How would you feel to know that inside your comfy mattress or at the corner of your bed lives a colony of bed bugs? Do you know that while you are sleeping they come out in the open and attack you to feed on your blood?
If you have recently spotted tiny spots on your body, you should start searching for signs of bed bugs in your house. Since these insects are nocturnal in nature, it is hard to spot them during daylight. But they say, if there is a will, there is a way. You will be able to spot them if you know their most favorite hiding places.
The general rule is that bed bugs are found in places that are not within the reach of humans. For example, you cannot possibly poke a finger in the tiny crack on the wall. Or you will not turn your couch upside down to see if it has signs of bed bugs.
All these places are where you can easily find these irritating insects. Also, you’d be surprised to know that they will mostly be found in spots which you use widely. From your room to your study and living room, bed bugs will make a home in the pieces of furniture which are in your daily use. This will allow them to be close to their dinner (your blood).
Bed bugs are a menace. These small, blood-sucky, tiny creatures feed on your blood and disturb you in your sleep. They multiply fast and take only a week to hatch out of their eggs. They hide in corners and inside the wall’s crevices because of which it becomes extremely difficult to get rid of them.
They do not carry any disease and their bites are not lethal, but the irritation and the rash caused by them are unbearable. In fact, at times the red, bumpy wounds get so bad that you have to go see a doctor.
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs do not live in areas that are dirty or unhygienic. If you are happy that you keep your house spotlessly clean, you shouldn’t be. We aren’t scaring you. Just letting you know that your house will welcome bed bugs even though it is clean and tidy.
Bed bugs feed on human blood so they are found in the areas that are densely populated. This is why they are present more in a number of apartment buildings and offices. Flea markets are also one of the places where these tiny creatures are found in abundance. This is because these markets usually sell used furniture inside which they have often made their homes.
People are afraid of bed bugs. And even the mention of their name gave people the jitters. Any insect which is capable of ruining your sleep and causing the misery that is followed by sleepless nights is a nuisance and should be gotten rid of. As mentioned above, one of the biggest problems that people face while treating their home is that these insects are not killed easily.
Bed bugs have developed resistance to many insecticides and now pose a big challenge to anyone who wants to get rid of them.
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How to Check For Bed Bugs
Tiny bed bugs usually come out of their hiding places during the night. These buggers remain undetected for a long time because they feed on you when you are sleeping. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, no, once they have fed on you, they leave tiny bumpy red spots across your body that cause itchiness.
The unease that follows is because of these little bugs. They don’t come out during the day because their flat bodies cannot withstand heat. This is why they are notorious for their trait of lying low. The period during which they remain undetected for a long time gives them the opportunity to multiply.
This is the reason why many experts believe that early detection is the first step towards getting rid of these insects. And for this early detection, you have to take steps to actively search for them throughout your house. And don’t worry, you will be surprised to know that you bed bugs leave plenty of signs for you to check for them. Let’s take a look at how you can detect bed bugs.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
You must know the anatomy of bed bugs to be able to identify them if you spot them. Bed bugs are small, brownish, oval-shaped insects. They have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. If they have recently fed on a body, their body will swell and will be more reddish in color. They live on the blood of animals and humans, so they can feed on your pets too. They cannot fly, but they crawl at a very fast pace. They can walk on the floor, ceilings, and walls. Their lifespan is around 10 months, while some can live for years. A female bed bug lays 5-7 eggs per week which are the size of a grain of rice, and during its life span, it can lay around 500 eggs.
How To Detect Bed Bugs
Before starting your search mission, get all the necessary ‘equipment’. Keep a torch and a magnifying glass with you. Also, wear disposable gloves to prevent these nasty buggers from crawling on your skin.
Many people have also observed that bed bugs give out the musty odor. Sometimes, it even smells like rotten raspberries. This smell also indicates that bed bugs are present in your house.
Can You See Bed Bugs?
Of course, you can. Bed bugs are tiny in size but they are not microscopic. This means that they can be seen without a microscope. So you can see bed bugs easily. You need to carry a magnifying glass to have a clear view of your enemy who is after your blood, quite literally.
A bed bug is visible at all stages of its life cycle. It is only its preference to dark corners which makes it difficult for human to spot them quickly. If you are cautiously looking for active bed bugs around your house, you will be able to locate them easily.
How To Find Bed Bugs
You have to look for physical signs to verify that you have bed bugs in your house. One of the first signs relates to you.
Signs of Bed Bugs On Your Body
1. Uncomfortable Sleep
Are you unable to sleep peacefully? Do you wake up every other hour with an urge to scratch your skin? If you are witnessing these signs, there can be a bed bug problem in your house. Bed bugs feed on human blood and come out of their hiding places during the night. They follow the carbon dioxide that you exhale while sleeping.
They crawl on your skin and release their saliva on the spot they intend to bite. This saliva acts as anesthesia which makes the spot numb. You will not feel anything when a bed bug is biting on you. Once the insect has fed on you, you will observe a bright red wound with a swollen surrounding. This wound is itchy and unbearable.
