How to spot bed bugs? Bed bugs are small brownish insects that usually feed on human blood at night. An adult bed bug is almost the size of an apple seed, however, after feeding, it can swell up and look reddish in color. Detecting bed bugs can be rather difficult as they are tiny and can easily fit into crevices and cracks. If a credit card can go through a crack, so can a bedbug.
5 Effective Ways to Spot Bed Bugs
Bed bugs widely inhabit the piping of mattresses, headboards, seams of couches, and chairs, between the cushions, and are found in the many folds of curtains too. They can also be found in the joint of drawers and receptacles of electrical sockets and appliances. Below are some indicators of how to spot bed bug infestations:
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1) Bed bug bites – Bed bugs are usually active at night and mainly bite people when they are sleeping. Bed bug bites are commonly found on body parts that are usually uncovered when you sleep, like your face, arms, shoulders, neck, and legs. These bites normally range from tiny itches to inflamed red blisters over a course of a few days.
The bites may not become obvious for several days for some individuals, whereas, others may develop red welts, itching, and swelling the day after being bitten by bed bugs. Bed bug bites are not always initially painful and can go unnoticed for hours or sometimes even days. So this allows bed bugs to withdraw human blood for up to 10 minutes with every feeding. Bed bugs usually pierce the human skin with their elongated beaks to extract blood.
2) Live bugs – Adult bed bugs are about 4.5mm, have a rusty brown color, and are quite easy to spot. They move quickly and the recently hatched bed bugs are almost invisible to the naked eye as their color varies from transparent to a light yellow color.
If you are lucky enough you may see live bed bugs stealthily crawling back into the seams of your mattress or towards the headboard of your bed. These bugs would generally be the ones who have just had their feed and crawl slower than they usually would.
3) Stains and spots – When changing positions while you sleep, your body weight can crush bed bugs, and when they bleed they leave reddish clusters of rusty-looking stains or spots on your mattress and bedsheets. Bed bug excrement also leaves black spots like that of a fabric marker. These are one of the most common indicators of bedbugs.
4) Eggs and skins – You may also find bed bug eggs that they lay to reproduce and further their generation. The size of the eggs is about a millimeter and milky white in color. They usually are laid in crevices of mattress seams and sometimes under the furniture cushions.
As the size of their eggs is really small, a single egg is quite impossible to detect with the naked eye. Before turning into adult bed bugs, the young ones called nymphs shed their pale yellow skins about 5 times. The shed skins look like a live bugs, but are translucent and do not move. The skins and eggs are yet another way to confirm bed bug infestations.
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5) Odor – The scent glands of bed bugs secrete a musty odor, often likened to that of berries. This odor is called an alarm pheromone. If the infestation is large enough, you can easily detect this bed bug smell. At higher concentrations, the odor can be unpleasant.
You would imagine that bed bug poop too would smell like any other, however, as their main feed is on blood which is rich in iron, their poop has got a kind of musty smell. As a result, bed bug poop smells like human blood.
Once you have spotted bed bugs and confirmed the infestation, you need to get rid of them quicker than you found them. They reproduce quickly and this could lead to an even larger infestation that you may not be able to control with household remedies. If you have a larger infestation on your hands, getting rid of the bed bugs will typically require a strategic approach with professional methods to completely remove them from your home.
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