Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and insects. Adult bed bugs have flat, oval, brown, wingless appearance, and about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, the color of their body changes to a reddish shade. These bugs thrive in areas close to where people sleep or sit for long periods. Their favorite parts of the body to munch on are the head and neck but they will bite other parts of the body, including arms, hands, and legs.
Many people don’t realize that they already have a bed bug infestation because these insects normally feed during the night. You may get bitten without realizing it and even when you do notice the bite mark, it’s easy to think that it’s just another insect bite.
Things to Look For: Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
It’s not easy to spot bed bugs because they are small and good at hiding, but there are telltale signs to look for.
- You wake up with itchy bite marks you’re sure you didn’t have before going to bed.
- Your sheets or pillowcases are stained with blood from the feeding.
- Dark reddish or rusty spots of bed bug excrement can be found on bed sheets, mattresses, pillowcases, or bedclothes.
- An unpleasant, musty odor comes from their scent glands.
- Bed bug eggshells, fecal spots, and discarded skins can be found in areas where they hide.
If you have any used furniture and you suspect that you may have bed bugs, Yes Pest Pros, Inc. recommends a thorough inspection.
Prepare for Treatment: Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
Preparing your home is the first step to eliminating bed bugs effectively. Start by removing as much clutter as you can. You can donate old magazines and newspapers, cardboard boxes, and clothes you no longer need. These are great hiding places for bed bugs. When decluttering, do not move the infested items to a non-infested area. Instead, place these items in plastic trash bags and, once full, take them outside your home.
Bed bug control requires meticulous inspections, along with the use of non-chemical methods, such as vacuuming, steam, insecticide, and heat treatments. The job calls for detailed work and special equipment, which you may not have. Hence, hiring a professional bed bug exterminator is advisable.