Bed bug are among the most tenacious and annoying pests that can ever infest your home. Ironically, bed bugs can be a huge pain-in-the-neck despite how tiny they are. With a size that is comparable to that of an apple seed, these pesky crawlies move so discreetly that their presence cannot easily be detected. Unless these creatures have already grown their numbers enormously, the signs of bed bug infestation are so subtle and are rarely spotted by homeowners or residents.
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs have reddish brown oval shaped bodies, which turn brighter red in color, and rounder and larger in size after feeding on human blood. For the most part, bed bugs are considered nocturnal as they are more active during the night when their host is fast asleep. Usually, people cannot tell if they are bitten by bed bugs until they start to notice those clusters of bite marks on their skin right the following morning. Bed bug bites are particularly very itchy, even way itchier than the bites of mosquitoes. The uncomfortable sensation caused by the bites will soon make the victims feel restless.
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
Although bed bugs are seen as harmless because they are not known propagators of diseases, they are the reason for people’s discomfort and lack of sleep. Thus, they need to be completely exterminated as immediately as possible. The first step to bed bug removal is to identify the various indications of their activity. Here are the five most common signs your household must be crawling with these annoying pests:
1. Red itchy bite marks on exposed skin
Flat red welts that are extremely itchy are one of the telltale indications of bed bug activity. These bites typically appear on areas of your body that are exposed during your sleep like your torso, arms, legs, face, neck, etc. Unlike ordinary insect bites, bed bug bites make most people scratch like crazy and they come in a cluster of 3 to 5 bite marks in a zigzag pattern or a straight line. Also, some studies have revealed a significant relationship between the itchiness of bed bug bites and depression. Doctors strongly advise people bitten by bed bugs to refrain from vigorously scratching the bites to prevent inflammation and infection.
2. Lingering musty smell in the bedroom
Any household, regardless of hygiene, can have bed bugs. Bed bugs, being excellent hitchhikers, can effortlessly infiltrate people’s homes through items like suitcases, backpacks, shoes, furniture, and clothes. One nature of bed bugs is that they release pheromones. In the case of a heavy infestation, the pheromones produced by hundreds or even thousands of bed bugs can cause an offensive moldy stench in the atmosphere. The stale odor resembles that of old locker rooms or of damp cloths or towels left for days. If you notice such a lingering smell no matter how clean your room is, you might be having a bed bug problem.
3. Blood stains on your pajamas, bedsheets, and pillowcases
Bed bugs are notorious bloodsuckers. They gorge on blood for about 10 minutes until their bodies are about to burst. You may inadvertently roll over and kill these little vampires, thus leaving your clothes and beddings stained with blood coming from squashed bugs.
4. Fecal spots on your mattresses
If you have bed bugs thriving in your home, you will soon notice the sides and seams of your mattresses stained with rusty or dark colored spots. These dark spots are bed bug excrements. They emit a bad odor when touched and look similar to small dots made by a black marker.
Another sign of bed bug infestation is the presence of exoskeletons or molted skin. Bed bugs shed skin exactly five times so they can attain full maturity. These exoskeletons, which look like brownish oval flakes, are usually found in the bed bugs’ hiding areas like wallpapers, box springs, headboard, cracks on walls, closets, upholstered furniture, and mattress.
Bed bugs may not transmit viruses but their presence inside our home is such a nuisance. If you suspect an infestation, you must call a bed bug exterminator right away so you will be given guidance and options concerning bed bug removal services.