You will be surprised to know that this condition occurs after your body has repeatedly been bitten by bed bugs. So if you are at a stage where you experience sensitivity because of bed bug saliva, you must know that bed bugs have been living in your life for a long time. Your house has already been compromised by a bed bug invasion.
Redness and itchiness is the last straw, and now even one bite will make your body react fiercely. This itchiness disturbs your sleep. If you are waking up in the middle of the night with a persistent itch, you should be certain that you have these bugs living with you. Time to act, now!
2. Bumpy Spots on Your Body
After a bed bug has bitten you, it leaves a red bumpy wound on your body. Normally, it is a cluster of wounds or three pointy dots in a straight line (each spot signifying one meal). These spots indicate you have been bitten by a bed bug. As mentioned above, bed bugs multiply rapidly, more than one-bed bug may be feeding on you while you comfortably sleep.
3. You Feel Flu-Like
A runny nose or a red eye with an itch is a symptom of your body reacting to the constant feast that bed bugs have on your body. These flu-like symptoms are a sign that you have a bed bug infestation and that your body is not happy with it.
How to Check for Bed Bugs on Bed
Bed bug slive inside mattress because they hate sunlight. Second, they can easily reach you if they are on the same piece of furniture on which you sleep daily for at least five to six hours. This is why a mattress and a bed frame are the first things that you need to thoroughly check for bed bugs.
Look for the following signs to check for bed bugs.
Blood Stains: Tiny red spots that you see on blood sheet are actually your blood but was inside the bed bug you mistakenly squash during your sleep. These tiny bugs are at times unlucky to escape and often get killed by you. If you notice these tiny red spots, you should be on an alert. If spots are high in number, they indicate that a bed bug infestation is on its way. Before it makes your life difficult, take steps to get rid of them.
Fecal Stains: What, now? So bed bugs are living in your house. They are eating and sleeping. Where will they go to take a dump? Your bed, obviously. How does it feel now to sleep on it? Eh? Also, these black disgusting spots appear in clusters (well, they have a tummy full of food). Anyway, if you happen to notice black spots, check your house for bed bugs and treat the area. You don’t want to turn your comfy bed into a public toilet for bed bugs.
Husks: A little paler in color, the husk is the shredded skin of bed bugs. During their life cycle from a nymph to an adult, bed bugs molt their skins multiple time. This process is easier for them when they are properly fed. Since they feed on you when you are sleeping, they will shed your skin there only. If you see these dry particles lying on your bed, be alert.
How to Check for Bed Bugs on Mattress
A mattress is one of bed bugs’ most favorite hiding places. The above signs have given you a slight idea that you have bed bugs in your house. Now you want to see them live to treat the infested places. Follow the following steps to check for bed bugs on the mattress.
1. Remove all bedding from the mattress: If you are sure that your mattress is infested, keep your bed sheets and pillowcase in a sealed plastic bag to stop them from spreading across your house.
2. Shine the light directly on the mattress: Once all bedding is removed, shine the light on the mattress to find any live bed bugs.
3. Run the credit card on the seam of the mattress: These creatures hide in such a manner which help them avoid being caught. It is better to run your credit card on the seam of your mattress. The eggs and the insects will come on the edge of your card. Kill them instantly otherwise they will leave the place and find another place to hide.
Flip the mattress and repeat Step 2 and 3. If bed bugs are in higher concentration, it is best to dispose of the mattress and get a new one. While getting a new one, don’t go for second-hand mattresses. The risk that these mattresses carry bed bugs is high. Check this mattress cover reviews to get the best new one: https://wavepest.com/best-bed-bug-mattress-covers/
How to Check For Bed Bugs on Other Fabrics
Besides mattresses, bed bugs love to hide in other places, particularly those that you use daily. So, it is possible that your couch or your clothing is infested bed bugs. Sound frightening! These bed bugs cannot jump but they can easily hitch a ride. They cling on your clothes and safely land on the couch, for example. You have to vigorously check for these things as well to mark the areas that need treatment.
- To check for bed bugs in loose clothing, shake the clothes over a garbage bag or a tarp to check whether bed bugs or husk fall out.
- When dumping your vacuum bag, look for signs of bed bugs.
- Run the credit card on the creases and seams of your furniture in the same manner in which you did it to your mattress.
How to Check for Bed Bugs on Furniture
When looking for bed bugs, be sure of one thing that they will most probably be hiding in corners. Use a flashlight to spot them easily.
How To Find Bed Bugs
As mentioned above, you have several ways to look for active bed bugs. If you find one, be prepared to spray insecticide directly on them or any other alternative that you want to use to get rid of them. Finding bed bugs during the day will be difficult because they don’t want to come out in the light. If you really want to start your search and kill mission in the morning, start from your bed or couch or any place where you sleep often. Because these are the places where bed bug will be found in abundance.
If you have pets who sleep on a separate bed. Check their beds too. Bed bugs feed on human and animal blood. They can hide in your pet’s bed to be close to it and feed on it.
