You wouldn’t think finding one or two bugs about the size of an apple seed in the home would be a huge deal. In addition to this, you probably find flies and ladybugs
all the time. You just remove them before going about your daily business. You likely don’t think twice about it.
Unfortunately, bed bugs
are an entirely different beast. Spotting just one of these creatures in the home means it’s time to get a reputable pest management professional on the phone. An infestation can quickly worsen so don’t hesitate to contact an exterminator immediately
Why Is One Bug A Big Deal?
When it comes down to it, spotting a single bed bug in your home is a major cause for concern. The reason for this is because these pests go out of their way to avoid detection. If you are seeing them, you have likely gotten extremely lucky or something unexpected has happened.
It likely means that the infestation has grown so large that the bugs are pushing each other out into the open. Bed bugs
are social pests, meaning they travel in groups, live in hordes, and work in groups while attempting to accomplish a common goal. If you see one bug, you can guarantee there are hundreds nearby somewhere.
If the bug you happen to spot is female, you are even in more trouble due to their prolific breeding abilities. An adult female can lay as many as 500 eggs in a lifetime. While this might not sound like a lot, it’ll be 500 bugs you don’t want to be dealing with. You can usually tell the female from the male by looking at the abdomens. The males have more pointed abdomens, whereas the females are rounded. Consider yourself lucky if you just happen to spot a single bug because these pests do their best to avoid detection.
They tend to hide when you’re awake so spotting them won’t be easy.
Why Bed Bugs Are Hard To Spot
are hard to spot because, as you’ve repeatedly heard, they are smart enough to avoid detection. In addition to this, they are slim and possess the ability to shove their bodies into some of the smallest cracks and openings in the home. They oftentimes travel to places of the home that are rarely accessed.
With their reddish-brown bodies, they easily blend in with their everyday surroundings. Plus, they only come to and feed when you are asleep and at your most vulnerable. To make matters worse, some people won’t even react to the bug’s bites. You could be getting fed on and not even know it. While this is extremely rare, it must be noted that it is a real possibility.
Confirm The Infestation
With the aforementioned information in mind, some bites marks are not caused by bedbugs
. Just because you are waking up with bite marks doesn’t necessarily mean that bed bugs are the source. You could be getting bitten by fleas or mites. These bugs bite in similar locations on the body and the bite marks oftentimes look similar. Therefore. it is imperative to learn other potential warning signs of bed bug infestations.
Bloodstains – Bed bugs
are parasitic pests that require blood to survive. This might sound troubling when you consider the potential for disease. However, it should be noted that bed bugs have never reportedly transmitted a known disease. Their bites are virtually painless. While they might not be a physical threat, they can still be a drain mentally. Either way, blood-feeding is a process that could leave droplets or stains behind on your sheets. And since the bugs feed while you are sleeping, there is always the possibility of you or your spouse rolling over and squashing one during the process. This will all result in blood left on the sheets. Be sure to keep an eye out for bloodstained sheets!
Exoskeletons – A bed bug is like a snake since it sheds its skin. As unfortunate as this is, it can be a good way to determine if you are dealing with a bed bug infestation. The skin will have the same appearance as the bug itself. The only difference will be that the skin will be clear, rather than the normal reddish-brown.
Eggs/Egg Casings – The last thing you want is to find in your home are eggs or egg casings, but it could still be a good indication of an infestation. These eggs are only about the size of a pinpoint, but you can spot them if you look hard enough. Unfortunately, spotting these items in the home will mean there are more bugs on the way, or some just hatched. Get a professional involved immediately!
Fecal Matter – It sounds disgusting, but feces is always a real possibility with bed bug infestations. And it’ll usually show up on the sheets where feeding took place. At the very least, spotting bedbug feces will let you know you are dealing with a bed bug infestation. Fecal matter will usually appear as black inkblots.
Bite Marks – Unfortunately, not everyone reacts to bed bug bites, but there is a better chance that you will react than not. While these marks have a similar appearance to flea and mite bites, they will usually only show up on the arms, feet, shins, hands, neck areas, and face areas. Flea and mite bites can appear anywhere on the body. Bed bugs can access all these locations as well but choose not to feed here.
Musty, Sweet Odors – That sweet soda pop syrup smell might be pleasant for some, but it is an unfortunate indication of an infestation. The smell comes from the bugs, scent glands and is more present in larger infestations. Keep your nose open!
Searching For Bed Bugs
No one wants to sit around and wait for the signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation to magically appear. It is not recommended because you always want to attack the infestation as early as possible. The smaller more confined the infestation, the better off you will be overall. There are things you can do to start your search. First, you’ll have to know that it is best to search when the bugs will be active. If you sleep at night, this is when you’ll want to search. If you sleep during the day, this is when you’ll want to search.
The next step will be to move the bed and bedroom furniture away from the wall. The theory behind doing this is to force the bugs to travel up the legs before accessing their hosts. This will give you the benefit of knowing the route in which the bugs will travel. Knowing this will allow you to place traps or lures in their path of travel, usually under the feet of the furniture.
In addition to this, you can strip your pillowcases and bedclothes and wash them in hot water. Then dry them on the hottest heat setting possible. Bed bugs cannot stand up to heat and exposing them to these temperatures will cause their organs to lock up and malfunction. If you find bedbugs in your home, don’t delay calling a professional exterminator. Our Chicago technicians are always eager to help.