Bed bugs are irritating pests that can be extremely stressful. Like a curse, they appear in your bed out of nowhere, then they won’t seem to go away. Bed bugs do not carry any diseases, but they are very difficult to get rid of and they are known to cause lots of psychological distress. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
If you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, check out the following list of bed bugs signs and symptoms.
Seeing Bed Bugs
If you’ve never seen a bed bug before, you might not know what to look for. Bed bugs are brown little bugs, about one-quarter of an inch long, and teardrop-shaped, like apple seeds. Another telling feature is that they are very flat. Bed bugs hide during the day but there is a chance that you see them crawling on the bed while you are lying in it. You may also find them in the seams of your mattress, the joints of your bed frame, the night table, baseboards, and power outlets of infested rooms.
Bite Marks in the Morning
Waking up with bites on your skin is a strong indication that there are bed bugs in your home. Bite marks appear smaller than a mosquito’s, and they are usually very red. Another differentiator is the pattern in which bed bug bites appear. Bites usually come in straight lines, zig-zags, and clusters of multiple bites. Some people find bites very itchy, some don’t.
Stains on the Mattress
Looking for signs of bed bugs, you may have asked yourself, “what does bed bug poop look like?” The thing is bed bug poop doesn’t look like other animal droppings. It looks like little black stains. Bed bugs will leave little black and dark brown spots in the areas they infest, much like a person took a black marker and poked at the surface. Finding these stains on your mattress or near the bed may indicate a bed bug problem.
Blood Stains on the Sheets
Bed bugs feed at night when their victims are asleep. This lets the bugs go unnoticed, but people will sometimes roll around in their sleep, which can crush the bed bugs that were feeding on them. This act of crushing a bed bug in your sleep can leave bloodstains on the sheets. Waking up and finding a red or brown smear in the sheets may point to bed bugs.
Strange Smell in the Room
In some cases of bed bugs, people will smell a strange, musty, and sweet smell. Oddly, this smell is often similar to the smell of berries. Being able to smell this usually only happens in advanced infestations. However, if you notice a change in your bedroom, you should call a pest control company to inspect.
Eggs and Molts
Bed bug eggs are very difficult to see, though you may find them in your search for clues. Eggs are extremely small – about the size of a pinhead – and white. They can usually be found in the seams of mattresses and anywhere a bed bug may hide. Molts may also be found near eggs, which look like clear, see-through versions of live bed bugs.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
There are plenty of pest control products out there that you can use against bed bugs. Hardware stores, superstores, and online retailers sell insecticides and traps that are specifically designed for bed bugs. If you want to take care of the problem yourself, you will need to take apart your bed and inspect it thoroughly. Look for the bugs in your mattress, bed frame, baseboards, and all nearby furniture.
When you find bugs, spray them with an insecticide that is specifically formulated for bugs. Then, powder the bed frame and surrounding area with diatomaceous earth. You can also add traps to the bottoms of your bed legs and protect your mattress with a bedbug-proof cover. Repeat the spraying process again within a week and wash all your fabrics in hot water.
For guaranteed results, contact a local pest control company. A technician will perform an educated inspection, then treat the area with professional-grade pesticides and tools. The sprays that technicians use are much more effective than those sold in stores and they last for weeks, so if any bed bugs emerge later, they will perish. A technician can also use steam, which is powerful enough to destroy eggs.
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