One out of 5 people in the United States has been affected by an infestation of bed bugs or knows someone who has.
Bedbug infestations are on the rise due to the reduction of pesticides as well as cheap global travel.
While bedbugs do not carry infectious diseases, they do bite and feed on the blood of animals and humans. So, it is well worth it to learn the signs of bed bugs so you can rid your home of them.
Here are 5 common signs you have bed bugs in your home.
1. Casings or Shells
Bed bugs shed their casings, or shells, several times before they reach adult status. If you see flakes or small clear shells that look like bugs, that's evidence that bugs are around. You could even smell a faint decay that actually has a raspberry-like odor.
You may also find abandoned egg casings. They may appear lighter in color and can darken based on the age of the bug.
Look for these casings in and around beds, mattresses, and headboards. Also, check the seams of furniture as well as luggage recently used.
2. Blood and Waste Stains
Bed bugs like to gorge themselves on blood so much that they turn red after feeding. So, you might see bloodstains on your sheets or pillowcases.
Bed bugs will also leave stains from their waste on your sheets, which will look like dried blood, and will smudge. These are unpleasant signs that you probably have bed bugs around.
3. Bug Bites After Sleeping
If you find you are waking up with bites in lines around the neck, face, arms, ankles, especially on one side of your body, check for bed bugs.
Be aware that other bugs can cause bites as well. Learn the difference between bed bug bites and other bug bites, such as those from chiggers or mosquitos. If you determine you have bed bugs, you will need to get rid of the infestation.
4. Seeing Bugs Themselves
Bedbugs are nocturnal, which is why they are hard to find, even when a large infestation is present. They are about the size of an apple seed when fully grown, and are flat and brown colored, although more reddish if they have just fed.
Look for them in crevices in walls, furniture, bed hardware, and in the edges of mattresses and box springs. Don't assume you don't have them just because you don't see any alive. Look for the other signs listed here, as well.
5. Other Possible Indicators
If your neighbors have an infestation, especially if you live in an apartment or close quarters, be vigilant in looking for the bugs in your home.
If you purchase any used furniture, make sure you give it a thorough look-over and cleaning before you put it in your house, as bugs can hide in furniture joints.
When You See Signs You Have Bed Bugs
If you see any of the signs you have bed bugs, don't panic.
For a small bed bug problem, wash everything affected in hot water, and then place them in a hot dryer. If the infestation is large, call a pest professional for help. They can help you put together a strategic plan for removing bed bugs from your home for good.
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