How to Check for a Bed Bug Infestation?
Identifying bed bugs can be a demanding and challenging task, requiring a lot of patience for an untrained person. That's because bed bugs are quite tiny, flat, move exceedingly fast, and can easily wedge into the tiniest cracks and crevices.
These annoying pests are sneaky and very secretive too. Sadly, most home and business owners only realize they've been attacked when the infestation has already grown out of control and the damage done. But over the years, experts have studied bed bug behaviors and habits, and now you can accurately inspect and identify a bed bug infestation early.
For an accurate DIY bed bug inspection, the most important thing is to know how a bed bug looks, understand their behaviors, know the signs that you're looking for, where and how to search:
How Does A Bed Bug Look Like?
Bed bugs are tiny (nearly the size of an apple seed), flat and oval-shaped insects with an exoskeleton that has a reddish-brown color. After sucking a decent amount of blood, they tend to swell and double in size.
Bed bug eggs, nymphs, and adults are visible to the naked eye. You will easily identify their eggs since they are soft, sticky, whitish, and quite easy to pop!
Unlike most insects, bed bugs lack wings and hence cannot fly or jump. But don't underestimate these determined pests- they can crawl a good 30-40 feet from their hiding spot to their host and back. They will suck your blood for a continuous 5-11 minutes until they've had enough.
Thanks to their small size and slim bodies, bed bugs can squeeze through cracks the size of a needle. Their flat shape also allows them to wedge into tiny hiding spots as wide as a credit card.
Bed bugs are not very good feeders. They can survive on a single blood meal every 14 days. Once they have sucked enough, they retreat into their hiding spot to digest the blood, mate and breed hundreds of nymphs.
It's incorrect to assume that an infestation is permanently exterminated simply because you can't spot a bed bug days after DIY treating your home. Meanwhile, a pregnant bed bug could be hiding, and you'll be re-infested by hundreds of adult bed bugs and thousands of eggs in just 90 days!
That's why you need to contact a professional pest control company to control and kill bed bugs in all their stages while providing long-term protection from re-infestations.
Check Out: How Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like
The Most Common Bed Bug Hiding Spots
When bed bugs infest your house, they prefer to harbor close to their source of food. As such, you'll mostly find them in places where you like to your spend time, rest, or sleep.
Interestingly, these troublesome pests do not only prefer to dwell near beds for easy access to food; they are literally attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale at night in your sleep- creepy, right?
You'll often find these bed bugs hiding in the following places:
• The tiny cracks and crevices in bed frames, headboards, and walls
• Mattress seams and tags, as well as the foldings in your bed clothing.
• The joints in your drawers and inside your bags and purse.
• Behind wall hangings and wallpapers
• Under the seats
• In electrical appliances.
4 Simple Steps On How To Check For A Bed Bug Infestation (DIY)
Bed bugs are super sneaky, but you can beat them at their own game by following the simple steps below:
• Wear your gloves, and use a flashlight and credit card or any other flat-edged tool to thoroughly inspect your bed, bedding, mattress, and all places that may be exposed to the pests in your bedroom like nightstands, rags, carpet, couches, and furniture.
• Using your flashlight and credit card, inspect all cracks, crevices, and dressers. Disassemble and empty the drawers. Turn them over and use the card to scrape off and check bed bugs from their bottom.
• Use your touch to inspect underneath your couches and other furniture. Consider the area where the fabric and the furniture meet and below the cushions
• You must also consider every corner of your house, doorframes, ceilings, window panes, and curtains. Thoroughly inspect your electrical appliances, behind wall hanging, in your piles of books, and inside your wall clock.
The 5 Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation
Now that you know how to check for a bed bug infestation, below are the signs to watch out for:
Unexplained Reddish Stains On Your Bedding
Sometimes, you may squash or pop a bed bug while turning in your sleep. Blood may also continue oozing from the bitten area on your skin. Hence, you may notice tan, rusty, or brown stains on your bright bedding. Occasionally, these stains will have a red color.
Bed Bug Fecal Droppings
Recognizing bed bug poop is relatively easy. Remember, these parasitic pests solely feed on your blood, and they'll essentially excrete digested blood. The liquid is absorbed into the fabric, and it often appears as a small and flat dark spot. It can also have a rusty or brown color that you may easily mistake for dirt.
Bed Bug Eggs and Egg Shells
Like all other insects, these bloodsuckers possess an exoskeleton to protect their internal organs. The exoskeleton is non-living and doesn't grow. Therefore, bed bugs shed it off in order to grow. When shed, this exoskeleton is called a shell, and it looks 100% like a live bed bug. Bed bug shells and eggs are often found near your bed.
Coriander Like Odor
Bed bug scent glands often release a stale and musty odor. When the infestation is still minor, the smell is mild, but it worsens and becomes even nastier as the infestation grows bigger. Sometimes you may confuse this odor with that released by dump, dirty shoes.
Live Bed Bugs
Call a pest control professional as soon as bed bugs start getting too comfortable in your house to crawl around during the day. Identifying bed bugs is a hideously involving task because they are very tiny. The best way to check bed bugs is by inspecting their most common hiding spots.
What To Do When You Identify A Bed Bug Invasion
The best thing to do when you suspect or identify a bed bug infestation in your home is to call a pest control professional immediately. Home remedies and over-the-counter pesticides are often unsuccessful and ineffective, leaving the infestation to grow even more.
Check Out: Home Remedies & Treatment for Bed Bug Bites
Pest experts are highly trained to inspect your entire home and pinpoint all target areas. They will professionally determine the level and type of infestation being dealt with. Upon these findings, they will implement the best treatment solution that will safely eliminate the bed bugs and protect your home from future re-infestations. To give you peace of mind, the exterminator will also advise you on the best way to keep bed bugs away from your home.
Check Out: DIY or Hire Professionals for Bed Bugs
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