Are you worried you have bed bugs? Many people don’t realize how common bed bugs really are. One out of five Americans knows someone that has encountered bed bugs either at a hotel or another home, or they have had an infestation themselves.
Wondering how to stop an infestation? First, you need to know the signs you have bed bugs. Here are five signs of bed bugs in Idaho.
1. A Sweet Smell
If you have a bed bug infestation, you will likely crush them in your sleep. When this happens, the bed bugs permeate a really sweet aroma. People compare this smell to:
- Moldy shoes
- Ripe or rotting raspberries
- Granola bar
If you don’t have a large infestation, you may not smell anything. However, if you start smelling an odd, sweet smell, you should take notice and start looking for additional signs of bed bugs.
2. Bites on Your Body
Bed bugs tend to bite in a trail or straight line. You will typically see three or four bites in a row. These bites resemble flea or mosquito bites.
Each person’s body reacts differently from person to person. Most people experience localized swelling and itching at the bite. If you scratch your bites repeatedly, you can open the skin and possibly get an infection.
If your bed bug bite symptoms aren’t immediate, you may not draw the connection between the bites and sleeping.
3. Red Stains on Mattress
If you suspect bed bugs, it’s time to inspect your mattress. First, look for red spots on your mattress or bedding. This happens when you roll over and kill bugs while or after they are feeding.
When you notice red stains, this could be a sign of a severe or moderate infestation. It may be harder to see these spots on dark-colored bedding, so you may need to look for other signs.
4. Bed Bug Eggs or Exoskeletons
As you look at your mattress, check all the crevices and underneath for bed bug exoskeletons, which are the hard shells of the bug. This shell protects the bed bug, but as it grows, it molts this shell and grows a larger one.
Bed bugs will leave the old exoskeletons behind. You should also look for small round eggs. If you see eggs or exoskeletons, you should contact a professional immediately before your problem gets worse.
5. Bed Bug Feces
In addition to exoskeletons and eggs, you are going to search for feces. Bed bugs leave a blackish trail of specks on your mattress, and yes, that is feces. Bed bug feces is dried blood, so if it gets wet, it will turn red again.
Look for feces in mattress seams and crevices. Bed bugs are very small and also flat, so they like to hide in these places. You should also check pillow seams, floor moldings, baseboards, and furniture cushions for bed bug feces and bed bugs.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
As you look for bed bugs, you may wonder what do bed bugs look like? They are small and flat insects with six legs. Bed bugs do not have wings.
They can range in color from white to brown but will turn a rusty red color after they feed on the blood. They are typically not much bigger than 0.2 inches (or about half a centimeter), but someone can see them with a naked eye if they are looking hard enough.
In addition to your bed, bed bugs like to hide in other nearby areas such as the box spring, nightstand, electrical outlet cover, picture frames, headboard, baseboard, bed frame, recliner, couch, and phone jacks. This makes it difficult to get rid of all the bed bugs.
Bed bugs are only about the width of a credit card, so they can get into several tiny spots like the head of a screw.
What Causes Bed Bug Infestations?
Travel is one of the biggest causes of a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs like to hitchhike in clothing or luggage and can accidentally be transported to your home.
Bed bugs are hard to spot, so you can have bed bugs for a while before knowing you have them. They typically hide during the day and only come out at night to feed on the host. You cannot feel a bed bug bite because they inject a mild anesthetic to help them go unnoticed as they feed.
In the last decade, bed bugs have surged around the world. Businesses and private homes have seen an increase. In addition to hotels, colleges, hospitals, retail stores, theaters, libraries, and other businesses have had issues with bed bugs.
Increased global travel is a big factor in increased infestations in the U.S.
Another popular cause of bed bug infestation is second-hand furniture. Rented furniture can also get infested as it goes from one property to another.
Bed bugs can survive a few months without eating, so just isolating items from traveling will not do the trick. In addition, if you rent and the previous owner had bed bugs, you can get an infestation, even if the apartment or home has been vacant for some time.
How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestation
The best way to prevent getting bed bugs is to regularly inspect your items. When you travel, check your hotel room for the signs of bed bugs listed above. Even if you don’t see anything, do not put your suitcase or your clothes on the floor.
When you get home, do not store your suitcase near your bed. Put them in the garage or basement.
Before you bring any new furniture into your home, inspect it and check the crevices, especially second-hand upholstered items.
Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Idaho
If you see any of these signs of bed bugs, it’s time to contact a professional. Since these little critters are master hiders, it’s hard to get rid of an infestation. Professionals, like Custom Bedbug, can rid your house of bed bugs in Idaho.
We have specialized treatments and equipment to completely eliminate infestations. Our certified technicians are trained to spot bed bugs and use an environmentally-friendly alternative to remove them for good. Contact us today to get a quote.