4 Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs have become a real problem over the last few years. Since the banning of the pesticide DDT, bed bugs have made a dramatic come back. In part to the fact that they can reproduce so rapidly. We have seen a significant increase in requests for bed bug treatments.
Bed bugs are classified as a parasite, and therefore considered a public health risk. Detection and prevention (see preventing bed bugs from spreading in hotels and apartments) have become extremely important in the fight against bed bugs.
#1 Bed bug bites
The first clue that most people see is bed bug bites. They start finding unexplained bites that look like large welts on their body. Most bed bug bites look very similar.
However, bed bug bites can affect people in different ways. One of our bed bug technicians allowed a bed bug to bite his hand during a training class. Other students in the class were also bitten the same day. Our technician never developed any reaction while some in his class mates had large welts for more than a week.
So, if you share your bed with someone and only one of you are displaying bites, don’t assume its not bed bugs and your bunk mate is the only one being bitten. Chances are both of you are being bitten and only one is presenting with the symptoms of the bite.
#2 Mattress stains
In the picture above there is a mix of black fecal matter and blood. In most of the bed bug infestations we see, there is usually very little blood. The dark fecal matter has a reddish tint because it is bed bug waste from their last blood meal.
Inspect the sheets, box springs, and seams of the mattress. Fecal matter can also be found around baseboards, on lamp stands, and the bed frame.
#3 Cast skins (from nymphs that have molted)
As nymphs mature into adults they go through metamorphosis. During that process they molt and leave old skins (exoskeletons) behind. These can be found in similar areas as fecal matter including mattress seams and any crack or crevice.
#4 Live bed bugs
Do a thorough inspection of all cracks and crevices around your mattress and bedroom. Search the area in a grid pattern. Bed bugs usually will nest near their food source. So, one side of the mattress could be completed infested while the other side not have any bed bug activity. If you find what looks like a bed bug, pick it up using gloves and store it in a plastic bag. You should have a professional confirm your identification of the pest.