As familiar and dreaded as bed bugs are, they are commonly misidentified. A similar-looking species to ticks, carpet beetles, fleas, and others, bed bugs may evade proper treatment because of this confusion. Alternatively, household items may be prematurely disposed of when another resident pest is misidentified as a bed bug.
While bed bugs are a nuisance and a hazard to your mental health, identifying an infestation is not hopeless. They can be dealt with before you have to chuck an entire mattress, and with professional help, you can entirely avoid poisons and other health threats.
Bed Bug Basics
While they may be easily confused with other insects, at first sight, bed bugs do have a pretty distinctive appearance and leave plenty of signs as to their identities. At about the size and shape of an apple seed, these reddish-brown pests are somewhat circular from above with small heads and nearly flat from the side. They become redder and balloon-like if they've recently fed.
Bed bugs have distinctive life cycles, from egg to nymph to adult. Eggs are tiny at around the size of a pinhead and are pearly-white in color. If more than five days old, they may be marked by a small black spot. From eggs, bed bugs will turn into nymphs that vary from translucent to whitish-yellow. Before becoming adults, they will shed their exoskeleton several times.
Adult bed bugs are a force to be reckoned with and are extremely difficult to get rid of without professional help. Not only can they survive temperatures of up to 122 degrees, but they can also survive months, and sometimes close to a year, without food. Plastic wrapping infested items are often ineffective for this reason.
Bed bugs can cause such emotional turmoil because of the common myth that they are attracted to dirty homes. This is not true and can be a hurdle for some people who need help. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers who can travel from hotels, daycares, offices, and any other public space on your shoes, clothing, or baggage. They may even come in with used furniture and appliances. If you fear a bed bug infestation, there's no reason to be ashamed and every reason to seek help before the infestation gets out of hand.
Signs & Hiding Places Of Bed Bugs
These blood-hungry pests tend to hang out in places where their human hosts sleep or lounge more often than not. This could mean that they live inside your mattress or couch, but it could also mean that they live in the cracks between floorboards, behind electrical outlet covers, behind paintings, in the curtains, and where the wall meets the ceiling.
Because they are natural hitchhikers, they can also easily spread to other home areas, making at-home treatments difficult. Though bed bugs can and do spread to other locations, one of the best ways to identify the presence of bed bugs is by looking for specific signs on mattresses where they are likely to be more evident. Look for the following indicators:
Dark fecal spots that spread like marker stains
Shed exoskeletons and eggshells
Bed bug bites are often the first sign of an infestation, and if the problem isn't severe, it can go ignored for a long time. These bites are usually small, swollen red or pink marks appearing in lines or clusters as one bug might take multiple bites before retreating. Bed bugs, unlike ticks, are unable to latch on to hosts while they feed, so they target humans while they're at rest to prevent being thrown off or squished. While these insects aren't known to transmit any diseases, these bites can prevent a quality night's sleep and become intolerable, especially in large quantities.
Call Neighborly Pest Management If You Spot Signs Of Bed Bugs
Before letting an infestation interfere in your sleep and quality of life, call Neighborly Pest Management for our bed bug control service. With our residential pest control plans, we will not only eliminate your current threat but also inspect your home's interior and exterior and prepare your home to guard against other intruders. As your health and safety are our top priority, we also use organic pest control solutions that are eco-friendly and safe.
Maintaining a pest-free home for our customers is our responsibility and pleasure, so if pests return before our next scheduled visit, we will, too--free of charge. Trust Neighborly Pest Management to rid your Sacramento home of pests and protect it for the months and years to come.