Bed Bugs: What are the first signs of Bed Bugs?
Bed Bugs. Two words that most people don’t want to hear or even think about finding in their residence whether temporary or permanent. The very thought sends chills down the spine.
Unfortunately, these pests and difficult to spot and even harder to get rid of without the help of a licensed & experienced professional.
That’s why we are here to educate you on the most common signs of Bed Bugs and help you eradicate these pests if found.
Bed Bugs are tiny reddish-brown wingless insects, about the size of an apple seed or flaxseed, that most commonly live in the crevices or seams of your mattress or box spring but come out when you are sleeping to feast on human blood. Bed Bugs’ favorite and main food source is human blood but there have been known to feed on other vertebrates.
Bed bugs can also be found almost anywhere humans inhabit such as single-family homes, condos, apartments, hotel rooms, motels, and RVs. There have also been reports of bed bugs infesting businesses such as retail stores, movie theaters, cruise ships, retirement homes, public transportation, and restaurants.
First: Where do Bed Bugs come from?
These little blood-sucking hitchhikers have been around for thousands of years. It is a common belief that these insects were the first cave dwellers that fed on Bat blood but switched over to their human blood diet as we exited from cave dwellings long ago.
But how did they get on you? Bed Bugs, though tiny, are deceptively fast, crawling about 5 ft in 1 min. They can crawl into your luggage or laundry to hitch a ride or they may crawl in to just lay eggs before returning to their hiding spot.
Bed bugs can live about 10 months and can go weeks or months without food. They can also travel behind walls and loose wallpaper.
What are the most common early signs of Bed Bugs?
The first sign of a Bed Bug problem is often bed bug bites. If this is the case you will need to search for live bed bugs. They can be difficult to find so you will need to examine their favorite hiding places first. The tight cracks, seams, and crevices of the mattress and box spring, bed frames, headboard, pillowcases and bed sheets. It is also a good idea to search couches and all upholstered furniture as well as baseboards.
The next most common sign of bed bugs is shell casing from the molting process. These casings will be yellowish-brown and a translucent shed of their exoskeleton. There may be various sizes of shed exoskeletons due to the fact that bed bugs will molt 5 times during their life from nymph to adult bed bugs.
Yet another telltale sign of the pests is bed bug eggs. These tiny eggs and egg shells are only around 1mm long and the width of a pinhead. A female bed bug can lay up to 7 eggs a day and these usually hatch within 10 days.
A few more signs that you have these insects are bed bug excrement, bloodstains, or a musty odor. Fecal spots or droppings will be dark spots that almost look like ink pen dots. Similarly, Blood stains will be random tiny specks of blood. Both may appear on the mattress, box spring, linens, and pillowcases. Some people can detect a musty odor that may smell a little like cilantro or coriander and in severe cases, it will smell like rust, wet towels, or moldy laundry.
While most people may show no signs of an allergic reaction to bed bugs, 20% of the US population are allergic and may show symptoms of bed bug bites. This 20% could suffer possible severe itchy welts, hives, and even blisters.
Can Bed Bugs hide on your body?
The easy answer here is No, they can not. Bed bugs may attach themselves to clothing in order to transport to a new location or to lay eggs but they will only feed while their host is sleeping so that their presence isn’t detected before going back into hiding. Bed Bugs also can not fly. They are wingless insects but bothersome nonetheless. For more common myths around Bed Bugs check out our other blog post.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you have or suspect a bed bug infestation or have any of the numerous signs of bed bugs, your best bet is to call a licensed exterminator who will know the proper pesticides to use.
Many chemicals and strong pesticides were banned or weakened decades ago due to their toxicity and proximity of use to our families and pets. For a history of this, here is another blog post with more info.
Dave’s Pest Control has over 40 years of experience exterminating bed bugs. We are your #1 exterminator for not only Bed Bugs but all manners of Pest Control. Get to know other common pests in your area by checking out this Scary bugs and Bites Post.
Give Dave’s a call today for a free inspection!