Think you have bed bugs? It can be hard to tell sometimes if your house has bed bugs or some other pest. It’s important to know how to read the signs so that you know what you’re dealing with.
How Do I Know if I Have Bed Bugs?
Most people first suspect bed bugs if they’ve been bitten in their sleep. Bedbugs leave rows of itchy, red circular bites, usually along your arms or shoulders. You won’t feel their bite because they inject an anesthetic to numb the area where they intend to feed.
Finding the bugs themselves is the best way to confirm an infestation. Since they’re most active at night, it’s difficult to see them on the move. Your best option is to place interceptor traps under the legs of a bed or a couch. Bed bugs that try to approach the furniture will fall into the interceptors and will be trapped in by the slick talcum-coated walls. If bedbugs are active in the area, you should have a few specimens in the interceptors within 7 days.
While you’re waiting for the interceptors to show results, perform an inspection of the area around your bed and upholstered furniture. Check under fitted sheets, and remove the mattress from the bed to examine the box spring. Be slow and careful with any visual inspections – bed bugs are very small and tough to spot.
In Your Home
Bed bugs are mostly active at night, so you’re not likely to see them on the move while you’re awake. Instead of looking for the bugs themselves, look for signs of their activity.
Blood stains on sheets & furniture can often be a dead giveaway. When bed bugs feed, they often regurgitate small amounts of their host’s blood. These small stains will show particularly well on white sheets, in addition to mattresses, sofas, chairs, and other upholstered furniture.
Black droppings are another natural leftover you can bet on if bed bugs are active in your home. It’s usually dark and round, and can be easily smeared when rubbed.
Bed bug skins are left behind by bed bugs as they shed or molt. This is a natural part of their growth and development. The discarded skin will be clear with a tint of brown, and should be easy to spot during a home inspection.
Bed Bug Bites
Even if you don’t see any signs of bed bugs in your home, you might wake up feeling it, rows of red welts that burn and itch could be an indication of bed bugs feeding on you. Bites are most commonly found on the arms and shoulders, and are usually in rows. The burning and itching sensations can be reduced by running hot water over the infected area, or by using hydrocortisone. Taking an oral antihistamine (usually used for allergy relief) can help control the swelling and rashes caused by some bites. Make sure you follow the instructions on any medications you use!
Mark Sanders is a blogger for www.bedbugsupply.com.