How Do You Know If You Have Bed Bugs?
If you suspect that you might have a bed bug problem, don’t worry because you’re not alone. It’s a growing public health issue, and they don’t recognize any social class or income boundaries.
So they don’t discriminate. They affect all people equally, both rich and poor alike. Then anyone who has ever dealt with any insect infestation problem anywhere in their home or garden will appreciate how stubborn an adversary most any bugs can be.
So the sooner you learn how to tell if you have bed bugs, the better off you will be. The trick is in locating and identifying the indicators of bed bugs early on. So then, how to tell if you have bed bugs?
The answer to that question is simple. You need to learn to recognize the telltale signs and where to look for them and then work from there. So the next task is to get rid of them, and it can be easier said than done.
Standard store-bought insecticides aren’t effective anymore.
There was a time a handful of decades back when eradicating an insect infestation was a whole lot easier than it is today. Back then, acquiring truly effective insecticides was as easy as heading down to your local nursery or hardware store.
But that was then, and this is now. So now, because of safety and liability concerns, your local hardware store isn’t willing to take the risk of carrying powerful and effective insecticides.
What they have now is anything but the latest developments in modern chemistry. You need a license to purchase and use that stuff. Also, over time insects have developed a resistance or immunity to available insecticides that you can still find on the market.
Generation after generation of insects have been repeatedly exposed to them, so the bugs you are dealing with now aren’t knocked back by them like they used to be. So, where it stands now is that with rare exceptions, eliminating bed bugs in a home requires professional help.
So then, how to tell if you have bed bugs?
The answer here is that you look for the indicators. That’s step one and the first standard indicator you may have already discovered. That would be insect bites on your body, even if your pets have been effectively treated for fleas.
Then the second common indicator to check you for is small dark red, or reddish-brown spots on your sheets. They will be about half the size of a peppercorn. These are bed bug excrement, commonly referred to as bed bug poop.
The spots are dark red to dark brown because it’s your blood that they are feasting on while you sleep at night. Then another method to learn how do you know if you have bed bugs is to look carefully along seam lines and the edges of your mattresses.
If you can find any bed bugs there, that would be an irrefutable indicator that you have them. Another thing to be on the lookout for is their tiny egg shells and discarded exoskeletons. They shed their outer coverings five times until they reach adulthood.
How do you prevent a bed bug infestation in your home?
Discovering the answer to how do you know if you have bed bugs is great. But what’s even better is knowing how to prevent a bed bug infestation in the first place. Keeping them out is a whole lot easier than getting them out.
So rule number one is just to be very cautious about bringing a pre-owned mattress or bedding into your home. It can be done if some basic rules are followed, but unless it’s a great deal on a high-quality mattress, it may not be worth the risk you will be taking.
Hot steam works great for eradicating bed bugs, so if a used mattress or bedding is thoroughly cleaned and then treated with hot steam, that for sure makes it safer.
Freezing temperatures also kill bed bugs. This doesn’t mean very cold temperatures, but instead freezing temperatures. So bed bugs, their eggs, and larvae can be killed by putting used bedding in a large plastic bag and then sticking it in your freezer for a couple of days.
Where do bed bugs hide in a home?
Pretty much all insects exist at the bottom of nature’s food chain, and bed bugs are no exception. So they survive as a species by being good at hiding out.
You can pull back the sheets on your bed and look all you want, but it takes more than that to know if you have bed bugs because they hide out very well during the daytime.
It’s also crucial that you find them early before they start migrating around the rest of your home in search of happier hunting grounds. So any crevices in and around your bedroom make a great hideout for bed bugs.
Look down in the crevice where your carpeting meets the wall. Also, look inside dresser drawers. Bed bugs will also crawl up walls to hide inside electrical wall plugs.
Put on your reading glasses and use a small flashlight to look carefully into any and all cracks and openings because you can even find them hunkered down inside a wood screw.
Interesting facts to help you know if you have bed bugs.
Any good general will tell you that the more you know about your enemy, the better your odds of defeating them. So the answer to how do you know if you have bed bugs partially lies in learning to know all you can about them.
This is because even after you have eradicated your infestation, there is no guarantee that they won’t be back for you to battle them yet again.
So knowing that they lay up to five eggs a day, adding up to as many as 500 eggs over the course of their life, should work to inspire you to find the answer to how to tell if you have bed bugs.
Then another fact worth knowing is that bed bugs are willing to travel up to twenty feet away from their hiding place to reach your bed at feeding time.
Knowing what attracts them in the first place also helps. It’s the carbon dioxide in your breath, along with the warmth of your body, that they zero in on.