Do I Have Bed Bugs?

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 Am I Dealing With Bed Bugs? How to Know for Sure

When it comes to the home environment, there’s no such thing as a welcome bug. Sure, bees are important for pollination, and spiders prey upon other bothersome critters as part of a balanced ecosystem. That’s all well and good when it comes to the woods or city park. In your home, though, things are different. The last thing you want is an insect problem.


If you have termites, spiders, or roaches in your home, you may feel compelled to contact a home pest control company. But, you could just as easily put it off for a week or two after seeing your first creepy spider or roach.

When you wake up in the morning covered in bright red, raised, itchy bites, though, the idea of waiting doesn’t even come into your mind. Whatever’s going on -- fleas, bed bugs, or something else -- you want them gone. As in, yesterday.

We understand the feeling. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you identify whether or not you’re actually dealing with bed bugs. If bed bugs are indeed to blame, you’ll want to set up an appointment with a home pest control company straight away. First, though, let’s figure out for sure if you’ve got a bed bug infestation.


Where to Look for Bed Bugs

Many people make the mistake of assuming that bed bugs only live in their bed. While they certainly can make their home in your mattress, that’s not the only place that bed bugs are found. It’s important to ensure that you perform a thorough sweep of your entire home, and not just your bed.

When checking your bed, don’t just look underneath the sheets. It’s important to pull back the fitted sheet and mattress cover and check the mattress itself, too. Look in the cracks and crevices of the mattress, such as where the seam meets the edge. Check around the tags as well.

In addition to your bed, you may find bed bugs in other places, including the joints of a dresser or nightstand, the edges of electrical outlets, headboards, the junction of the wall and the floor (or wall and ceiling), behind wallpaper, and in the seams of furniture (such as couch cushions, chairs, and so on). Be sure to check in tiny, hard-to-reach places: don’t expect a minor infestation to be easily detectable.


When to Look for Bed Bugs

If you notice what you believe to be bed bug bites in the middle of the day, you may be tempted to check your bed immediately. While this is fine to do, it’s also not the optimal time of day to check for bed bugs.

As you can probably imagine, bed bugs tend to be the most active at night. This is when they feed, and you have the highest chance of seeing a bed bug moving around during this time of the day. Specifically, bed bugs tend to be the most active about an hour before the sun comes up. While you can detect things like eggs, fecal matter, and empty shells at any time of day, you’re most likely to see bed bugs moving around about an hour before sunrise.


Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

There are six major signs of a bed bug infestation. If you detect any (or, in some cases, all) of these, you’re almost certainly dealing with bed bugs:

  • Bites: Bed bug bites are red, clustered (usually in lines or zigzags), and incredibly itchy.
  • Bloodstains: It’s not uncommon for bed bugs to draw blood when biting. Check your sheets for droplets of blood.
  • Fecal matter: Like all creatures, bed bugs defecate. Check for tiny brownish stains on your mattress or linens.
  • Empty shells: Bed bugs shed their skin. If you see small 2.5 - 4.5mm objects that look like hollow popcorn kernels, you may be dealing with bed bugs.
  • Eggs: Just like other insects, bed bugs lay eggs in order to reproduce. Look for extremely small (around 1 mm in length), rice-shaped eggs.
  • Smells: If you detect a sweet odor like almonds or cilantro, you might have bed bugs.


Contact a Home Pest Control Professional for an Inspection

If you’re sure you have bed bugs, it’s time to call in a home pest control company to eliminate the problem. And if you’re not 100% certain, a home pest control professional can perform an inspection to confirm the presence of bed bugs. In either case, it’s important to take action right away: don’t let your bed bug infestation get out of control. Home Pest Control offers high quality, affordable, environmentally friendly pest control services that you can count on.

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June 5, 2018

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