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Bed Bugs: How to Find Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are not only annoying, crawling little pests. Much like fleas, bed bugs drink the blood of nearby animals or humans to survive. You can attempt to starve them out but be aware that these parasitic creatures can withstand up to 400 days without a meal.
Their bites can cause itchiness and scratching that could result in rashes and skin infections. Once you start finding bug bites, you’re already dealing with a heavy infestation. But the first step in ridding yourself of bed bugs is finding them!
How to Find Bed Bugs
Small infestations are uncomplicated and more straightforward to treat than large ones, but they are challenging to catch. This challenge is due to two main factors:
- Bed bugs are nocturnal and only reveal themselves at night.
- Bed bugs are incredibly tiny, reaching a maximum length of 9mm, or 3/8 of an inch.
Also, many people misidentify bed bugs. Waking in your bed to find bites or itchy red welts across your skin is not a sure sign of bed bugs. Mosquito bites, chiggers, or an allergic reaction to carpet beetles may be to blame.
There are a few clear signs that indicate that you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation. They are:
- Reddish, rust-colored stains on sheets or mattresses, especially around the seams and creases.
- Dark spots, about the size of the tip of a ball-point pen. These are feces, and they may look like ink droplets.
- Dark red, plump, live bed bugs. These insects are more massive, more colored, and easier to see because they have recently fed and are full of blood.
Now that you know what to look for when identifying bed bugs, it’s time to learn where to look.
Where to Find Bed Bugs
As their name suggests, bed bugs often infest beds. Your mattress, your sheets, or even your bed frame are all targets for bed bugs. In addition to living inside of your bed, these critters can be found:
- Under loose wallpaper or posters and frames.
- In the seams of your baseboards or ceiling moldings.
- In the folds of curtains, pillows, chairs, sofas, or cushions.
- Inside electrical appliances.
Bed bugs tend to set up shop in places where humans or animals frequent, which is why they are often found in the area in which we sleep. But if you have a heavy infestation, you may need to treat your entire home. Bed bugs are so small that they can even hide inside the head of a screw.
How Do You Find Bed Bugs in Your Bed?
It may seem impossible to find bed bugs, knowing how small they can be and how long they can survive without feeding. But it’s not hopeless! Checking your sheets, mattress, pillows, and bed frame are the first steps to ensuring that your home is free of these pests.
Bed bugs like to hide. You can check your mattress for reddish-brown stains, black inky dots, or live bugs early in the morning, when they’re likely to begin hiding, or late at night when they typically come out to eat.
While it’s never pleasant to find bed bugs in your bed, being aware of them and where they are can help save you a significant amount of time, money, and energy. If you’ve found an infestation in your bed, be sure to check other warm, comfy places around your home.
It is best to wash your hands between searches, and if possible, to take a hot shower and change into clean, dry clothes between rooms. This safeguard will help you to prevent spreading the pests around your home as you identify the severity of the infestation.
Bed bugs cannot stand hot temperatures and are likely to flee your body when the temperature is too high. Speaking of which, let’s explore some of the ways you can treat a bed bug infestation.
What to Do When You Find Bed Bugs
Once you’ve found evidence of bed bugs, and you’ve located their various hiding spots, you may begin to panic. Don’t panic. There are chemical and non-chemical solutions for every degree of infestation and every budget!
Chemical treatment involves a lot of pesticides. It is considered more effective than non-chemical treatments, but it is not 100% reliable. The overuse of certain poisons has led to immunities within pests, and it is getting more challenging to treat infestations with pesticides alone.
Non-chemical treatments include heat and cold methods. You can put your bedding into the dryer at a very high temperature for 30 minutes or longer to kill bed bugs with the heat method. You can also attempt to freeze items to kill bed bugs, though this method is generally more complicated.
Integrated Pest Management
Combining both chemical and non-chemical treatments results in an integrated pest management system. This method is thought to be the most effective way to get rid of bed bugs.
Can’t Find Bed Bugs but Have Bites?
You may not be dealing with bed bugs! Other common pests that may be responsible include mosquitoes and carpet beetles.
It is also possible that you may have a fungal infection which is causing you to break out in a rash. Before blaming bed bugs, be sure to check with a medical professional to identify the cause of your symptoms.