Having your home crawling with bed bugs is the very last thing a homeowner wants. Bed bugs may not be considered entirely health-threatening because they are not known to carry or transmit viruses and diseases, but their itchy and bothersome bites can cause people to scratch like crazy and eventually acquire skin infection and possible bleeding.
The size of bed bugs, which is comparable to that of an apple seed, makes it almost impossible for many humans to easily spot them through the naked eye. In fact, bed bugs could linger inside the household for long periods of time because people often fail to detect infestation earlier.
So, how do we know that our homes have had bed bug infestation? The following five (5) signs will help you determine whether bed bugs dwell inside your household or not:
1. Musty Stench
Using your sense of smell is one way to detect the existence of bed bugs. Usually, when an infestation occurs, you may notice a particular odor similar to that of a mildew scent of rotten wood or wet damp towels that have been left for days. This stink comes as a result of pheromones being excreted by bed bugs. Others also claim that the odor resembles the unpleasant smell of old and uncleaned locker rooms.
By nature, these reddish-brown nocturnal insects molt five times throughout their journey to full maturity. In the process, they shed their skin or shells, also called exoskeletons, which are also reddish-brown in color but are translucent. During each phase, these annoying creatures have to gorge on human blood. Therefore, if you happen to come across molted skins on your mattresses or in other areas near your bed, then there’s no doubt you have bed bugs in your home.
3. Dark Brown or Black Excrement
Having digested blood from their host, the feces of bed bugs are normally rusty or dark colored. These liquid wastes look like stains or smears that can be found in all places they dwell on.
4. Blood Stains
Besides fecal spots, blood stains on your pillowcases, sheets, or pajamas are another indication of bed bug infestation. Sometimes, these ectoparasites voraciously suck so much blood from their host that they tend to spill some blood out. Other times, their sleeping host would accidentally roll-over the bed, thereby crushing these blood-sucking insects and leaving bloodstains on the mattress.
5. Itch and Bite Marks
One obvious evidence of bed bug infestation is the cluster of red bites or flat welts on your skin accompanied by intense itchiness particularly in the morning after you wake up. Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures; hence, they will sneak into your bedroom during the night and attack you when you are asleep. The key to distinguishing bed bug bites from other insect bites is to look at the formation of the bite marks. If the bite marks appear in clusters either in a straight line or zigzag pattern, then those bites are definitely inflicted by bed bugs.
Homeowners just need to be attentive to these five indicators to confirm that bed bugs are indeed crawling inside their homes. The next step would be to inspect all zones or spaces in the house where these insects are possibly hiding. Bed bugs have such quick movements and multiply fast. If you are able to locate these annoying bugs, then you may apply effective methods to eradicate them totally and prevent them from entering your homes again. However, pesticides are not enough nor it is safe around your family and pets. That’s why it is still best to trust the pest control experts to completely get rid of bed bug life stages in one single heat treatment.