How To Check for Bed Bugs: Common Hiding Spots and Signs
How to check for bed bugs: Bedbugs are the little oval-shaped insects with a coffee-brown color that thrive on the blood of humans and animals. An adult bedbug can grow as much as the size of an apple seed, and it has a flat body. However, after they feed, their bodies will experience swelling and will have a reddish hue. Though these insects don’t fly, they can move extremely fast in walls, floors, and ceilings. Female bed bugs can produce hundreds of eggs over their lifetime. These eggs are so tiny; they are almost the same size as a speck of dust.
Young bedbugs are referred to as nymphs. They shed their skin at least five times before they reach maturity. However, they need to consume blood before they can start shedding. If they are exposed to the ideal environment, bed bugs can mature in just a month and lay three or more generations each year. Though troublesome, they don’t transmit any form of the disease.
Common Bed Bug Hideout
If you’re wondering how to check for bed bugs, you should know that being incredibly tiny, bedbugs can enter your home unnoticed. They can attach themselves to clothing, luggage, couches, throw pillows, bedding, and other household materials. Their flattened bodies allow them to enter narrow areas, even those with a width of a credit card.
However, bedbugs don’t have a breeding ground, though they usually come in groups in hiding areas. Typically, their hideout includes box springs, mattresses, headboards, and bed frames. These are convenient places for them to feed on their victims at night. Later on, they might spread through different parts of the bedroom, huddling into any covered spaces. They also have a tendency to scatter to neighboring apartments or rooms.
Since bed bugs feed on blood, having them in your living area doesn’t mean that you are unhygienic or dirty. As a matter of fact, you can even find them in homes and hotels that are spick and span, as well as those that have clutter.
The More You Know: To find out if you have a bed bug problem, you may want to begin by seeing a bed bug up, close and personal. Here’s what a bed bug looks like.
When Do Bed Bugs Bite?
Before we talk about how to check for bed bugs, it’s important to know when they bite. Generally, bedbugs are active during the night and they usually feed on sleeping people, biting, and sucking blood while their human host sleeps. Using their long beak, they pierce through the skin and sip the blood for consumption. Their feeding process takes at least 3-10 minutes before they become satisfied and move away undetected.
At first, bedbug bites won’t sting, but over time will become itchy and irritated. Compared to flea bites that are usually found in ankles, bedbug bites are found in parts of the skin that are exposed while sleeping. Furthermore, the affected area doesn’t display a red spot in the middle, unlike flea bites.
People find it difficult to detect a bed bug infestation because they are minute insects. In fact, the itchiness from bed bug bites is usually associated with other causes, including mosquito bites. In order for you to know how to find bed bugs, you must learn how to check for bug bites. By being able to distinguish a bed bug bite, you can protect against these nuisance insects and free your home from such infestation.
Checking for Bed Bugs: Bites
Bed bugs bite into a human by inserting two tubes into its skin. One tube secretes saliva that makes the bite area numb. This also thins the blood, so it’s easier for the bug to consume it. The second tube is known as the feeding tube and is utilized for one purpose only; sipping the blood from the human.
It’s not surprising that bedbug bites are difficult to detect. Not only are their bodies tiny, but their bites are also impossible to see using the naked eye. Normally, when people are bitten by bedbugs, they usually complain about a subtle pinch while they sleep at night. But despite this, typically, the bites won’t immediately cause redness or inflammation on the skin.
However, later on, itchiness and redness will appear once your skin reacts to the saliva of the bedbug. In the case that you experience this, it means that you have already been bitten a couple of times and your room has now become a den for bed bugs, which can potentially result in an outbreak. Bed bugs are fond of biting in rows. They usually feed for 3-4 times along the part of the skin they travel to. The pattern of the bite is somehow related to flea bites, and this is the main reason why misdiagnoses always happen.
