Are you waking up with itchy areas on your skin that were not there the night before? If so, you could have a bed bug infestation. Commonly mistaken for mosquito bites, especially in the summer months, bed bugs are often hard to spot unless you look closely to your bed sheets.
Here are the signs to look for that could indicate that you have bed bugs:
Small bloodstains on your sheets or pillowcases.
Bed bugs feed by attaching to exposed skin, sucking the host’s blood for 3-10 minutes before detaching. It is in the detachment that small droplets of blood may fall on the bed sheets or pillowcases. They will be very tiny, like small red pinpricks, but if you notice them, then you could be dealing with bed bugs.
This is usually the first sign people see. Bed bugs leave a nasty trail of poop behind and these can easily be spotted on light-colored sheets, clothes, or walls. Also, look for eggshells or shredded skins.
Bed bugs emit a musty or mothball-type smelling order from their scent glands. Depending on how large the infestation is, the smell could be subtle or very pungent.
Good to Know
Bed bugs can live for a year without feeding, so an infestation can pop back up well after you think it's gone.
How do I get rid of bed bugs?
If you suspect a bed bug infestation, you want to remove the bedding and check carefully for any signs from the list above. If you’re still not sure, call a licensed exterminator or pest control expert to come and evaluate the situation.
When a bed bug infestation is confirmed, you’ll want to wash all bedding and clothing and anything that came into contact with the infested area in hot water and dry them on the highest temperature setting. For things that cannot be washed like shoes or stuffed animals, place them in the dryer and run on the hottest setting for at least 30 minutes.
You can also use a stiff brush to scrub the mattress seams before using a vacuum to go over your mattress or couch. It’s important to immediately empty the vacuum cleaner and take the contents outside to a closed trash can. It is also advised to encase your mattress with a zippered protective covering to suffocate any leftover bed bugs. However, since bed bugs can live for a year without feeding, you’ll want to keep this covering on for at least a year.
Getting rid of bed bugs can be both time-consuming and frustrating, which is why using a licensed pest control team like Terminix can be the best route to use so they can quickly exterminate the bed bugs.