A 2018 survey by the National Pest Management Alliance (NPMA) shows that over 97% of pest control professionals have treated bed bug infestations within the past year.
Bed bugs are more prevalent than most people would like to admit. Reports of bed bug infestations are becoming more common, and there is an urge to be more cautious of the pesky bugs.
A vision of bed bugs crawling on your bed as you sleep is an unsettling thought. Most people don’t even realize that there are sharing their homes and beds with bed bugs. To address this, here are six bed bug signs that you should look out for in your house.
1. Itchy Bite Spots in the Morning
The very first red flag of a bed bug infestation is waking up to red itchy bite spots all over the body.
Bed bugs come out to feed at night. During the night, there is less chance that they will be disturbed by their sleeping victims.
You won’t notice any bites as they happen. The bugs inject a small dose of anesthesia before biting to prevent any pain or irritation.
You’ll only notice any bites the following morning, mostly around the arms, legs, and neck. The reactions to the bites vary from person to person. Some people itch and even develop rashes, while for others, the effect is less profound.
Start thinking about ways of getting rid of bed bugs if you notice any bites on your skin.
2. Small Blood-Stained Spots on the Mattress, Sheets, and Pillows
We have established that bed bugs mostly attack in the night as you sleep. That makes your bed the scene of the crime, where the bed bugs usually leave clues revealing their activities. The most obvious sign you’ll find on your bed is a seemingly random pattern of small blood spot stains on the sheets, pillow, and mattress.
As the bugs feed, they inject a mild anticoagulant into the bloodstream. An anticoagulant is a chemical that prevents blood from clotting.
Since the blood does not clot, it’s easier for the bed bug to keep the incision open long enough till they have had their fill of blood. This also means that the small incisions made by the bugs will continue pouring out a bit of blood for a short time, which lands on the beddings.
3. Watch for the Bug Itself
Bed bugs are highly elusive pests and are rarely spotted in the open. They are good at hiding in dark cracks and seams when they are not feeding. However, you could occasionally catch sight of a bug or two while moving furniture around or making the bed; this usually means that there are more bugs.
A bed bug is quite easy to identify. They are brown with six legs and have an elliptical body that is flattened or rounded if filled with blood. They bear a close resemblance in size and shape to an apple seed.
If you identify any bugs fitting this description, call in a pest control expert to verify.
If you suspect that you have bed bugs, the best time to spot them is at night. Wake up in the dead of night when they are most active and use a flashlight to search the bed and around it.
4. Bed Bug Poop
After a good meal, the bed bug will excrete fecal matter, which stains surfaces with dark brown or black spots that have an awful odor. On fabric and other soft, absorbent surfaces, the fecal material resembles tiny ink stains. On hard surfaces like boards and walls, the stains appear as small dark spots resembling grains of black pepper.
Bed bugs will defecate on the bed or near the bed or around it. Look for the stains on the beddings, the nightstand, and the nearby furniture. You may also find the fecal stains in cracks on the walls and behind covers and pictures.
5. Discarded Bed Bug Shell and Bed Bug Eggs
Bed bugs go through six stages in their life cycle. The transition from one stage to another requires molting, which is the shedding of the outer skin to allow for growth. The discarded skins are left behind as thin husky brown shells that take the form of the bed bug.
You’ll find the skin shells near places where you’d normally find the bed bugs themselves. Such areas include along the seams of fabrics, creases, corners, and cracks on walls.
In most cases, bed bugs go through generation phases as a group. So, you might notice an accumulation of shed skin in particular locations.
Bed bug eggs are another sure indicator of a bed bug infestation. However, they are quite difficult to spot due to their size and appearance. The eggs are tiny, translucent, misty capsules measuring about one millimeter across.
The eggs are laid in concealed places like along fabric seams, corner, and junctions. A thin film of glue is used to stick them onto the surfaces.
6. Neighbors Report Cases of Bedbug Infestation
Are your immediate neighbors complaining about bed bugs in their home? If they are, it means you could also be in danger of an infestation as well.
Bed bugs spread fast. They can be brought into your house by visitors through their clothes, or even by yourself and other home occupants after visiting infested places.
Take extra caution if your neighbors report or complain about bed bugs. Have your house inspected and ask for advice on preemptive measures.
Watch Out for Bed Bug Signs
Take action if you notice any of the bed bug signs that we have discussed here. Bed bugs are not known to spread any disease, though studies are looking into the possibility of bed bugs as being vectors of the deadly Chagas disease.
The risk of contracting serious infections from the bug is small. Bed bugs, however, are annoying pests whose bites can to lead to allergic reactions, skin rashes, and mild skin inflammation and infection.
Do you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home? Get in touch with us or call (727) 351-8991 and we will take the necessary action. We are a pest control company that has been eradicating pest infestations in Florida since 1978.