Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to find! They are tiny, elusive creatures that only come out to play in the cover of darkness. You only become aware of the existence after they’ve done their damage-in the morning when you wake up and there are bite marks all over. So, how do you know your home is infested with bed bugs? In this post, we discuss how to spot bed bugs and how to prevent their numbers from growing.
What do bed bugs look like?
Typically, bed bugs are the size of an apple seed. They measure at around 5-7 mm in length and have an uncanny resemblance to other household pests. It can be challenging to tell them apart from carpet beetles and even dust mites. However, the following clues should indicate you have bed bugs inside your home:
– Shape: Bed bugs spot an elongated oval-shaped body
– Color: The color varies depending on their age. They are typically red-brown but will appear much lighter if they have recently fed on blood
– Behavior: The most notable sign that you might be infested with bed bugs is seeing them scurry across your room, especially at night when you turn off the lights. Bed bugs are much more active in the dark.
– Smell: Bed bugs secrete a distinct, sickening musty smell that is hard to miss.
What is the life cycle of a bed bug?
Adult bed bugs survive by feeding on the blood of humans and animals. They tend to feed at night when their hosts are asleep. A female adult bed bug can lay up to five eggs per day, with each egg taking about ten days to hatch into a nymph. This process takes two months in total before the nymph becomes an adult and is ready to reproduce.
Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs have specific hiding points where they take refuge when there is light or activity. They usually prefer to live in warm, dark areas close to their food source, sleeping humans, which makes finding bed bugs difficult! The following are common hiding places:
– Shelves: bed bugs love hiding in the crevices between books, CDs or DVDs on your shelf
– Clothing racks: just like shelves, clothing racks provide a dark, warm and moist environment for bed bugs to live in
– Carpets: the fluffy underlay of a carpet is a good spot for hiding
– Mattress seams: provide great cover from light and warmth from your body heat when you sleep. They are also difficult to clean!
– Bed frames: around metal bed frames, bed bugs can take refuge in the seams and crevices
– Behind wall outlets: bed bugs love living behind walls. When you switch off the light, they will be forced to hide, so it’s a good place to look for them!
– Under loose wallpaper: this provides great cover from activity as well as warmth
– Blinds: another great hiding spot is behind thin, hollow blinds. Bed bugs like to live in cracks and crevices
What are the effects of bed bug infestations?
A bed bug attack is a serious health hazard. It causes severe inconvenience to the victims and can lead to anxiety disorders, sleep loss and mental fatigue. One of the most common symptoms of an invasion is itchy red bumps or hives on your skin. They also cause physical distress by irritating your skin when they bite. However, victims might not always see bed bugs themselves, so it’s important to look for other signs.
Can I see bed bugs with my naked eye?
Bed bugs generally pose a challenge to spot. This is mainly because of their minute size, elusive behavior, and nocturnal tendencies. However, you might be able to spot the adult insects when they come out at night. They also make tiny brown stains on your bed sheet when their droppings get crushed beneath your weight while sleeping.
How do I get rid of bed bugs?
A bed bug infestation requires a thorough and multi-faceted approach for extermination. You should begin by sealing all your crevices, cracks and loose wallpaper if you suspect an infestation. Then use fumigation as one of the main weapons in your fight against them. Fumigation involves the use of chemicals that are harmless to humans but deadly for bed bugs. People who have severe infestations should consider hiring an exterminator!
What is a good way to prevent bed bugs?
You should aim at eliminating all sources of warmth and moisture around your home, especially in areas close to where you sleep. Also, avoid purchasing second-hand clothing and furniture as these are especially susceptible to bed bugs. You should also clean your room thoroughly before going to bed, removing any debris that could serve as a hiding place for the tiny pests.
What are the signs of bed bugs?
The common symptoms associated with an infestation are itchy red bumps on your skin from bed bug bites, tiny brown stains of bed bug droppings on your bed sheet, and severe swelling in areas where they feed. A more severe symptom is psychological distress, which includes anxiety disorders and insomnia.
If you discover an infestation, don’t delay in seeking help. Contact a local pest control company to kill bed bugs once and for all. You could also consider hiring an exterminator yourself but make sure they are experienced enough to handle the problem.
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