Bed buds; they’re mythical, aren’t they?
Sadly not. In fact, they’re way more common than you think. And recent research suggests the US is in the midst of a bed bug pandemic!
Commonly picked up while traveling, bed bugs hitch a lift on your clothes, luggage, and purse, all the way back to your house, where they crawl out and make themselves comfortable. Forget the stigma that only dirty houses can be affected, as these pesky mites don’t discriminate.
Keep reading to learn the 6 most common signs you have bed bugs at home.
1.You’re Covered in Bites
One of the first indications of a bed bug infestation is the appearance of red itchy bites on your skin. But how can you tell they’re from a bed bug, rather than another household pest?
Bed bugs love exposed skin, so they’ll nibble on any body parts that aren’t covered by clothes or blankets during the night. Think hands, feet, bare arms, and even your face.
Another telltale sign is the pattern of your bites. These simple-minded critters bite in straight lines, making them easy to distinguish. The only saving grace is that you won’t feel them nip, as they kindly inject you with a numbing agent first!
2. You’ve Found Droppings
It’s gross to think about, but bed bugs are messy creatures and they will leave droppings all around your house. Since they feed on blood, bed bug droppings are dark in color, with an appearance similar to ground coffee.
If you think you’ve found a dropping, try rubbing it between your fingers. If it smears and leaves a reddish color on your hands, chances are, you have a bed bug problem.
If you haven’t found any yet, but are still worried you have an infestation, check your blanket, nightstand, PJs, and pillowcases. Bedbugs don’t travel far once they’ve found food, so droppings are usually found where you sleep.
We also recommend checking your mattress and flipping it so you can have a look at both sides.
3. You’ve Discovered a Shell (Or Found the Real Deal)
The most obvious way to confirm your suspicions is to look for the bed bugs themselves. Bed bugs are secretive critters, so you’re unlikely to find a live one without spotting one of the other signs on this list first.
Nevertheless, hunting them down is the only definitive way to confirm you have an infestation. Grab a flashlight and check all the dark spots around your bed. Even if you don’t find a live bug, you might discover one of their exoskeletons, as bed bugs have many shells that shed during their lifetime.
A full-grown bed bug is around 0.1 inches and is reddish-brown. Imagine looking for an apple seed, which is similar in shape, color, and size.
If you know you have an infestation, don’t wait for it to get out of hand. A professional pest control service, like Synergy², can exterminate any bugs in your home and give you total peace of mind.
4.You Know Someone Else With an Infestation
Even if you haven’t noticed other signs of bed bugs in your home, it’s worth doing a thorough check if you’ve traveled recently or know of someone else with an infestation. After all, bed bugs are hitchhikers and need to be brought into the home by you or your guests.
Check hotel rooms, motels, and guesthouses when you travel. If you find any warning signs, unpack your belongings outside and sanitize them before coming in. Washing clothes at high temperatures will kill the bugs and prevent a full-blown invasion.
Similarly, if you’re having dinner with friends and they mention having bed bugs at home, don’t leave it to chance. Give the rooms they’ve visited a good scrub down to make sure no bed bugs have snuck in unnoticed.
5. You’ve Recently Bought Second-Hand Furniture
Thrift shopping for second-hand furniture is great fun and you can find incredible bargains to inject personality into your home. But you might get more than your money’s worth if you end up bringing bed bugs back with you.
Used furniture is one of the most common ways bed bugs find their way into the home. Inspect furniture thoroughly before handing over your cash and if you can, wash your new pieces with hot water and disinfectant when they arrive. This will minimize the risk of an infestation spreading and save you a whole world of hassle further down the line.
You can also hire professional cleaners who can chemically clean upholstered items.
6. Your Sheets Have Blood Stains
While it doesn’t hurt when bed bugs bite, they are still penetrating your skin. And sometimes, you’ll notice small spots of blood on your sheets when you wake up the next day. They’ll only be tiny, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored!
If the spots coincide with bites or another sign on this list, there’s a high chance you have an infestation on your hands. Give your local extermination team a call if you’re unsure and they’ll be able to confirm the presence of your new roommates.
Are There Signs You Have Bed Bugs at Home? Act Now
If there are signs you have bed bugs at home, don’t hang about. Contact an experienced pest control team and get rid of them immediately. Otherwise, you’ll have a full-blown infestation on your hands before you know it!
If this post has helped you answer questions like “do I have bed bugs” and “how to get rid of bed bugs,” make sure you check out the rest of our blog. We’ve got lots of handy home advice to make your life simpler!