Do you wake up every morning with new mysterious bite marks? You might be dealing with bed bugs. Click here to learn how to spot symptoms and signs of bed bugs. Bed bugs are causing serious problems throughout the United States and no one seems to be safe. These pesky critters are invading hotels, apartment complexes, and single-family homes with a vengeance. It’s no wonder the pest control industry is expected to reach a $10 billion valuation by the year 2020. The problem with bed bugs is that a lot of people don’t even realize they have them until it’s too late. Read on to learn about some of the most common signs of bed bugs so you can protect yourself and get them out of your space as quickly as possible.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny, wingless bugs. They feed exclusively off of the blood of other animals, including humans. Bed bugs don’t limit themselves to just beds. They can also take up residence in sofas, clothing, and other soft furniture items. Up close, bed bugs may be white, tan, deep brown, or orange in color.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Because they’re so small, it’s often hard to catch bed bugs. Here are some tips that will help you detect signs of bed bugs:
- Survey the area around your bed (headboard, bedside table, wall junctions, mattress seams, baseboards, etc.) to see if there are any tiny insects crawling around
- Sniff around for a strong, musty smell (this comes from their scent glands)
- Look for physical evidence (shed skins or shells, ink-colored fecal spots, or blood stains on your pajamas or sheets)
- Look for symptoms of bed bug bites (raised, red welts that itch or burn, a straight line of bites, or a localized rash)
These tips are helpful whether you suspect an infestation in your home or are on the road and want to prevent bed bugs while traveling.
What to Do About Bed Bugs
Okay, you suspect a bed bug infestation. Now what? If you’re staying in a hotel, report the infestation to the manager as soon as possible and see if they can move you to a different room or refund you your money. If you find the infestation in your home, get to work cleaning and using chemical treatments to kill the bed bugs.
Some steps you ought to take include:
- Clean your bedding, curtains, clothing, and linens in hot water, then dry them on the hottest setting
- Scrub the mattress seams with a stiff brush, then vacuum the mattress and surrounding area
- Use a tightly woven and zippered cover to encase your mattress and box spring; keep this in place for at least a year — bed bugs can live this long without feeding.
- Repair cracks in your plaster and glue peeling wallpaper in place to eliminate hiding places for bed bugs
You may also need to call in a professional exterminator to completely get rid of the bed bugs and prevent them from coming back.
Looking for More Pest Control Tips
Now that you know the signs of bed bugs, you’ll be able to prevent bed bug bites at home and on the road. Bed bugs aren’t the only pest that can cause problems, though. Are you interested in learning about how to keep other pests away from your home and your family? If so, check out this article. It’s full of great tips that will help you keep all kinds of pests out of your home, from cockroaches to rodents.