The possibility of a bed bug infestation is not something you want to “wait out.” A female bed bug can lay anywhere from 200 to 500 eggs in her lifetime, meaning an infestation can happen fast. Additionally, these blood-sucking pests can be very difficult to get rid of on your own. Bed bug eggs, in particular, are resistant to many treatments, leaving them around to keep the population alive. Bed bugs are also great at hiding, so without the help of a professional, it is nearly impossible to locate every last one.
If you have any kind of concern about a bed bug infestation at your home, then contact your local Western Exterminator office today.
Here are five signs of a bed bug infestation that you should never ignore.
Signs of bed bugs
1. You wake up with itchy red spots.
Bed bug bites are typically small, red, and may itch. However, not all people react to bed bug bites. About 30-60% of people have no reaction at all. These bites are typically found on areas near blood vessels on the neck, hands, arms, and legs. Bed bug bites often occur during the night when we’re sleeping.
When they bite, bed bugs inject an anesthetic, so it is unlikely that the bite will wake you up. More likely, you may become aware of these bites in the morning. Although it is difficult to determine what caused the irritation just by looking, bites are a sign that you may want to have your home inspected.
2. You find blood stains on your pillowcase or sheets.
Bed bugs inject anticoagulants when they feed, which can cause a droplet of blood to form on your skin as the insect stops feeding. These droplets can then be transferred to your bedding. If you wake up with bloody polka dots on your bed, you might want to have your home inspected for bed bugs.
3. You see dark, rust-colored spots on your mattress.
Bed bugs frequently leave fecal stains on bedding and other areas. These spots often smear when touched and can have an unpleasant odor. Fecal stains look like someone touched the fabric with a felt-tipped marker. If you don’t see any evidence of bed bugs in your bed, take a look at your walls. These same fecal stains can be present on solid surfaces as tiny black spots resembling black pepper and found behind wall hangings, in corners, or on your walls.
4. You find a collection of cast skins.
As they grow, bed bugs shed their skin. These cast skins appear as tan-colored husks. Cast skins are typically found in or around the areas where bed bugs hide, such as the creases of mattresses, but can sometimes be found under furniture and along baseboards.
5. You see the insect itself.
Adult bed bugs are light brown, with a flattened oval shape, wingless insects with six legs. Bed bugs are approximately the size of an apple seed (about ¼ inch long), but become swollen and darker reddish-brown color after a blood meal.
There are some other types of bugs that look like bed bugs that can incite panic in anyone who confuses the two. The bug that is most similar in appearance to bed bugs is the bat bug. Other similar insects include spider beetles, booklice, carpet beetles, and fleas. If you are unsure of which pest is plaguing you, give Western Exterminator a call. Proper identification is key to effective elimination. One of our bed bug experts will come out to your property and identify the pest.
Are you at risk for a bed bug infestation?
In addition to watching out for the signs above, there are a few other factors to keep in mind regarding bed bug infestations.
- Your friends or neighbors have had bed bugs.
Bed bugs can spread from person to person. If you visit a neighbor’s home who has bed bugs, you could carry them back home with you.
- You recently bought second-hand furniture or a used mattress.
When you bring used furniture into your home, bed bugs may hitch a ride on these items.
- You recently stayed at a hotel.
Prior visitors could have brought bed bugs in, leaving the pests there to wait for your arrival.
If you notice signs of bed bugs or suspect you have a bed bug infestation, it’s important to contact a licensed pest control professional to inspect your home. Every bed bug infestation is different. Western Exterminator offers customized treatment plans to meet your needs. Contact us or give us a call at 888-444-6138 today.