Bed bugs can be difficult to spot with the naked eye, quickly breed, and are difficult to eradicate. To reduce an outbreak, it’s essential that regular cleaning and vacuuming be conducted, paying particular attention to seams, crevices, and folds.
Make it easier for yourself and medical personnel to inspect and treat, by covering both mattress and box spring with protective covers. Reducing clutter makes inspecting and treating easier.
1. Look for Bite Marks
Bed bugs are wingless insects that spend their days hiding in dark cracks and crevices before emerging at night to seek hosts for feeding. Bed bugs have the ability to travel up to 20 feet from their hiding spots to feed, though they typically stay close to beds or sleeping areas when doing so.
Bites that look similar to mosquito or flea bites and cause itching may also develop into raised bumps that resemble blisters or rashes.
If you suspect bed bug infestation, it’s essential that it’s identified and treated early. Treating small infestations early is less costly and easier to manage than larger ones; look out for bite marks and signs such as dark spotting from fecal droppings, egg cases or shed skins (exuviae). Inspect seams, tags, piping of your mattress/box spring combination as well as cracks in headboard and frame structures for signs.
2. Check for Blood Stains
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to detect due to their tiny size, so checking for blood stains as an early indicator can be useful in early detection. Bloodstains are caused by bed bug saliva which contains anticoagulant agents to keep the blood from clotting while feeding on humans or other creatures.
These tiny pinprick marks may appear on bedding, mattresses and furniture and could indicate an infestation; other signs could include fecal spotting, shed skins or eggshell casings.
Check for signs of bed bug infestation everywhere from mattresses’ seams and tags, folds of upholstered furniture, crevices along baseboards, cracks in wooden furniture joints and electrical outlets and switch plates – or by decluttering and properly storing items in plastic bins so it’s easier to inspect them all – to crevices along baseboards, cracks in wooden furniture joints and electrical outlets and switch plates. Make sure trash is completely sealed during bed bug treatment processes.
3. Check for Bed Bug Eggs
Bed bug eggs may be smaller than their adult counterparts, yet just as easy to miss. You might come across them near mattress seams and tags; or in crevices near bed frames and headboards; at carpet junctions; or around furniture such as sofas and accent chairs.
Utilize a bright flashlight to thoroughly inspect all areas of your bedroom, particularly around beds and seating areas. Keep in mind that even homes which appear clean may harbor bed bug populations since these pests don’t discriminate when it comes to finding homes where they can live comfortably.
As well as thoroughly vacuuming and sanitizing all spaces in your home where bed bugs may be hiding, including rooms where you suspect their presence, it is also crucial that they regularly repeat this step as one vacuuming may not reach all areas where bugs and their eggs exist – this step must be repeated several times over if desired.
4. Check for Dung
If you suspect bed bug poop, take clear, zoomed-in pictures. This will allow you to compare suspicious spots with others and establish whether or not they represent bed bug fecal matter.
These spots look like small dots, approximately the size of a ballpoint pen mark. They tend to gather near bugs’ daytime hiding places – check bed frames and headboards, outlets, cracks and crevices as well as mattress piping for signs.
These water-soluble stains will smear when wiped, with sticky, dark-colored droppings that resemble mammal droppings but appear sticky and darker in hue. Rusty-colored blood may have also be shed by bed bugs which have been crushed, though it should not be taken as a reliable sign that bedbugs have invaded.
5. Check for Adult Bed Bugs
Bed bugs hide within mattresses, box springs, furniture and personal belongings; in crevices of furniture and personal items; near sleeping and resting areas. A flashlight and magnifying glass search should reveal them; look out for blood spots with red hues or small brown ovals that might indicate shed skin or exoskeletons shed by bed bugs (Terminix recommends).
Careful examination using a bed bug monitor should also be given to any upholstered furniture, particularly headboards, drawers and the base of dressers for signs of bed bugs. They can also attach themselves to clothing which can then be transported between locations.
Prevention includes using a mattress encasement designed specifically to ward off bed bugs and maintaining clutter-free bedroom floors, as well as not bringing used furniture into your home. If there is evidence of bed bug infestation, contact a pest control service immediately; their heat treatments and monitoring techniques should quickly get rid of these pests.
6. Check for Ticks
Ticks tend to prefer living in wooded areas and grassy fields; bed bugs however are much more likely to invade homes and apartment buildings and are commonly found on mattresses, box springs and furniture in bedrooms.
Bites from bed bugs often resemble those caused by ticks, making it important to distinguish them. As well as looking at their leg count (bed bugs have six while ticks have eight), examine closely their bite marks; ticks have beak-shaped jaws designed to cut through skin and puncture blood while bed bug mouths lack serrations for cutting through skin or puncturing blood; this allows them to enter more easily through our bodies than do bed bug mouths which remain smooth.
If you suspect a bed bug infestation, remove all clutter and vacuum all affected rooms carefully, paying special attention to seams and crevices where bugs might hide. Also when disposing of items from infested areas fully seal trash in heavy-duty garbage bags before placing near beds or sleeping areas.
7. Check for Smells
Bed bugs leave light brown spotting or streaks as they bite their hosts, often signaling severe infestation and possibly appearing on bedding, furniture and other surfaces. These marks often serve as indicators that an infestation has spread.
Similar to cockroaches, bed bugs emit a strong musty odor when alive or dying, often described as the smell of berries or wet laundry. This odor is caused by pheromones released by large populations of bed bugs; when this occurs it can become particularly noticeable.
Make use of a flashlight to inspect beds, mattresses and other furniture for signs of bed bugs using heavy garbage bags as a form of precaution. Check in cracks, crevices and seams; seam stitching as well as behind frames; in nooks and crannies as well as seam stitching behind pictures or behind frames may harbor them. Wash infested clothing in hot water prior to drying on high temperature setting in dryer. Immediately dispose of infested items in these heavy garbage bags so as to limit further spread of bed bugs or limit their spread further by others picking them up or picking them up themselves thus restricting further the spread of bed bugs pests.
8. Check for Signs of Damage
Carpet beetles, shiny spider beetles and cockroach nymphs may all appear similar to bed bugs; therefore it is wise to conduct a quick check around your home in case any appear as possible suspects for bed bug infestation.
Detecting an infestation early is key to controlling it before it worsens and costs less than treating large-scale infestations.
Home inspection for bed bug infestation should include checking seams of mattresses and box springs, seams around baseboards, outlets, headboards and any furniture that might harbour bed bugs, as well as insect interceptors for bed legs which will trap any bed bugs that make their way onto them. Furthermore, wash all clothes, linens and curtains prior to storage to kill any eggs left behind from bed bugs that might infiltrate.
9. Contact a Pest Control Expert
Bedbugs can be difficult to eradicate; their ability to survive off of very little food while reproducing quickly makes them hardy pests that need expert control services quickly if an infestation is suspected. Experts advise contacting professional pest controllers immediately upon suspecting an outbreak.
PCOs can effectively identify and eliminate an infestation using heat, steam and professional-grade chemical treatments to treat an outbreak. Keep in mind, though, that hygiene alone won’t always prevent an outbreak; bugs are good hitchhikers who have developed resistance against common insecticides.
Reduce your risk of infestation by clearing away clutter, encasing mattresses and box springs with impermeable fabric, puffing powder around seams of furniture like beds, and regularly inspecting for signs of insects in crevices like mattress piping or behind picture frames or wall plates.