Awful as bed bugs may be, the fear that you might have bed bugs may be just as bad if not worse. When you know you have bed bugs, at least you can take the steps necessary to get rid of them. If you’re not sure, however, it can be hard to know what to do next. It’s too easy to get in your own head. Are you just imagining things? Should you be nervous? Thinking you have bed bugs can turn bedtime into yet another anxiety-inducing part of your day.
Even if you’re afraid to know, figuring out if you have bed bugs is always the right call. Finding bed bugs might be upsetting, but at least once you know they’re around you can wipe them out. Here are the telltale signs you have bed bugs, and how to track them down once and for all.
Signs You Have Bed Bugs
One of the many reasons why bed bug infestations are such a problem is that they’re hard to spot. Bed bugs leave behind evidence of their presence everywhere they go, but these signs are easy to mistake. For instance, bed bugs tend to leave small, circular blood stains near areas where they feed. This might happen when you accidentally crush the bed bugs while they’re feeding on you. Often, these stains smear or stain the sheets in small bloody streaks.
Along with blood signs, bed bugs leave behind waste, shed skin, eggs, and stains on the surfaces they inhabit. These stains probably look rusty or reddish in color, and they’re often spot-shaped or smeared. Shed bed bug skin is pale yellow and flakey. As it ages, this skin might dry and get brittle or crusty. Bed bug eggs are tiny (1 millimeter), oval-shaped, and translucent. They’re somewhat sticky and very easy to miss.
How to Find Bed Bugs
Bed bugs spend their days hiding in dark, warm, inaccessible crevices. They have very flat bodies and are prone to wedging themselves into tight areas to stay out of sight. Start by searching for them in any nooks and crannies in your bed. Take off all the bed sheets and check their folds, seams, corners, and edges. Strip the bed completely and check the corners, seams, zipper, creases, and any other crevices. Don’t forget to turn the bed over, too.
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs don’t only infest beds. They’ll hide out in any dark, warm place where they can access food nearby. Your bed may be the most convenient place, but it’s far from their only option. Broaden your search. Check all the furniture, linens, decorations, and carpet in your bedroom. Pay particular attention to the undersides of couches and chairs, your headboard, and your curtains. The more thorough you are, the better you’ll feel.
What to Do If You Have Bed Bugs
Give us a call right away. Bed bugs are difficult to control and they’re capable of spreading quickly. If you fail to kill even two bed bugs, the infestation will continue to grow and spread. Most at-home methods of bed bug eradication are ineffective at best and harmful at worst. Professional heat treatment is the only truly effective strategy for eliminating a bed bug infestation permanently. Heat treatments kill adults and eggs alike, ending an infestation for good.
In the meantime, there are a couple things you can do. Thoroughly wash, dry, and clean all your bed sheets and linens. Make sure you dry them on high for twenty minutes or more. The heat from the dryer will help kill bugs and eggs clinging to the fabric. Follow this same procedure for every machine-washable object in the infested room. Vacuum the room very thoroughly, and throw out the bag when you’re done. Don’t use the bed until the infestation has been eradicated.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are the ultimate hitchhiking pest. They travel by sneaking into bags, boxes, and other transported items. Nobody notices them, even as they carry their bags around. After the traveler gets home and sets down their bags, bed bugs creep out to infest their new home. Bed bugs hide in suitcases, purses, clothing bags, luggage, book and computer bags, and more. Whenever they have an opportunity to sneak inside something, they’ll take it.
The best way to prevent bed bugs is to be very careful about what you bring into your home. Carefully inspect any and all bags you carry inside, especially after traveling. Whenever possible, you should throw clothes into your dryer when you get home to kill potential hiding bed bugs. While traveling, you should also take care not to leave your bags alone and open for extended periods of time. Store your belongings in elevated, secured places.
If you find out you have bed bugs, don’t panic! It might seem impossible now, but it is possible to wipe out bed bugs completely and permanently. You just need a little professional help.
Give Plunkett’s a call any time. Our experts can identify, find, and eradicate bed bug infestations of any size and severity. Stop being afraid to go to sleep at night and call today!BACK TO BLOG