From roaches and mice to rats and bats, the different pests that can wreak havoc on your home and health are overwhelming. Some of these pests are made a priority by homeowners while less emphasis is placed on others. Unfortunately, bed bugs are pests that should be understood properly because they pose many risks to your health and wellness. Not only do they reproduce and infest quickly, but bed bugs can also bite you, feeding off your blood and increasing your risk of allergies and skin irritations. Here are a few things you must know about bed bugs.
Bed Bugs Look Like Apple Seeds
Most people know they cannot see dust mites and this same theory applies to bed bugs. However, bed bugs are actually easily seen if you know what to look for.
Bed bugs look similar to an apple seed. They are reddish brown in color and will measure around 1/4 to 3/8 inches long. They have an oval shaped body that is flat in most cases.
It is important to note that the shape, size, and even color of a bed bug may change after it has been feeding on blood for a period of time. This unwanted house guest may swell in size and appear rounder and more red in color after consuming a large amount of blood.
Bed Bugs Leave Behind Multiple Signs
Just because you don't actually see them, does not mean they aren't there. Bed bugs may leave behind others signs, which are important to know so you can diagnose and treat an infestation immediately.
Here are a few signs you may have a bed bug infestation:
- Blood spots – If bed bugs are biting on you or others, you may see actual spots of blood on your bedding, mattress, furniture, or clothing.
- Fecal matter – Another sign of an infestation is fecal matter left behind by these bugs. The feces may resemble smeared areas of dirt with tinges of red because they consume blood.
- Shells – As baby bed bugs grow into adulthood, they will shed their shell/exoskeleton. These shells will be the same shape as bed bugs, but will be somewhat translucent.
- Eggs – As stated earlier, bed bugs reproduce quickly, leaving behind eggs that will increase the size of an infestation. If you are dealing with an infestation, you will most likely find eggs and egg shells in your home.
- Unexplained Bites – One of the most common signs you have bed bugs is the development of bites and sores on your body that you cannot explain. These bites will be small in size and are often irritated and itchy.
Bed Bugs Have Many Homes
Because these pests enjoy hitching rides on individuals, their luggage, and their clothes, it is easy to see why motels, hotels, and vacation rentals are common places for infestations. Staying in a hotel or other accommodation is the start of a home infestation for many because they will eventually bring the bed bugs back with them.
Another surprising fact is that bed bugs have many areas that they call home even though you may associate them with beds only. This is not true, since bed bugs can easily make a bed, mattress, linens, nightstand, couch, closet, coat, handbag, suitcase, carpet, rugs, and even window treatments their home.
When traveling, consider bringing a flashlight with you. This can be helpful for inspecting your motel or vacation rental. When you first arrive, place your luggage and belongings in the bathroom. Bed bugs do not usually inhabit cold, hard areas, so your personal items will be safe while you inspect the rest of the room.
If you find any sign, even a small concern, contact management. They should either refund the cost of your stay so you can stay at a different hotel or offer you a new room for free.
Bed bugs are small pests, but they are serious issues that need to be understood and addressed. This guide and a pest professional from a place like Pioneer Exterminating Company will help educate you on bed bugs.