It is important to detect bed bugs early because if not, it can be a big problem. If you do not detect the existence of bed bugs early, they can interfere with your sleep and they may spread to different areas of your home.
8 Early Signs of Bed Bugs
According to the Medicine Net site, here are 8 early signs of bed bugs.
- Fecal Spots
If you find that there are small, brownish to blackish spots on the sheets, pillowcases and mattress, it means that your bed has been infested with bed bugs. The spots that you find are because of the fecal matter of the bed bugs.
- Bed Bug Bites
When you find bites on your skin, you may wonder whether it is bitten by bed bugs or mosquitos. Often, bites caused by bed bugs are mistaken for mosquito bites. Because bed bugs bite at night and they cause painless bites, they may often go unnoticed. Nevertheless, their bites will turn into itchy welts at the end. Bed bug bites may be seen in clusters as zigzag patterns on the skin. You may see each cluster has about three to five bites. If you have sensitive skin, bed bugs can cause significant skin allergies or irritation.
- Bed Bug Eggs
After mating, the female bed bugs lay eggs which are oval and have white colour. Generally, the eggs can be found in cracks and crevices. You may also find empty eggshells. The bed bug eggs are very small where they are smaller than an apple seed, so they may be overlooked easily.
- Molt Skin
Molt skin can be seen as peel or shell-like structures under the sheets, mattress or pillowcases. If you see them, they are remnants of the outer shell called the exoskeleton which is shed by the bed bugs.
Rusty or red streaks or specks on the skin can be indicated that those are bed bug bites. You may also be able to see these stains on sheets, comforters, mattresses, and on upholstered furniture such as the headboard of your bed and couch.
- Musty Smell
It is important for you to know that bed bugs have scent glands which can produce a typical odor. This typical odor can help them communicate with other bed bugs. If your home is infested with bed bugs, you will smell an offensive sweet or musty smell. The smell may also be mild and often ignored.
- Changes in pet behavior
Bed bugs prefer to feed on humans. However, they may also be able to infest your pets. If you find that your pet is irritated, scratchy, or restless, it can indicate that they have been bitten by bed bugs. Usually, fleas or ticks are attached to the body of your pet, but bed bugs also can trouble them.
- Live or Dead Bugs
If a place has heavy infestation, you may find live or dead bed bugs. Generally, bed bugs hide in dark places such as cracks, crevices, under the mattress, on walls, or behind a painting or loose wallpapers and wall paints.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
You are able to get rid of bed bugs by starting with cleaning up the places where bed bugs live. According to the WebMD site, here are several things that you can do to get rid of bed bugs.
- You are able to clean beddings, curtains, linens, and clothing in hot water. After that, you have to dry them on the highest dryer setting. You have to place stuffed animals, shoes and other items which are not able to be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
- You are able to use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to get rid of bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
- Now, you can vacuum your bed and surrounding area often. After you vacuum it, then you have to place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag immediately and place it in garbage bin outdoors.
- You have to encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover. It is done to keep bed bugs from entering or escaping. It is important for you to know that bed bugs may be able to live up to a year without feeding. So, you have to keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure that all bugs in the mattress die.
- You have to repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to remove places bed bugs can hide.
- You have to remove clutter around the bed.
Let’s say that your mattress is infested. If so, you may want to remove it and get a new one. You can do that, but you have to take care to rid the rest of your home of bed bugs or they will infest your new mattress.
Exterminating Bed Bugs
When you are cleaning up infested areas, it can help in controlling bed bugs. However, removing them usually needs chemical treatments. If you treat your bed and bedroom with insecticides, it can be dangerous. So, you have to use products that are able to be safe to be used in bedrooms. You have to make sure that you do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label of the product specifically says that you are able to use them on bedding.
If you do not know what to do and you are afraid that you make mistakes when you try to get rid of bed bugs, it is better for you to hire an experienced pest control professional to exterminate bed bugs. If you decide to hire them, it will be safe and more effective.
Well, that’s all the explanation about early signs of bed bugs at home and also how to get rid of them. When you find one of the signs of bed bugs, it is better for you to find where they are so that you can avoid the worst effects of bed bugs. Do not wait until all signs appear. If you can get rid of them early, it is better.