Sharing your bed is only fun if you’re doing it with someone you love… or maybe a cuddly pet. Trying to sleep with things that crawl all over you and bite you every night is much less exciting.
Just to be clear, we’re talking about bed bugs, not children.
Unlike your kids, though, bed bugs are harder to spot. You might not realize you have a bed bug infestation until it’s too late if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
We’ve put together this guide to show you when to call pest control services, so make sure you keep reading below!
1. You Can See Them
This is the most obvious sign that you have a bed bug infestation on your hands, but it’s not the easiest one to spot. Bed bugs tend to hide when they aren’t feeding. Since you spend most of your time in bed during the night, you won’t see them during the day.
If you do find a bed bug crawling around on or near your mattress, it’s way past time to hire a pest control service.
Seeing a bed bug means there are dozens or hundreds more hiding where you can’t see them. You’re likely dealing with a full-blown infestation at this point, so the only way to get rid of them is by getting in touch with a professional exterminator.
How to Recognize a Bed Bug
If you think you’ve found a bed bug in your house, take a closer look before you spend money on a pest control company. The bug you’re seeing might not be a bed bug. Mixing pests up is an easy mistake if you’re not an expert.
Here are a few warning signs to check for:
- brown (adult) or pale white (nymph) in color
- Six legs
- Two antennas
- Narrow head
- Wide abdomen that sticks out much farther than their back legs
- Small front wings
Keep in mind, although they have wings, bed bugs can’t fly. If the bug starts flying, you can take a deep breath and relax. That’s a different type of bug.
2. Left-Behind Stains on Your Mattress
If you think you might have a bed bug problem, the first thing you should do is examine your mattress and bedding. Even if you don’t see the bugs, they leave small traces behind after crawling around on your bed.
Pull back your blanket and look for rusty-colored spots on your sheet.
Do you see one?
That’s a crushed bed bug. If you roll over in the night, you might smash one that was feeding on you, which creates a noticeable spot. You might also find bloodstains from their bites.
Check for dark dots, as well. These are what bed bug droppings look like, and if you have bed bugs, you’ll likely find a lot of these markings.
Finally, you might also be able to find eggs along the edges of your mattress. However, since bed bug eggs are small and white, they can be easy to miss, especially on light-colored sheets.
If you don’t have bites, you don’t have bed bugs, right?
You may have a giant infestation of bed bugs but not notice any bites on your body at all. This doesn’t mean they aren’t biting, but bed bug bites can be difficult to spot or even notice.
Everyone reacts to bed bug bites differently. Some people get large, itchy lumps while others get nothing more than a small, red dot. It can also be easy to mistake bed bug bites for something else.
For example, you might not get a reaction to a bite until hours or even days have passed. This means the bite could “show up” while you’re away from home, misleading you to believe it came from something else.
If you notice other signs of bed bugs in your home, even if you don’t have any bites, you should search for custom bed bug removal in your area.
How to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Itchy bed bug bites are annoying, but they don’t aren’t much more harmful than that. If you leave them alone, they’ll go away within a few weeks. To relieve the symptoms, there are a few methods you can try.
- Rub anti-itch cream over the bite
- Take an oral antihistamine (reduces burning and itching)
- Take an over-the-counter pain mediation (reduces swelling and pain)
This should be all you need to manage bed bug bites. However, if you’re having a severe reaction, make sure you seek proper medical help right away.
4. Bad, Musty Smell
Bed bugs produce a musty, sort of sweet odor. You may be able to smell this scene every time you get into bed (or sit in another infested area).
But, odds are, you won’t notice the smell until after you’ve already found other warning signs. The smell is very hard to detect, and if you do catch it, the smell is coming from a large number of bed bugs.
At this point, you’ll need to start looking for the best pest control company in your area to take care of the problem.
It’s Time to Call Pest Control
Have you found any of these bed bug indicators in your house? Then it’s time to call pest control services! You’ve already got an infestation on your hands, and leaving it alone will just make it worse, harder to exterminate, and more expensive to get rid of later.
Not sure where to find the right help?
Start searching for things like “pest control near me” online. This will point you in the right direction and ensure you’re home becomes bed-bug-free as soon as possible.
Looking for more helpful homeowner tips? Make sure you take a look at the rest of our blog today!