There’s a reason why 97% of pest control professionals have treated bed bugs in the past year. Bed bug infestations are more common than ever. If you or anyone you know have ever experienced bed bugs, then you know that the damage left isn’t just physical. It’s also psychological.
If you want to minimize the harm caused by bed bugs, then the key is identifying them early on. Unfortunately, these types of pests are notoriously difficult to identify. So, what are the early signs of bed bugs? In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know to identify bed bugs in your home. Let’s get started!
Why Is Early Detection Key?
The biggest two problems with bed bugs is that reproduce quickly and are tough to kill. The CDC estimates at a female can lay up to five eggs every day. These new bed bugs require blood to grow into adults.
As such, the earlier you can detect the presence of bed bugs, the easier it will be to deal with. If you suspect that you have an infestation, then don’t wait. Deal with it as quickly as you can. But how do you know you have bed bugs? Let’s take a look at some of the early signs.
Four Early Signs of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are different than many other insects due to their stealthy nature. Unfortunately, this makes it all the more difficult for people to know they have them. Many homeowners don’t recognize the signs until it’s too late. However, the good news is that there are things you can look out for. If you notice any of these signs, then begin bed bug treatment methods right away.
1. Bites During the Night
Bite marks are typically the first way that most people know they might have bed bugs. Bed bugs typically feed at night while you sleep. After they feed they leave behind welts that are often intensely itchy. These welts are typically in a close, zig-zag pattern instead of spreading out all over the body.
However, one problem with using bites for early detection is that they usually don’t itch at first. For many people, the bites don’t start itching until fourteen days after being bitten. Other people experience itchiness after a few days. Regardless, it’s clear that the bites get increasingly sensitive as the infestation increases.
After a few weeks or months, you may notice welts only seconds after being bitten. For a full list of the bug bite symptoms and how to treat them, make sure to check out this guide.
2. Black or Red Colored Spots
If you discover black-brownish or red-rust colored spots on your blankets, pillows, or clothes, then you likely have bed bugs. The black spots are fecal matter that the pests leave behind. The red spots occur when you roll over on the bugs after they feed. They explode and your blood gets over your clothing or sheets. While it might be gross, these warning signs are not to be ignored.
3. Eggs or Bed Bugs
It’s important to be able to identify bed bugs if you see them — whether it’s alive or dead. Bed bugs are small and flat. When they haven’t fed, they can be as thin as a credit card. They have six legs, two antennae, and no wings. Immature bed bugs, or nymphs, are much smaller than their adult counterparts.
Bed bugs shed their skin throughout development, so you can also identify them by the exoskeleton they leave behind. The best-case scenario is you identify bed bugs while they’re still in their eggs. Unfortunately, the small size makes this next to impossible. You will need a magnifying glass to properly identify their eggs.
4. Musty Smell
Bed bugs come with a peculiar musty smell that makes them easy to identify. Some people compare this scent to the sickly, sweet smell of rotting fruit. If you notice anything like this in your home, then you must contact professionals right away. This can typically be a sign of a larger infestation, especially if it’s a strong odor.
How to Deal With Bed Bugs in Your Home
There are some DIY ways you can try to deal with bed bugs. This includes things like vacuuming, cleaning sheets and pillows in the dryer, and using mattress covers. If you find out that your mattress is infested, then your best bet is to get rid of it and buy a new one. Just make sure that you thoroughly clean the area before bringing in the new mattress.
Some people have also had success in scattering diatomaceous earth around their residence. However, keep in mind that these ways aren’t always effective. Bed bugs are notorious hiders. When you combine this with the fact that they can survive a whole year without feeding, it’s easy to see how you can miss a few.
As such, it might be worthing to hire a bed bug exterminator Phoenix AZ. This will be more expensive, but it helps ensure that you won’t have any repeat incidents.
Ready to Be Bed Bug-Free? Contact Watts Pest Protection
We hope this article helped you identify some of the early signs of bed bugs in your home. If you suspect you have bed bugs, then try not to panic. Instead, contact a professional with experience treating the pest as soon as you can. But how do you find a pest control company you can trust? If you live in Arizona, then look no further than Watts Pest Protection.
Here at Watts, we have over ten years of experience in protecting homes from every manner of pests. What’s more, we give you advice about your future protection after dealing with bed bugs. That way, you’ll never have to worry about them again. If you’re ready to get your life back from the bed bugs, then get in touch with us today.