Signs Of Bed Bugs
It is a nightmare when bed bug bites appear. They can ruin a vacation faster than you can say, "What kind of bug leaves a bite like this?" What's worse is when they get into your home. There is something disturbing about bugs crawling on you, and feeding on you, while you sleep. And, since bed bugs can do this for weeks, or even months, before you realize you have an infestation, it is important to recognize the signs.
Since we've already mentioned it, this is a good place to start. Most people realize they have a bed bug infestation because they start finding bites on their skin. They are not just any kind of bites, they're bites that have a significant rash around them, bites that seem to follow a pattern or trail, and bites that appear overnight. If you see bites like these, it is definitely time to take a closer look, but bed bugs don't always leave obvious bites. Baby bed bugs, called larvae, leave smaller bites that may not have a rash associated with them. If you have bed bug larvae feeding on you while you sleep, you may mistake their bites as bites from another bug. Be aware that lots of bites appearing on your skin in the morning is always something you should investigate, no matter how small or unnoticeable.
As an infestation gets worse, blood staining may occur. Stains will appear on sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding. These stains can be caused by leakage from the bed bugs or by blood seeping from a bite wound. If fresh, these stains will appear red. Most often they are found after the blood has turned to a brown color.
Blood stains may be found in high concentration around areas of infestation. Look for these in the seams of your mattresses and the stitching of upholstered furniture. They will be mixed with black feces and insect casings. You may also see tiny, apple seed-sized, rust-colored bugs crawling around.
Bed bugs leave their feces everywhere they go. They can even leave feces while they are feeding. If you find black smears, streaks or pellets on any of your bedding, sheets or pillowcases, it is time to call a professional pest control company. You may also find streaks on baseboards, wall outlet covers, and along the edge of carpets.
The skin of a bed bug is called the cuticle. When the bed bug grows, it sheds this cuticle when it passes from one instar (development stage) to the next. They do this five times before they reach their final size. Finding shed insect skins in your bed, stuck to a seam of your mattress, littered near a wall outlet, or on upholstered furniture is cause for concern.
When a bed bug infestation grows large enough or is in a confined space (like the backseat of a taxi cab) you will notice an odor. The pheromone scent from bed bugs can be described as the smell of a damp, locker room towel. If you get into a cab that smells like this, you probably shouldn't take any chances. Hail another cab.
Obviously, the best sign that there is a bed bug infestation is when you actually see these bugs crawling around. So, it is a good idea to know what a bed bug looks like when you see one. When they first hatch, they are mostly transparent, and about the size of the tip on a pen. As they grow through each instar, they become more rust-colored and get a little larger. At full size, they will only be about 5mm in length. Look for their six legs to distinguish bed bugs from ticks and other eight-legged bugs.
If you see any of these bed bug signs, and you live in our New York service area, call Thomas Pest Control for immediate assistance. Our team has the most advanced training and equipment to deal with bed bug infestations in a way that is fast, effective and, most importantly, discreet. You've been through a nightmare. Let Thomas Pest Control help you put it behind you. Reach out to us today to learn about our bed bug control options.