If you’re reading this post, you may already have a sneaking suspicion of a bed bug problem. Or perhaps you’re aware that bed bug infestations have been on the rise in recent years.
Regardless, bed bugs are definitely a problem that you can’t ignore. The sooner you’re able to address the issue, the less of a disruption it will be! And you won’t have to deal with the discomfort of knowing there are little, unwelcome critters in your home.
If you’re wondering what are bed bugs and what are some early signs of bed bugs, read on. We can tell you the signs of instruction to look for in your home.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Full-grown bed bugs are only about the size of an apple seed. These tiny pests may appear flat if they haven’t eaten in a while, or even fat and swollen after a good meal. Adult bed bugs are usually a brown color, but younger bugs can appear translucent or even white.
While bed bugs don’t spread disease, they do survive on blood. They like to live anywhere they can find warmth and lots of carbon dioxide. A human home can be the perfect place for these parasites to flourish if left unchecked!
If human blood isn’t available, bed bugs will also feed off of rats, mice, and other rodents. It’s even possible for these bloodsuckers to survive for long stretches without any food at all!
Where to Look For Bed Bugs
Bed bugs prefer small, cozy spaces that can make it difficult to detect them. They also feed most at night, so it’s a good idea to check for a bed bug infestation in your bedroom. Check along the seams of your mattress, the bed frame, baseboards, and other cracks and crevices.
In fact, anywhere there is clutter may provide a great spot for them to hide during the day. Furniture, such as couches or armchairs, is also a possibility. They’ll even find their way into the walls and outlets and travel along with the wiring or pipes.
Early Signs of Bed Bugs
There are a few early signs of bed bugs that you can find. If you’re wondering if you may have a pest infestation, be on the lookout for some of the following signs:
If you’ve been breaking out with small, itchy spots, this may be an early sign of bed bugs. These parasites prefer to feed off humans when we’re asleep, so waking up with bites may be an indicator.
But this isn’t foolproof, as everyone reacts differently. Some people won’t have any reaction at all or it may take several days. There are also plenty of other bugs, like ticks and mosquitos, whose bites can cause itchy spots.
2. Dark Spots
It’s not uncommon to roll over in your sleep and unknowingly squish a few intruders. If so, they’ll leave behind dark red, or even rusty brown, colored spots.
If you start to notice blood-like stains on your sheets, it’s a good idea to take notice.
3. Fecal Matter
Similar to the stains left behind from squished bugs, bed bugs will often excrete a dark black or brownish-red matter. If you notice small spots along mattress seams or other small spaces where bed bugs may go to sleep, that may be an early sign of bed bugs.
These spots are often small and may look like a speck left by a pen or marker.
Female bed bugs tend to move more when they’re pregnant. They lay anywhere from one to seven eggs a day, often in clusters. These eggs are small, oval, and white.
Older eggs will be marked with an “eye” or spot. It will take them approximately two weeks to hatch.
Check under your bed frame or other dark, narrow spots for egg clusters. This can be a sign of a growing bed bug problem.
Bed bugs will excrete pheromones as a way to communicate with one another. If you only have a few bed bugs, this may be too subtle for your human nose to detect.
But if you have a larger infestation, you might notice a musty smell. Some have compared it to a damp towel. It can also smell sweet, like raspberries. If you’re smelling something off consistently, it’s time to check for other signs of bed bugs.
As part of the bed bug’s life cycle, they must shed their exoskeleton to continue to grow into adulthood. Similar to a snake shedding its skin, a bed bug will leave behind a shell or husk of its former casing.
The growth cycle of a bed bug includes five stages of nymphs. Through each stage, the bug will feed, then shed its shell. This will happen up to five times throughout its life!
A warning sign that you have a bed bug infestation is if you find shed exoskeletons. They’ll be in the same place as you may find eggs, excrement, or even adult bugs. It also means that the bugs are growing (and thriving) in your home.
7. Live Bugs
The most obvious sign of a bed bug infestation is if you find fully grown, adult bugs. Check in and around your home, it’s crevasses, nooks, and crannies. If you’re seeing some of the other signs of bugs, it’s time to start looking more deeply.
You can set out a bed bug detector to see if you can catch some. Or call in the experts for a free inspection to verify your suspicions!
Get Rid of Those Bed Bugs!
Being aware of the early signs of bed bugs can help you with your pest control. An early bed bug treatment can help you address the issue head-on before it gets out of hand!
If you think you may have bed bugs, or any other unwelcome pest, in your home, contact us for a free inspection. We can advise you on treatment and bed bug prevention to help you get a pest-free home today!