Bed bugs are an unpleasant problem. These insects are almost undetectable and feed on blood from humans or animals.
They can live in your bed, clothing, furniture, and other belongings. They are usually between 1 to 7 millimeters long and are flat, reddish browning color, and oval-shaped.
Bed bugs are most active during the night when they feed on people while they sleep.
While bed bug bites are rarely dangerous, they can cause a lot of discomfort and be very itchy. In some cases, the bites can become infected or even trigger an allergic reaction.
Most homeowners do not notice a bed bug infestation until it has become an advanced problem and they find active bugs or egg sacks.
If you know the right places to look and signs to look out for, however, you might be able to spot bed bugs early.
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Where to Find Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have flat bodies that allow them to fit into tiny spaces. In the initial stages of infestation, they congregate in places like mattresses, headboards, and bed frames, where they can have easy access to bite people at night.
Over time, they migrate to various parts of the room, occupying crevices and other concealed areas. They can also move to other rooms in the house or even other apartments.
You can spot adult bed bugs with the naked eye in places like:
• Loose wallpaper or panels
• Ceilings or wall joints
• Creases and crevices around sleeping areas
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
The most common sign of you being under attack from bed bugs are the itchy bites. There are other signs which are often overlooked, such as:
1. Bloody bedsheets or pillowcases
If you wake up to sheets that have small blood splotches, you might have bed bugs. Most people kill bed bugs after they feed on them so if you notice blood on your bedding, it might be from bed bugs.
2. Dark rusty-colored mattress stains
When bed bugs congregate, they leave fecal stains, either on bedding or wherever they occupy. If you notice dark spots on your mattress, it may be from bed bugs. When touched, these spots smear and leave an unpleasant odor.
3. An unfamiliar musty odor
If your home has an unexplained musty odor, it could be because of bed bugs. These insects, when present in large amounts, produce pheromones that can be very strong.
4. Shells or molted skin
With every blood meal, bed bugs mature and shed their exoskeleton in order to grow larger. This is called molting. Bed bugs molt five times as they go through the five immature stages. Where there is a growing infestation, hundreds of molted skin will be left behind as the bed bugs mature. The shells resemble bed bugs but are translucent.
If you suspect that your house may be infested, carefully inspect your belongings for signs of bugs or their fecal matter.
Call an exterminator if you are not sure of what to look for. In the event that you do find bed bugs, take steps to get rid of them, and prevent their return.
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