specks the size of ground pepper on your sheets, mattress, and nearby furniture. These dark dots are fecal stains from bed bugs. The droppings are sometimes mistaken for dirt but are a telltale marker of bed bugs.
Thoroughly check the seams, folds, and edges of your mattress. Inspect crevices and joints of bed frames and headboards. Also, they may be found on furniture, carpets and elsewhere. The accumulation of this dried excrement indicates bed bugs have been actively nesting and feeding in an area.
Numerous specks of bed bug feces are a major red flag that you may have an infestation on your hands.
Eggs and Eggshells
Females can deposit up to five eggs daily, frequently laying them in concealed areas around beds. Look for the eggs tucked into cracks, seams, folds, and crevices of mattresses, bed frames, furniture, and baseboards.
The eggs are creamy white, oval-shaped, and extremely small – about the size of a pinhead. You may also find empty yellowish eggshells in clusters once the babies have hatched.
These abandoned shells are another vital clue for an active bed bug nursery. The presence of eggs or eggshells confirms reproduction is taking place, allowing the infestation to multiply.
Live Bed Bugs
Actually, seeing live bed bugs is one of the most definitive signs of an infestation. Bed bugs are tiny wingless insects that range in color from translucent to light tan to rusty brown. Unfed bugs are oval-shaped and flattened, about the size of an apple seed. After a blood meal, they swell in size and become more elongated.
The bugs may actively crawl out from hiding spots or try to scatter quickly if disturbed. The presence of living, moving bed bugs confirms you have an active infestation that must be addressed.
Pets like dogs and cats can also fall victim to bed bugs in the home. The bugs feed on animal blood in addition to humans. As a result, pets may become restless, anxious, and agitated as they are bitten during the night.
Reactions include scratching, biting, and licking at their skin and fur. Examine your pet’s bedding and areas they frequent for signs of bed bugs. Unexplained agitation in dogs or cats combined with bites or skin irritation could indicate an infestation.
Pets can alert and react to bed bugs even before humans notice.
Additional Tips Regarding Bed Bugs Worth Noting
- Bed bugs hide in dark, undisturbed spots, especially near where people sleep.
- Groups of bed bugs often congregate around blood meal sources. If you wake up with a group of bites, there may be a harborage of bugs living very close by.
- While they prefer to nest near beds, bed bugs will live anywhere with access to a blood meal. Be on the lookout in laundry rooms, under cushions, behind picture frames, and in unlikely areas away from beds.
- Bed bugs often infest hotels and can hitchhike home in luggage. If you wake up with itchy welts after returning from a trip, you may have brought bed bugs home.
Detect a Bed Bug Infestation – Contact Experts for Removal
Bed bugs can be a nightmare, but knowing the signs can help you catch an infestation early before it spreads.
If you discover any signs, contact Green Valley Wildlife Solutions, a professional Ohio bed bug pest control team that will thoroughly inspect your home or business and confirm if bed bugs are present. The method to eradicate bedbugs is safe while effectively removing them and their source.
Don’t live with bed bugs – contact Green Valley Wildlife Solutions today to discuss bed bug removal for your Ohio home or business.