Bed Bugs—Early Identification and Treatment
Bed bugs are a true nuisance in the insect world. They are happy to hitch a ride home from your most recent vacation or arrive with visiting friends or family. Not only do they bite and feed off of the blood of their host, but sometimes they can be challenging to locate because of their size, especially if you do not know what you are looking for or where to find them. Understanding the early signs of an infestation and the appearance of these insects and their bites will help you identify and more quickly resolve the problem.
What are the early signs of bed bugs?
The most common sign of a bed bug infestation is waking up with bug bites. Bites usually occur when you sleep, as bed bugs are typically nocturnal and feed at night. Another warning sign of an infestation is the existence of dark brown or rust-colored excrement stains or egg shells on the bed sheets or mattresses.
You may also see blood stains on bedding from where bed bugs have been crushed by your body rolling on top of them. A musty smell might also be a sign. While bed bugs are excellent at hiding, they aren’t invisible. So if you find spots on your mattress, it’s time to look for answers.
What do bed bugs look like?
So you’ve found some mysterious bites, and you think you might have bed bugs. Now what? Look for small, brownish, wingless insects about the size of an apple seed. They have flat bodies until they feed on the blood of their hosts, and then they swell up and turn reddish. Bed bugs reproduce quickly and can lay hundreds of eggs in their lifespan if they have a reliable food source.
What happens when a bed bug bites you?
When a bed bug strikes, its host will not feel the bite because the bed bug will inject a numbing agent and an anticoagulant to keep your blood flowing while they feed. You may notice when you wake up that you have been bitten, but sometimes it could take up to two weeks for the bites to appear.
Bed bug bites are itchy, red bumps that usually appear in straight rows. The sores should heal within a week or two, sometimes requiring a topical cream or antihistamines to relieve symptoms. Although they are a nuisance and may cause you to itch, bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases. Don’t ignore the problem, though, because it can quickly become an infestation.
How do you treat a bed bug infestation?
If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, there are steps you can take to eliminate the problem. Removing all bedding, linen, clothing, and such that a bed bug could hide in is essential—and deep cleaning these items.
Make sure to vacuum thoroughly on and around your mattress. Finally, encasing the mattress and box springs in a tight-fitting plastic cover may be a good idea to prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping. Since bed bugs can live up to a year without food, you will need to keep the cover on for that long to ensure they have died.
How do you get rid of bed bugs permanently?
While these steps will help you gain control of an infestation, eliminating bed bugs permanently requires professional help. The bed bug experts at 855Bugs know where to look and how to rid your home of these pesky insects.
Schedule your free inspection with 855Bugs today!