So you think you have bed bugs, now what?
Dealing with a bed bug infestation can be traumatizing. And, trying to determine whether or not you have bed bugs is confusing and frustrating. Bed bugs feed multiple times a night and can leave nasty welts and large patches of rash. But often, bites go unnoticed for quite some time because they get mistaken for the bites of other insects, like mosquitoes or spiders. It is also important to know… not all family members will have a reaction to bed bug bites. It complicates the situation even more, but we hear about it all the time. One person is reacting to and experiencing bed bug bites while their family member another (sleeping in the same bed) is not reacting at all. Since bed bug bites effect each and every person differently, the bites alone are not a good indicator of bed bugs. All-American Pest Control professional have put together the following bed bug detection guide packed full with helpful early detection and monitoring tool to help you determine whether or not bed bugs have chosen to infest your home.
Bed Bug Bites
At first, bed bugs may or may not leave noticeable bite marks. The bites from nymphs are much smaller than the bites adults leave. Initial bites may also lack the recognizable rash that usually accompanies bed bug bites. It can sometimes take several weeks before the skin begins to react to the anticoagulant these insects administer. Bed Bug bites can be easily mistaken for ones from other insects. The most notable distinction will be the number of bites and how they appear on the body. Bed bug bites will usually appear in a cluster or in a line because several bites will be from one insect, whereas a dozen mosquito bites will have come from a dozen mosquitoes, and appear random in their pattern on the skin. Bed bug bites are also rarely found in places on the body that were covered by clothing during sleep. Bed bug bites are almost never found at the waist line of pajamas or other clothing.
Visual Inspection for Bed Bugs
A visual inspection will always be the first step in detecting a bed bug infestation. Unfortunately, a visual inspection has its limitations. There are hundreds of thousands of cracks and crevices in all rooms giving bed bugs and their eggs great secret hiding spots. A visual inspection would be more helpful if bed bugs stayed close to the bed. While the bed generally provides adequate hiding spots close to the person sleeping, bed bugs also love night stands, outlets, baseboards, ceiling corners and joints… you get the point. Bed bugs hide everywhere.
It’s important to start with a visual bed bug inspection; however, it’s just as important to understand that if you don’t find bed bugs while doing your bed bug inspection… it doesn’t mean that they are not there.
Visual Bed Bug Inspection Tips
Turn down the covers on all your beds and search sheets and pillowcases for shed insect casings, light brown urine stains, dark black fecal streaks, or dried blood stains.
Pull sheets up off the sides of your mattresses and examine the creases of each mattress (and the mattress tag- they love the tag for some reason) for black fecal residue. It is most common to find patches of black around the corners.
Do an inspection of your baseboards and outlets. Bed bugs can live behind baseboards and inside outlets and wall voids. If they are coming and going from these regions, you may see black fecal marks or shed casings along the wall.
Use a flashlight to inspect the backboards of all your beds. Look for these bugs, their casings, or black droppings.
Bed bugs can also take up residence inside upholstered furniture. Signs of infestation will be noticeable in stitching or inside seams.
You may also find these bugs inside electronic devices. Once again, it will be streaks of fecal matter or the bed bugs themselves that give them away.
Simple Bed Bug Monitoring
If your visual inspection did not turn up any signs of bugs, but you still believe those bites are coming from bed bugs, monitoring techniques may be necessary. A simple way to monitor for bed bugs is to put bed bug mattress encasements and box spring encasements on all your beds and use bed bug climb-ups under the legs of all your beds. Bed bug mattress encasements will contain any bed bugs that may be living in your mattresses and those climb-ups will catch any bugs that try to crawl up or down while you sleep. If you find bed bugs dead (or alive) in your climb-ups, you have all the confirmation you need. Give us a call and we will be happy to make a recommendation for which bed bug mattress encasement and bed bug interceptor devices are best.
Bed Bug Dog Inspections
Bed Bug K9 inspectors will quickly move through a room without disturbing the contents of the room and zero in on infested areas quickly. Dogs have a powerful sense of smell, and if trained properly these dogs can detect living bed bugs even before they hatch from their eggs. We've found well trained bed bug dog with a well-trained experienced handler to be amazingly accurate and essential in the process of isolating and corralling these pests. We recommend a company with years of experience. This bed bug dog inspection company also enlisted the aid of a two dog inspection team. The dog handler first brings one dog through the house for an inspection, and then brings a second dog through the house for verification. It’s a great tool. If you think that enlisting the help of a dog inspection team is the right next step for you, give us a call. We can talk you through the process and make a recommendation for a great dog inspection team.
Bed Bug Consultation
All of these options can be confusing and overwhelming, and each and every family’s experience with bed bugs is different. If you would like help determining your next steps to eradicate bed bugs from your live, we are glad to help you through the process. We can provide a Free Bed Bug Consultation over the phone or in person. Help is only a click away. It takes less than 20 seconds to sign up for a bed bug consultation. Get fast and effective assistance with your bed bug issue today.