Bed bugs are sneaky creatures, and spotting them before an infestation occurs can be tricky. The best way to know if you have an infestation is, of course, to spot the bugs; this isn’t as simple as it sounds, as it’s easy for them to go undetected. Other than seeing the bugs themselves, bites and other evidence can be a way to stop them as soon as possible.
Bed Bug Bites
If you wake up with bites, don’t automatically assume it’s a bed bug bite – but since you don’t want to risk infestation, consider the following questions:
- Are the bites on your face, neck, arms and hands?
- Are you waking up with bites that were not there the night before?
- Are the bites red and itchy?
- Are the bites in a rough line or cluster?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, use an anti-itch cream on the bites, and contact your doctor if necessary.
Other Evidence of Infestation
Bed bugs often leave fecal stains in the areas they inhabit. These stains are usually black (or red, if you kill one that had recently fed) and consist of several black spots in one area. The spots will not flake off if rubbed and will smear if wiped with a wet rag. Also look around for shed skin or shells, since they shed their old skin as they develop.
Have you stayed in a hotel lately? Bed bugs are especially common in hotels, hitching rides back to your home in your luggage. If you have traveled lately, check out your luggage for fecal stains, shed skin and other signs!
What Next? Contact an Expert!
If you’re thinking that you may have an infestation, there are a few steps you can take to control them:
- Conduct a thorough visual inspection of your mattress, box spring, bed frame, headboard, carpet near baseboards, upholstered furniture seams and other common bed bug hiding places.
- Install interception devices or active monitors under the legs of bed and couches, and leave them there for two to four weeks, inspecting them every few days.
- Invest in a mattress and box spring cover or encasement. This is a pricier method, but the covers will protect your bed for years to come.
Last of all, the best way to fight bed bugs is to call in the professionals. An experienced pest control company can offer the most efficient means of getting rid of your pest problems.