Bed bugs. Just the mention of these small, nasty pests can make your skin crawl and feel itchy. Bed bugs are an unfortunate pest that are attracted to the warmth a human body provides. Once they find a home, they start feeding a mating rapidly so that before you know it, you have a full colony on your hands. If you suspect you need a bed bug service, follow these instructions to check for them in your home.
What is a Bed Bug?
First, you need to be able to identify bed bugs. Bed bugs are small, wingless pests. They are brown in color, but can appear darker after feeding. Bed bugs are oval-shaped and flat, but they do fatten up after feeding.
A bed bug bite can be an indicator of a bed bug infestation. However, you should not assume that you have bed bugs because you think you might have a bite from one. Similar bumps can appear from other bug bites, hives, or general allergies. Bed bug bites are small, red bumps that can appear anywhere on the body. You will unlikely feel a bed bug bite because when they bite bed bugs release chemicals, including an anesthetic, into their victims body. This chemical mixture is also what causes bites to appear swollen and feel itchy.
Where to Start
When you are checking for bed bugs it is important to be thorough in your investigation. Bed bugs are small and can hide in minuscule places. As a general rule, if you can fit a credit card through it, a bed bug could fit through it. This would include cracks in the bed frame, behind wall outlets, and even in screw heads.
First, check your mattress. While it’s good to check the top of your mattress, bed bugs themself will likely not appear here unless you have a severe infestation. Rather, you’ll more likely find small, rust colored or dark brown spots from their excrement or your blood, bed bug skins, or even bed bug eggs. Any of these can be signs of bed bugs hiding elsewhere in your home.
When checking your mattress for bed bugs, check every last inch of it, especially the parts that seem hard to get to. Any crevices or folds could be where the pests are hiding. Flip your mattress over as well to check the underside. Once you’ve inspected your mattress, look over your entire box spring and bed frame. Joints, cracks, and holes are good places for bed bugs to hide.
If your mattress is all clear, this doesn’t mean you’re free yet. Continue checking along baseboards, electrical outlets, picture frames, carpet seams, lamps, curtains, electronic devices, and other furniture in the bedroom.
Once you’ve checked everything in your bedroom, there are still a few other areas of your home that you need to check out. Couches are another hot spot for bed bugs. Often if people notice they’re being bit by something in their bedroom, they’ll opt to sleep on the couch instead. This is the last thing you should do because the bedbugs will then follow you to the couch and the infestation will have spread.
Just like in the other areas of your home, thoroughly investigate your couch for any signs of an infestation. Particularly, turn your couch over to check the bottom and remove all cushions to check deep within the seams.
If you’ve made it this far, there is still one possible location where bed bugs could be hiding — your suitcase. Bed bugs are good travelers and aren’t afraid to hitch a ride on clothes and in suitcases to find a new home. If you have traveled recently, check inside your suitcase and any contents there for possible bed bugs.
What to Do Next
Once you’ve investigated all of the possible places that bed bugs could be hiding, you should have a good idea of whether or not you have an infestation. If you are still nervous or unsure, you can call in a pest control company to investigate further.
If you have found that there are bed bugs in your home, don’t panic! For small infestations, there are DIY treatments that you can do, although keep in mind that you need to be diligent and patient with them. No bed bug treatment is going to eradicate the problem overnight. Larger infestations are better treated with professional grade products that can target the adult bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs.
Check out these Edge pest control reviews to see how Edge’s professional bed bug treatments can help you finally get some sleep at night. If you’re experiencing a bed bug infestation, call us today!