The mere thought of bed bugs crawling around probably makes you a little itchy. Bed bug infestation reports are becoming more plentiful and common, meaning the possibility of having one in your home is ever-increasing.
With a possible bed bug infestation, you don’t want to just wait and see what happens. A single female bed bug can lay up to 12 eggs each day, totaling 200-500 throughout her entire lifetime. With such rapid life creation, an infestation can happen before you know it.
Further, because bed bugs reproduce so quickly and are excellent hiders, it is very difficult to be sure you have located every single bed bug at every life stage in your treatment efforts. Without the help of a professional, you’ll likely miss a few eggs at the very least…and the infestation persists. Over-the-counter bed bug treatments are often ineffective with bed bug eggs in particular. So even if you do find the insects, they may survive anyway.
If you think you have spotted the signs of bed bugs around your home or business, or have seen the insects or bites, contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office today.
The following five signs are indications of a bed bug infestation and should not be ignored.
1. There are red, itchy spots everywhere!
Bed bug bites are small and red but not everyone reacts to them. If you’re part of the 30-60% of people who do not have a reaction to bed bug bites, you’re lucky to be spared from the itching.
Bed bugs usually feed during the night, unbeknownst to their sleeping victims. People rarely wake up due to a bed bug bite, because they inject an anesthetic when they do so, preventing you from feeling it. Instead, you’ll probably just notice the bites when you wake up. You’ll find the bites in areas near blood vessels on the hands, legs, neck, and arms. Realistically, the bites could be from just about anything, but we’d suggest it’s better to be safe than sorry. A bed bug inspection just might be in order.
2. Your pillowcase and/or sheets are stained with blood.
When feeding on humans, bed bugs inject an anticoagulant to help the blood flow more freely. Doing so will cause a blood droplet to form at the feeding site which then transfers to your sheets. If you wake up to find mysterious blood spots in your bed, you might consider a bed bug inspection.
3. Your mattress is polka-dotted with rust-colored spots.
Besides the blood spots, bed bugs often leave behind fecal stains. These spots have an unpleasant odor and may smear if you touch them. Imagine you touched a felt-tipped marker to your sheets. The spot left behind is similar to what a bed bug fecal stain looks like. These stains won’t necessarily be limited to bedding — you may find them on your walls as well, especially behind pictures or in corners. On hard surfaces, fecal stains may look more like small black spots similar to black pepper.
4. Old, discarded skins begin to pile up.
As a part of the bed bug life cycle, they shed their skin. Once cast aside, the skin is tan in color, often found in the areas you might find bed bugs themselves. Such areas include mattress creases, furniture seams, and along baseboards.
5. The bed bugs show themselves.
Occasionally, you might see the actual bed bugs and not just the things they leave behind. Adult bed bugs are relatively flat and oval in shape. These light brown insects have six legs but no wings. After a blood meal, they usually become a bit swollen and darker brown. As far as size goes, bed bugs resemble an apple seed (about ¼ inch long).
There are a few bed bug imposters out there, and if you confuse them with bed bugs, it can be very concerning. Bat bugs, a common vexer of bats, are incredibly similar in appearance to bed bugs. Other insects often confused with bed bugs are fleas, booklice, spider beetles, and carpet beetles. If you are unsure about which pest hanging around, give Ehrlich a call. One of our highly-trained bed bug experts will pay your property a visit to identify the pest. This is key to developing the most effective treatment plan.
This list of signs is not an exhaustive collection of conditions, but they should pique your concern. If any of the following items apply to you, you may be at risk for a bed bug infestation.
- Your neighbors, friends, or others in close contact have contracted bed bugs.
Bed bugs can easily spread by hitching a ride on an item or even a person. Be especially cautious if you visit somewhere with a known bed bug issue. The bed bugs just have to jump on your clothing and just like that, you’ve given them a first-class ticket back to your home. Before you know it, you have a bed bug problem too.
- You recently purchased a mattress or furniture second-hand.
Bringing used furniture into your house does not come without risk. Bed bugs or their eggs could hide in the seams.
- You stayed at a hotel or hostel in the recent past.
Make sure to fully inspect your hotel room upon arrival. Prior occupants could have left bed bugs behind on the furniture that can then transfer to you our your possessions.
If you notice any of the aforementioned signs of bed bugs or if you have suspicions of a bed bug infestation, don’t waste time. Contact a licensed bed bug control expert to inspect your property so you may determine the best course of action going forward. Each bed bug infestation is unique, so we think your treatment plan should be too. Contact Ehrlich Pest Control or call us at 888-984-0186 today.