Checking Bed Bugs: Bedding
If there’s one thing that bedbugs despise, it’s light. That’s why they always strike during the night when their victim is fast asleep in an infested bed. It is impossible to catch living bed bugs in your bedding. However, when figuring out how to check for bed bugs, there are signs that will tell you if they are feeding on your skin. These signs include the following:
- Bloodstains – Bed bugs are known for being efficient consumers. If you happen to roll over them while you sleep, there’s a tendency that you might smash their tiny body; thus causing bloodstains to appear in your sheets.
- Husks – Since bed bugs grow in size when they feed, they usually shed an old exoskeleton so they can consume more blood. Husks look dry, hollow, and white. Once you find it in your bedding, it only means that it is already infested.
- Feces – When bedbugs digest their blood meal, they secrete tiny black stains which are identified as feces. Feces come in clusters on your bedding if it is infested with bedbugs.
You May Be Interested In: Finding out you have bed bugs can be a shock. And it often needs expert intervention. However, here are some home remedies for bed bugs you can follow.
Examining Bed Bugs on Mattresses
Once bedbugs are satisfied with their meal, they go back to their protected space until they are ready to feed again. The major feeding areas for bedbugs are mattresses straps, buttons, creases, and tags. When looking for how to find bed bugs, take note that these areas are convenient since as it is where they can easily locate and attach to their victims.
As mentioned before, you should look out for bloodstains, husks, and feces to determine if your bed is bedbug infested. Moreover, you can also look for nymphs, mature bedbugs, and eggs. The fastest way to examine your mattress is by using a flashlight and an old credit card.
Perform these simple steps:
- Eliminate the bedding in your mattress.
- Using your flashlight, point it towards the mattress and search for bed bugs.
- Run your old credit card in the seams of the mattress to remove eggs, husks, or feces.
- Turn the mattress over the other side and repeat the steps in number 2 and 3.
If you think you’ve learned all there is about how to tell if you have bed bugs, keep in mind that there are eggs to consider. Bedbug eggs are tiny and round, which are almost similar to a poppy seed. However, these eggs are loosely placed on the mattress or bedding, where they are typically laid by an adult bedbug and are easy to scrape and remove from the fabric.
On the other hand, mature and nymph bed bugs have a transparent color. With this, their blood consumption is visible in their stomach in the form of a red dot. Generally, a mature bed bug is similar in size to a grain of rice.
How to Properly Remove Bed Bugs from Fabrics?
You can instantly remove any bedbugs from fabric using the same method that you use to inspect your mattress and bedding. When considering how to tell if you have bed bugs, keep in mind that although bed bugs don’t have the ability to jump or fly, they are fast travelers. Usually, they crawl onto people’s clothes and attach until they find potential bedding to infest.
To help you determine further bedbug infestation in your fabrics at home, follow these simple steps:
- Get a garbage bag or tarp and use it to catch fall out husks, eggs, or feces when you wave loose fabrics such as curtains, clothing, and linens.
- Before you throw away vacuum bag or canister, look for signs of eggs, nymphs, bedbugs, and husks.
- Carefully examine the creases and seams of your household furniture. You can use an old credit card, just like what you did with your mattress, to scrape unwanted feces, husks, and eggs.
Catching Bed Bugs in their Hiding Spots
Earlier, we discussed how to tell if you have bed bugs based on their hiding spots. So how do you catch them? Since bed bugs are afraid of the light, they are difficult to eliminate since they dwell in dark areas. You need to carefully search every darkened corner of your home to catch them.
Below is a list of some of their common hiding spots:
- Under and behind furniture
Bed bugs are notorious for infesting many homes. Being minute; they can fit in any small and dark area in your home, infesting your beds, mattresses, and other fabric items every time they have the chance. They go unnoticed most of the time, which makes them a troublesome pest.
However, since bed bugs reside in colonies, an infestation will produce a smell that is somehow akin to cilantro or coriander. If you happen to detect this weird odor, call a reputable pest exterminator right away. They are knowledgeable in taking down these pests, and they can prevent a harmful outbreak.
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