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How To Tell If You Have Bed Bugs

Advice From Moyer Indoor | Outdoor

Are you finding painful red welts on your skin that seem to be in a cluster, or follow a trail? Are the bites surrounded by a rash that makes the bites look as if they may not be insect bites at all? It can be mysterious when bed bugs bite. Their bites don't always look, or feel, the same. Sometimes they are mistaken for hives. Sometimes they are mistaken for mosquito bites. The only way to know for sure whether or not you have bed bugs, is to look for the signs of bed bugs in your home.

Bites

For those who skipped the above paragraph, it is important to point out that bite wounds are one of the biggest ways most people figure out that they have bed bugs. This is especially true if the bites are from adult bed bugs. Adult bed bugs leave bites that have many distinguishable characteristics. Immature bed bugs, on the other hand, can leave bite wounds that are much harder to detect and recognize as bed bug bites.

Feces

One of the most notable traits of bed bugs is their propensity to leave their black colored feces everywhere they go. In fact, bed bugs often excrete feces while feeding. For this reason, tiny black droppings, black streak marks, and black smears will usually be found on sheets, pillowcases, and bedding, if bed bugs are present.

These feces will also be in areas of infestation. If you examine your mattress seams and the underside of your box spring and see an area of black, this is a good indication that you have bed bugs. If you check a piece of upholstered furniture and see black in the stitching, seams, or the surface of porous fabric, there is a good chance a bed bug infestation is within.

Bed bugs leave their feces when they travel. An infestation in a wall outlet or wall void may be detected by black streaks on outlet covers and baseboards. An infestation in an alarm clock may be detected by black streaks near the opening these bugs are coming and going from.

Blood Stains

When bed bugs feed, they will sometimes excrete blood in their feces as they feed. This blood can stain bedding, sheets, and pillowcases. Since stains can be mixed with feces, and are often found after the blood has dried, these stains will often be brown or dark brown. Stains left by an immature nymph can be tiny, so you may have to look closely for them.

Shed Insect Skins

Bed bugs have 5 developmental stages called instars. As they pass from one instar to the next, they shed their cuticle (skin). These skins are most often found stuck to areas of infestation, but they can be anywhere.

Eggs

If you suspect that you may have picked bed bugs up when you traveled recently, there is one way to find out. Check your luggage and bag seams for tiny white eggs. Bed bug eggs are about the size of the tip on a pen, and are able to stick to surfaces. You may also find these eggs stuck to, littered in, areas of infestation.

Bugs Crawling Around

While bed bugs are usually a nocturnal pest, coming out to feed only at night when CO2 levels in a room rise, they can come out to feed at any time of the day, especially if they are immature nymphs. You may also see the bugs if you start flipping mattresses and box springs over to find them. These are insects with six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. Immature nymphs begin as pale, nearly transparent bugs and grow more rust-colored as they develop. An adult bed bug is the size of an apple seed, oval in shape, and can be distinguished by the horizontal creases on its abdomen.

Traps For Monitoring

There are many bed bug traps available over the counter. While these have little or no ability to arrest a bed bug infestation, they can be used to tell if you have bed bugs in your home. Sticky traps applied to the side of your bed could catch these bugs when they come out to feed. Traps put under the feet of your bed, may catch bed bugs that are crawling up to feed from a location near your bed, but not in it. If you catch a single bed bug with any of these trapping methods, you'll know that you have bed bugs for sure.

Don't let the bed bugs bite. When bed bug signs appear, let the bed bug experts at Moyer Pest Control get rid of those bugs fast. Help is just a call away.

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