Bed bug activity has increased over the last several years, so you’re probably already aware of how tenacious and harmful these pests can be. It’s important to know the bed bug signs in order to catch their presence early and protect your family. Unfortunately, an infestation can happen to anyone.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
This question can leave people pulling their hair out. What do bed bugs look like? Well, they tend to have small, wingless, oval-shaped bodies. They are usually brown and flat but may turn red and be rounder in appearance right after feeding. Adult bed bugs can be seen by the naked eye and measure from four to five mm. They can flatten themselves to the width of a credit card, thus their ability to inhabit almost any crack or crevice in a room, even the head of a screw.
Nymphs (newly hatched bed bugs) are as small as the head of a pin and appear white or tan until they feed. Like ticks, they feed on blood – usually human blood, but they will find other hosts when necessary.
Signs of Bed Bugs
It cannot be overstated how helpful it is to catch a bed bug infestation early. During normal household cleaning and on laundry day, look for tiny reddish or rusty stains on fabric. This could indicate bed bug excrement or crushed bug bodies. Also keep an eye out for the actual bugs themselves and their eggs, eggshells, or the pale-yellow husks that molting nymphs leave behind. When not feeding on you during the night, bed bugs will be found near and within any seam or crack in a room, for instance, cracks where walls meet the floor, within electrical sockets, and around ventilation and plumbing. Also look within the seams, joints, or cracks in furniture, fabric, and mattresses.
And don’t forget to search for signs when traveling. Many people can trace their recent infestation directly from a recent trip. Some simple precautions, such as storing your luggage in the bathroom while traveling and washing all clothes upon return, will protect your home.
Bed bugs bites leave signs anywhere on the body where the skin is exposed, such as back, neck, face, arms, or legs. Most people do not feel the bites when they occur but will see the effects within a few days. Luckily, symptoms typically fade after a week or so if no further irritation occurs.
Bites will look fairly round, with redness, itchiness, and inflammation. Discomfort could grow to a burning painful sensation, and people with hypersensitivity may experience hives or blisters. Other bite indicators include zigzag or line patterns of bites, bites that are raised bumps with a clear center, or a bulls-eye pattern with a dark center and lighter swollen skin around it.
Solving a Bed Bug Infestation
Luckily, we now have strong, safe, and highly efficient treatments for eradicating bed bugs, such as comprehensive heat application and even K-9 strategies. Seeking powerful help early on will save you weeks or months of discomfort and stress.