As bed bugs continue to appear in the news and more and more people know someone who has dealt with an infestation, we're getting more calls to assist customers with these pests. A question we get quite often is this: "What do bed bug infestations look like?" This is a good question to ask because recognizing an infestation could save you a bunch of misery. Let's take a look at infestation identification from early signs to later signs.
Before bed bugs bite you, you may actually see one. While bed bugs are mostly nocturnal, they aren't exclusively nocturnal. That is why these insects are able to infest movie theaters and other businesses that have seats or couches in dark locations. If you see a bed bug in the daytime, it is probably not going to look like the bed bugs you've seen on the news. News agencies usually show pictures of adult bed bugs. But you're more likely to see an immature nymph during the day. An immature nymph can be between 1 - 4 mm and pale to tan in color. It will have a transparent skin, so you should be able to see the black coating of feces on its insides. If it has recently fed, its abdomen will be bloated and bright red. These are insects, so look to see if it has 6 legs and 2 antennae. You may also see horizontal creases on its abdomen.
Before bed bugs bite you, you may see their eggs. If you find these eggs on the clothing of someone entering your home, this will be an early sign that could save you from an infestation. If you find these eggs in your home, it will be a later sign that an infestation has taken root. These eggs are 1 mm in length, pale to white, and sticky. They may be littered around or in a batch. Look for them in cracks, crevices, creases, and other hiding places. Search pocketbooks, duffle bags, clothing, sleeping bags, and other items being carried into your home. Search mattresses, box springs, bedding, upholstered furniture and carpet edges. You'll have to look closely because these eggs are tiny.
Before you get bitten by bed bugs, you may notice bites on someone else, so this could be an early sign. If you see these bites on someone living in your home, it will be a later sign. Bed bug bites are not usually noticeable at first. Bites from immature nymphs are generally less irritating than adult bed bugs. If you see bites on someone, you may notice them because bites from bed bugs generally follow a path on the skin. This is because bed bugs feed more than once.
Once a bed bug infestation takes root in a home, you should begin to notice feces. Bed bugs leave tiny black droppings in locations they inhabit or on paths they travel. They will also leave streaks on sheets, pillowcases, bedding, furniture, baseboards, outlet covers, and more. The largest concentration of black feces will be in areas of congregation.
5. Blood Stains
When bed bugs leave droppings, they may also excrete blood. This will cause blood stains on fabrics. These stains may be light tan to dark brown. There should also be the presence of black coloration.
6. Shed Skins
As bed bugs develop, they shed their skins. If you're finding shed skins in your home, you have a growing infestation. These skins will be pale, tan, or rusty brown colored. Look for them in the tight spaces that bed bugs travel. They will also be stuck to areas of congregation.
7. Pheromone Scent
Bed bugs communicate with a pheromone scent. You're not going to notice this smell at first but, over time, it will become unmistakable. Some compare this scent to human body odor.
What To Do When You See Signs
If you're in our Tennessee service area, contact Russell's Pest Control for comprehensive bed bug solutions. Our highly-trained bed bug control technicians use state-of-the-art equipment and methods to eliminate these tormenting pests quickly. Reach out to us today to schedule service.
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