Signs You May Have Bed Bugs — And How To Know For Sure
Bed bugs have become increasingly common over the last decade or two, and although they do not spread disease, they are quite the nuisance, causing terribly itchy bites and a loss of sleep. Most homeowners are aware that bed bugs exist, but there are so many misconceptions floating around about these creatures that many people who have them in their home don't realize it—and some people who don't have them think that they do! To set the record straight, take a look at these signs you might have bed bugs, along with some advice to know for sure.
Signs You Have Bed Bugs
The symptoms caused by bed bugs are sometimes confused with those of fleas, lice, and other pests. Similarly, some people spot fleas, ticks, or other pests in their home and think they are bed bugs. It's best not to panic if you notice any of these signs of bed bugs below. These should be treated as an indication that it's likely you have bed bugs—not that you absolutely do.
Bites at Night
If you are waking up with itchy bites after sleeping, look closely at those bites. Those caused by bed bugs are often red and raised, similar to mosquito bites, but found in clusters. Most of the bites will usually be on parts of your skin that were exposed, such as your ankles, arms, and neck. Some people find that the area around the bites swells up, but not everyone experiences this symptom.
Blood Spots on Sheets
After bed bugs feed on blood, they pass feces—that are loaded with digested blood. As gross as it sounds, these feces leave reddish-brown spots, about the size of a pinhead, on your sheets. These spots will appear in clusters. They may be pale at first and intensify in color when you wash the sheets. If you have beg bugs in your living room furniture, which is sadly quite common, you may notice spots appearing on the furniture, too.
There is a myth that bed bugs are too small to be seen. This myth probably started because the bugs are just so good at hiding that you rarely see them. But they are, in fact, big enough to be seen if you happen to come across them. A bed bug has an ovular body and is about the size of a small apple seed when mature. They are brown in color, with a reddish tint after they feed, and their head and eight legs are quite obvious. Bed bugs do not have wings, and they scurry away very quickly. You're most likely to see them if you look along the seams of a mattress or peel back sheets very quickly.
Bed bugs often give off a musty smell that you may find hard to place. You may notice this smell most in the bedroom, especially if you have not washed your bedding in a few days. The odor is similar to that left behind by cockroaches. If you smell a roach odor but have not seen any roaches, it may be due to bed bugs.
How to Know For Sure
So, how do you know for sure that the signs above are caused by bed bugs and not fleas, lice, or another pest? Contact an exterminator at a company like Pioneer Exterminating Company - TEXAS. They can come check for bed bugs and trap a few of the bugs in question, identifying them clearly. Your exterminator can also do a full bed bug inspection to determine the extent of the infestation. This will help them determine where to focus their efforts when ridding your home of the bugs.