Bed bugs are one of the easiest pests to pick up but one of the hardest to get rid of. They can “hitchhike” on your clothing from anywhere in public you’re likely to spend a significant amount of time, such as cinemas, restaurants, hotel rooms, and even public transport. Their ability to hitchhike is what makes them difficult to eradicate – they can stick to clothing and other materials on your person to escape many pest control measures and then repopulate once the threat is averted.
Bed bugs can leave painful bites which can cause skin irritation and severe allergic reactions in some people. Therefore, it’s vitally important that you can recognise the signs of an infestation in your home. Here’s our guide to the signs you may have bed bugs.
Itchiness from being bitten
Perhaps the biggest tell-tale sign of having bed bugs is being bitten yourself and suffering from itchiness as a result. Thankfully, bed bugs do not spread diseases, but their bites are very irritating. Areas of your body that are exposed while you sleep, such as your arms, head and neck, are most at risk of being bitten.
Bed bug bites look like raised, red blotches on the skin and usually appear a day or two after being bitten. However, you may only start to feel itchy a week or two later. By this point, the infestation is already very well-established. You’ll want to avoid scratching these bites as much as possible as doing so will increase your risk of infection.
This is more of a follow-up than a separate point to the above. The irritation caused by bed bug bites can be so bad that it affects your sleep. In combination with anything else mentioned in the article, uncomfortable nights are strong indicators that you have bed bugs and are in need of pest control services.
Bloodstains on bed sheets
Bed bugs are attracted to us for three reasons: our body heat, the carbon dioxide we exhale, and our blood. In fact, bed bugs rely on blood as their main food source, and it’s why they bite us. A tell-tale sign of a bed bug infestation is waking up to see little red stains on your bedsheets and pyjamas, and it’s caused by one of two things. It’s either from where you’ve rolled onto some bed bugs and squashed them in your sleep, or it’s residue from their feeding on you. We know this isn’t a pleasant image to have, but it’s important you recognise this sign if you ever come across it.
Eggs, excrement and exoskeletons
Equally as unpleasant as the previous sign, seeing brown, rust-coloured specks on your bed sheet could be a sign that you have a bed bug problem. These brown specks are likely to be the excrement of bed bugs. Alternatively, it could be the exoskeletons of bed bugs. Bed bugs, like all insects, have exoskeletons instead of bones. As they age and outgrow their current exoskeleton, they must shed it and develop a new one. These discarded exoskeletons will be dotted around your bed if you have a bed bug infestation.
You may also notice the eggs of bed bugs, which are white and usually in clusters. These are incredibly small and may go unnoticed, but in combination with the aforementioned, these are sure signs of bed bug activity.
The final sign of bed bugs is a musty, damp odour in the room. It may not necessarily be limited to the bed area – the smell could arise from any piece of furniture. The smell has been likened to a wet dog or old mouldy clothing and emanates naturally from the bed bugs’ scent glands. As a general rule: the stronger the smell, the larger the infestation.
If you’ve discovered any of the aforementioned signs, get in touch with us today. Bed bugs are a difficult pest to control and are horrible to live with – seek the help of a professional. Here at Inoculand, we have years of experience taking care of bed bug infestations. We use the latest and most effective method of heat treatment to fully cleanse your house of bed bugs. We’re so confident in our service that we offer a one-year pest-free guarantee. Read our dedicated bed bug page for more details on our pest control process.