Bed bugs are small, flat, as thick as a credit card, and can multiply rapidly. If the issue is not resolved quickly, you can encounter an infestation of over 13,000 which can be very expensive to get rid of. They are difficult to spot because they can hide in a variety of places such as between couch cushions, box springs, car seats, and mattress bed frames. Here are signs on how to spot an infestation.
Bites in straight lines: Bed bugs feed on humans mostly at night when we are asleep. A way to find out if your bed is harboring these creatures is by checking your skin to see if there are small bites. They are very similar to mosquito bites; however, they are usually in a straight line.
Bed bug shell-shedding: Each time a bed bug feeds on a human, it expands. While growing, they begin to shed their old skin to make way for a new one. They leave behind their exoskeleton where they feed. This process is known as “molting” and each bed bug will molt five times throughout its life span.
Bloodstains: It is common to find bloodstains on your bed sheets or pajamas during a bed bug infestation. As you move throughout the night, you may squish them as they navigate your mattress. If you are not sure they are living in there, search for stains on your pj’s and around the bed upon awakening.
Fecal spots: After bed bugs feed on their host, they leave droppings behind. The fecal matter is the size of a dot from a marker and it is a dark, rusty color. It can be easily confused with bloodstains; however, their color is not as bright as fresh blood. It also has a foul smell. The fecal droppings are not exclusive to a mattress. If an infestation is present, they can be found anywhere from carpets to the edges of a wall.
A friend has bed bugs: If you have been around people whose homes or cars have been infested with bed bugs and they are in the process of exterminating, you might want to check your clothes and belongings. Bed bugs can spread through humans by fabrics. It is not always a matter of cleanliness; bed bugs are attracted to blood and can be found in generally clean environments.
Bed bugs are most active in environments from 7°C (46°F) and can survive temperatures up to 45°C (113°F). If you want to get rid of the bugs without calling an exterminator, they must be exposed to excessive heat. If you suspect an infestation, be sure to have a plan set for how to treat them before it becomes a bigger problem.