We always think that bed bugs live on beds only. That is what the name suggests but we are wrong. Bed bugs can live anywhere. You can find bedbugs on your office chair, sofa and bus.
You can pick up a bedbug from sitting down on the public transport vehicle or your car. They hide in bedding in your home, hotels, or pet bedding. And, they are so tiny they can hide almost anywhere. Indeed, finding bedbugs early may ensure you don’t transmit them to your home–or prevent you from a growing infestation.
10 Signs of Bed Bugs (and how to check for them)
You are aware of how dangerous Bedbugs are, and you are planning to avoid them by all means. Here are a few signs of bedbug Infestation; any of these experiences is a red flag, be careful:
1. A Live Bedbug Walking Around
A live bedbug crawling on your couch, mattress, or vehicle seat is an excellent sign of infestation. The seats, glove boxes, and mats are ideal hideouts for the bedbugs. The bedbug you see today might have been living there for long; regular checking is significant for managing them.
Although their shape changes as they age, many bedbugs are reddish-brown and flat, and oval-shaped. Some Bedbugs can be small as poppy seeds; others can be as big as the size of an apple seed. If you see an insect with such features on your journey, clearly that is a bedbug.
Often, the bedbug shows up when it is slightly dark. You will rarely see a live bedbug in broad daylight because bedbugs can hide perfectly. Vacuum your home regularly to hinder the survival of bedbugs.
2. Bites and Bumps on Your Skin
Human blood is the bedbug’s favorite food. You might suddenly notice red bumps on your body after driving or traveling but fail to know their cause. Bedbugs can nip you when you are driving or taking a nap on the back seat of the car.
In other cases, these insects might fail to bite you immediately. But, they’ll latch onto you later when they are in your home. Do not assume that all the bites and bumps on your skin are from mosquitoes. Sometimes these bites look like those of mosquitoes, check for bedbug infestation whenever you see bites on your skin.
The bites of this specific insect have a distinctive pattern in that they occur in a line. However, you should not ignore any bite especially if you are experiencing bedbugs the first time. Be watchful for any bites so you can exterminate them early on.
3. Exoskeleton Near Cracks and Crevices
Bedbugs shed their exoskeleton at least once in a week. In other circumstances, they shed the exoskeleton five times before reaching maturity. If you see any exoskeleton in your vicinity (bed, carpet, vehicle, pet bedding) you should call a professional exterminator
You can find the exoskeletons on the areas where bedbugs love to hide. Check inside the glove compartment, the console and between the vehicle seats. Check routinely as they might be moving to the different parts of the vehicle.
Tip– A double-sided tape is helpful when checking into areas that are hard to reach. Get yourself one to ease your access to floor mats and the edges of seat cushions. Look at the tape as you work with it to see if you’ve picked up any insects.
4. Dark Rusty-Colored Spots on Carpet, Sheets, Mattresses or Fabrics
If you see dark spots on your textiles, you may have an infestation on your hands. Bedbugs usually leave fecal stains on the areas they walk or assemble in significant numbers. The spots smear if you touch them and they can have an unpleasant smell.
The bedbugs convey from one spot to the next in purses, bookbags, moving boxes, suitcases, and sometimes our clothes. Once they’re on the move, the insects will live in the areas made of fabric. Ensure you frequently inspect your linens and textiles for the telltale dark rusty spots.
Regular cleaning can help you detect any issue early.
5. Eggs and Bed Bug Shells
White and husk-like specks alert you to the presence of these insects. Bed bug eggs have such features, and what you are seeing is probably shells. The shells have been molted and produced as the insects shed off their skin as they grow.
Although you might see the eggshells on the surface level, it is wise to uncover them by digging a little bit deeper. Lift up and check on the fabric edge, as the parasite prefers fabric to plastic. Destroy the eggs to prevent further bed bug multiplication.
The shells may seem to be old, but you should not ignore the fact that you have or had a problem. Bed bugs survive for long periods, hiding in your clothes, bedding, and carpets. They relocate when you destroy their habitat, so check routinely and prevent them from increasing.
6. Noticing Musty Odors
If you detect any uncommon and musty scent in the car, it can be a sign of any insect issues. Unpleasant and musty smells often signify the presence of pesky critters and bed bugs fall into this category. These particular insects produce pheromones which can be very strong when there are many congregated in one area.
7. You Wake Up With Itchy Red Spots
Your skin is itchy after taking a nap when traveling, and you are wondering what caused it. The most noticeable sign of a bed bug infestation is the presence of bites on your skin. You might see the signs immediately or later.
Bedbug bites are small in size, red in color and are always itchy. You might experience inflammation minutes after the bite, especially if weren’t on the lookout when scratching your skin.
People may unknowingly carry these insects because they mistake their bites for other stings.
8. Tiny White Spots on the Joints of Your Car
White spots in the crevices of a mattress, couch, or car seat are clear signs of an infestation. The insects lay tiny eggs on the joints and cracks and of furnishings. Seeing these should prompt you to investigate the entire area. Otherwise, the eggs will hatch and grow out of control.
In fact, one female bed bug lays 200 to 250 eggs in her lifetime. They prefer laying their eggs in cracks and crevices because these are safe areas. The eggs hatch after just 6 and 10 days, so their number increase rapidly.
You might have these tiny insects for months without you noticing. Regular cleaning by vacuuming helps to control the population. Regularly use a vacuum cleaner can be helpful in eliminating any problems you might be unaware of.
Tip– use a flashlight to peer between and behind couches, chairs, mattresses, and even under the seat of your car. Peel back the fabric that is tucked to the bottom and take a good look, too!
9. Blood Stains on Your Clothes
Looking down and finding bloodstains on your clothes is alarming. Bloodstains are an apparent reason to suspect a bed bug infestation. Bloodstains, along with bites and red or itchy skin, signal you might have a bedbug problem.
Sometimes you unconsciously squash the bedbugs while or after they feed on your blood. The squashing causes the blood spots on your clothes. If you often wonder about such mystery stains it is an indication of insects.
Time to call the exterminator!
10. Your Friend Has Mentioned Bedbug Issues
You may not realize that bedbugs spread from one person to another. The friend that you carpool with or the colleague you go on a business trip with might unknowingly transmit bed bugs to your belongings.
Even the cleanest friend might be carrying insects along. The parasite does not care whether you are clean or unclean, it needs to feed on your blood.
What to Do If You’ve Found These Insects
So, you found bed bugs. Now what?
Call an exterminator right away. They can confirm if your infestation is what you believe or some other critter. And, they will assess the extent of the problem. Some companies will even bring in canines that can sniff out problem areas that you overlooked.
Speed is of the essence to stop the life cycle of this critter. The professional will know precisely what needs to be done.
Although they do not carry any diseases, bed bugs are annoying and stressful to live with. Any person with experiences with this insect can testify that just the mere thought of them makes people itch. Many people suffer sores that don’t heal well, insomnia, or a phobia after a brush with this insect.
Cushions and mattresses are the most obvious places to check when you suspect you have an infestation. However, these sneaky creatures find their way into places you least expect. It is not surprising to find them in closets, pet bedding, or your car.