How to Check for Bed Bugs In A Hotel
In a hotel, people come and go. Visitors come in large number and most of the time the hotel remains occupied. This means that bed bugs have a variety every other day! Not every hotel is infested with bed bug and just like you, hotel owners are also cautious of keeping their hotel room safe and free from any kind of infestation.
But since a hotel sees so many guests per month, bed bugs can enter the hotel through a guest. And once they are in, they will take no time in expanding their family. A hotel which has a seemingly good rating on cleanliness can also have a bed bug problem. Since these insects often remain undetected, we cannot possibly blame the hotel owner for this neglect.
So you have checked in and got your key. Go to your room and place your luggage as far away from the bed and couch (if your room has one) as possible. Bed bugs like to live near a food source and if you keep your luggage in contact with the bed, the bugs will infest it as well.
It is always advisable to wrap your luggage with a plastic sheet. It doesn’t only help you during the traveling, but it also provides a protective cover to it. Bed bugs don’t like metallic or plastic surfaces. If you have a plastic coating around your luggage, you can take a sigh of relief that your belongings are safe.
Just as you’d do at home, repeat the same steps. Check the headboards and design patterns more attentively. Move the bed away from the wall to see if there are bed bugs or not. Check for any cracks or crevices in the bed. If there is any, look for a live bed bug or its eggs. Check the bedding and the seams of the mattress (like you did back at home).
Bedside cabinets are also at risk of being home to bed bugs. This is because they are in contact with the bed, providing a smooth pathway to bed bugs to walk on. Check drawers, lamps, picture frames, and ornaments. Check behind the cabinet as well to be sure that there are no bed bugs.
In the same manner, inspect wardrobes and skirting boards for bed bugs. It will be easier to check the wardrobe as it will be virtually empty. Check it before hanging your clothes, otherwise, your clothes may get infected with the bugs. Check the crevices and joints thoroughly. Inspect the gaps between the walls and the skirting boards.
Bed bugs can also be found in a sofa chair. Repeat all the steps that you carried out at home. Check the cushion thoroughly as many bed bugs happily make a home inside the soft cushion.
Also, look for physical signs that we talked about in the beginning. These spots can also show whether the room has bed bugs. If you find a sign that confirms bed bugs’ presence or if you see one crawling on the bed or any surface, report it to the front desk. If these are in clusters, change your room at once. Even if you spend a minute in the room, you are risking taking bed bugs back to your home. And we know that you don’t want that. So it is better to let the hotel staff know that you cannot share your room with unwanted houseguests. Don’t take risks!
You have now a clear idea about how to find bed bugs in your house or at any other place. You can use all the procedures to check for bed bugs and take timely action to get rid of them. As discussed, the only less stressful solution is the early detection of these irritating creatures.
Bed Bugs Treatment
Let us now have a quick look at what treatment options you have, in case you find a bed bug problem in your house.
Call Pest Control
Call the experts and get your house treated. This is one of the best ways to rid your house of the infestation, but do know that this treatment costs an arm and a leg. If you are broke like the rest of us (who lives paycheck to paycheck, it’s a hard life, we know), read on to find out alternative treatment options to kill bed bugs.
Treat Your House Water
Get the water to at least more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and treat your entire house. Bed bugs cannot withstand heat. You can also use steam to treat areas that are too tiny. Find out the best bed bug steamer now!
Wash Your Clothes in Bleach
Use the bleach which is suitable for washing clothes. Wash the clothes using hot water and then dry them at a high temperature.
Treat Your Mattress
Use a stiff brush and run it along the seams of the mattress to get rid of bed bugs. When it comes to a mattress, don’t treat it with bleach. The fabric of the mattress is not strong enough to withstand the harsh chemical. You can also use your vacuum cleaner to get rid of bed bugs on the mattress.
Vacuum Your House
Regularly vacuum your house and treat every corner. Clean the vacuum bag thoroughly before putting it inside a plastic bag and discard it. Do it regularly at least for two weeks.
What You Can Do To Prevent Bed Bug Infestation
It seems that you are helpless in front of a bed bug invasion. But you can take some steps to prevent bed bugs from spreading in your house.
Even if your neighbors have bed bugs, your house can have them too. Bed bugs can travel through the tiniest hole in the walls and most of us share at least one wall with our neighbor. Never delay your repair and maintenance work.
Get Rid of Clutter
Bed bugs love clutter because it gives them a good hiding place. Get rid of the clutter from all the places; be it around your bed or in the garage.
Encase mattress with a zipped, tightly woven cover and put it on the mattress for a year. Ensure that there is no opening and that the bugs cannot escape. Bed bugs can live up to a year without food. Keep the cover on the mattress for that long to make sure that all bugs are dead.
How to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs bites can be itchy. While you have an urge to scratch the wound, try not to do it. This is because of scratching, the wound will get infected. To soothe itching, you can use any of the following items.
- Baking Soda and Water
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Antihistamine Pill
- Benadryl Cream
Identifying bed bugs is the first step towards getting rid of them. We agree that it is difficult to spot them. You can follow this easy guide to detect bed bugs and get rid of them in a timely manner.