What do bed bugs look like?
Adult bed bugs, before feeding on a blood meal are flat and oval in shape, they are about ¼ of an inch in length and are reddish-brown in color; many people say they resemble an apple-seed. After feeding their bodies will expand and become more oblong in shape and their color will changed to a more purplish red. Adult bed bugs are not winged, so they cannot fly. Bed bug eggs are small, approximately 1mm in size and are whitish in color, making them almost invisible to the human eye. Newly hatched bed bug nymphs are no larger than the head of a pin; they look similar to the adults, but are smaller in size and lighter in color. The nymphs grow and mature very quickly, shedding their exoskeleton after each feeding.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
Bed bugs are not dangerous in the sense that they are not known to transmit any serious diseases. Though many people have no reaction to bed bug bites, some do experience an allergic reaction to the bites. If a reaction does occur the bed bug bites often appear in a line or cluster of at least 3 or 4 bites. Their bites can be very itchy which can lead to secondary infections. In some cases, medical attention may be necessary.
Bed bug infestations are more likely to trigger an emotional response including stress and embarrassment, and may result in many sleepless nights. It’s important to note that bed bugs affect everyone. You didn’t get bed bugs because your home was dirty.
Where do bed bugs come from?
Although it may seem that bed bugs pop-up out of thin air, the truth is that bed bugs have to originate from somewhere. Bed bugs cannot fly or jump but they can crawl from place to place. According to the University of Kentucky (link https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef636 in a new window) bed bugs “are efficient hitchhikers and are usually transported into dwellings on luggage, clothing, beds, furniture, and other items”. Most cases of bed bug infestations occur by accident, meaning people unknowingly transport them into homes, apartment buildings, hotels, movie theaters, and other facilities. What’s more, bed bugs don’t always stay put but rather may move from room to room or even unit to unit. In order for bed bugs to thrive in any environment, they simply need a blood meal. The more people congregating in one space means the increased likelihood of bed bugs showing up. That’s why it is very common to pick up bed bugs in airports, libraries, hotels, and other commercial facilities.
How to tell if you have bed bugs
Identifying a bed bug infestation is not always easy. The main reason is that these pests are mainly nocturnal and you could be asleep when they come out looking for a meal. Another reason is that their flat bodies make it easy for them to hide inside furniture, floor boards, and mattresses. As much as they try to evade detection, they do leave behind evidence of their existence. If you’re concerned about these biting bugs, keep an eye out for the following signs of bed bugs:
- Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites are typically small, red bumps on arms, legs, and other skin that is exposed while sleeping. Often times, bites are found in linear groups of three or more. They may be mistaken for mosquito bites. In some cases, bed bug bites are not noticeable or do not produce a reaction.
- Live Bugs
Adult bed bugs are visible to the naked eye. They are often found by the seams of mattresses and behind headboards. Their presence is not contained to the bed, they will also infest nightstands, upholstered furniture, and even electronics. It’s not uncommon to find adult bed bugs hiding out behind wall hangings such as pictures and clocks.
- Blood Stains
Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses are caused by bed bugs being crushed as you sleep or from blood droplets falling as they feed. Dark spots or streaks (bed bug excrement) may also be found on linens, mattresses, and box springs.
- Sweet Smelling Odor
If an infestation is severe, a sickly-sweet odor may be noticeable. It’s likely that if you smell bed bugs, you’ll also see these bugs crawling around too.
What to do if you think you have bed bugs
Googling bed bug control solutions will lead you down a dark rabbit hole of confusion and will only prolong the infestation and allow it to grow even larger. Throwing out the infested mattress and washing all bedding will not take care of the problem and completely ignoring it will only make matters worse. If you think bed bugs have found their way into your home or business it is important to contact a pest control company that specializes in bed bug control.
How does A-1 Pest Control get rid of bed bugs?
A-1 Pest Control provides effective solutions including bed bug heat treatments. We’ll conduct a free bed bug inspection and develop a treatment plan that will deliver results. When we’re on the job, you can count on our team to eliminate all bed bugs including adults, nymphs, and eggs! To learn more about our bed bug treatment options or to schedule your bed bug inspection, simply complete our form or give us a call.