How to Tell if You Have Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a huge problem today. Many people do not even realize they have bed bugs. So how exactly do you tell if you have bed bugs? To tell if one has bed bugs you will want to look for a rust or reddish stain on your bed sheets and/or mattress. This would be red because of the bed bugs being crushed when you lie/sit down.
Another key would be dark spots that are extremely small. These small dots are the excrement of the bed bug and this small dot may bleed on the fabric like a marker would. If you see a darker spot that has bleed further into the fabric you may have bed bug excrement on your sheets and active bed bugs.
The last thing to look for are eggs or shells of eggs which are about 1 mm in size. These have pale yellow skins which will be shed as the larva grows larger. While looking for eggs, also make sure to look for live bed bugs.
Signs You Have Bed Bugs
If you start noticing red itchy bug bites after lying on your bed you may have bed bugs. These bites will be extremely itchy and will appear in a zig zag line or in a cluster. Even though the bites are usually clustered or in a zig zag line, bed bugs have also been known to make straight lined bites.
Bed bugs are active at night and the most active when humans are sleeping in their bed. Bed bugs especially go for open areas of skin which would be the shoulders and arms. The bed bugs will bite and leave welts. This will lead to an uncomfortable night’s sleep because you may actually feel the bite occurring.
A foul smell will occur when bed bugs are present, especially in large quantities. They leave a foul smell that is strong and will be noticeable. It will smell of a musty old wet towel. Also, be aware that bed bugs are not confined to just your home, bed bugs can occur anywhere you sleep such as a hotel bed.
How do you get Bed Bugs in your House
Many people do not realize that bed bugs are common. Bed bugs are usually found in a dirty room that has many crumbs on the bed from food or is generally messy. Bed bugs prefer the dirtier rooms and places because they are able to hide more easily during the day. Even though a dirty room with crumbs may cause bed bugs to have a happier home, a clean and spotless house can also harbor bed bugs.
Bed bugs are spread through many different ways. They could attach to clothing, furniture, or even your luggage. So, when visiting people you may know or going on vacation, always check the beds and sheets for signs of bed bugs because they may come back home to you.
What Causes Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are often associated with messy rooms and dirty houses where the people living there are dirtier as well. This is because a messy room gives a bed bug places to hide. Not only do bed bugs usually find home in a messy area, they find home close to their host. In this situation a dog might be a host or a human might be a host. Whoever is the host, that is where you will find the bed bugs.
When people think of bed bugs they think of a mess, however, clean rooms and even 5-star hotels could have bed bugs. This is because of the way bed bugs travel. If you visit one site that is infected with bed bugs you may be carrying them back home with you. Whether you realize it or not bed bugs are attaching to your clothing, your pets, and your luggage without your knowledge. This is how most cases start, with contact of infestation without knowledge of the infestation being present.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a problem for many reasons and are a nuisance. So how exactly do you rid yourself of these blood sucking critters? First of all, you will want to wash all the sheets and blankets on your bed as well as any curtains and clothes. You will want to place them in the washer with hot water, not cold. Then for those things you cannot wash, put your dryer on the hottest setting and run with the non-washable things for thirty minutes. Also dry your clothes, sheets, and other washables on the highest heat setting.
To rid yourself of bed bugs on the mattress itself make sure to use a very stiff brush over the seams of the mattress. This will get any larva or hiding bed bugs out of the seams before you vacuum. Once the mattress is brushed vacuum it. You may want to do this process more than once to ensure that all bed bugs are out along with all the larva and nymphs.
You will also want to make sure you vacuum the surrounding areas that were near the bed. You may also want to do this process more than once as well. However, make sure that when you are done you put the vacuum bag into a plastic bag then bring it straight outside to the garbage. It is important you discard the vacuum contents immediately after you are done vacuuming to prevent the bed bugs from coming back.
Since you cannot be 100% sure all the bed bugs are gone, you will want to put a plastic cover on your bed that has a zipper. This case should enclose the whole bed because you do not want bed bugs entering or escaping. You will have to leave this cover on for about a year because a bed bug can live a year without feeding.
You will want to make sure that once you are cleaning that you make some repairs to the room if need be. You do not want any cracked plaster or drywall. You also do not want to have peeling wallpaper. This will give bedbugs a place to hide. These places should be inspected, cleaned, and then repaired to prevent further infestation.
The very last thing you can do is get rid of clutter around the bed. This will ensure you keep the bed bugs away and to prevent live bed bugs from returning to the bed. The clutter around a bed is a great place for bed bugs to hide when they are not active. Removing this thread will make it harder for bed bugs to hide.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on a Mattress
To get rid of bed buts on a bed there is one thing you should do, use a very stiff brush to break away any eggs or larva. This will also help locate any hiding bed bugs. You will want to make sure to flip over the mattress and inspect underneath as well. If there are any rips in the mattress fabric you will want to take a flashlight and check to make sure that the bed bugs have not burrowed into this area. If they have burrowed into this area the cleanup means throw away. If bed bugs penetrate through the box spring you will want to get a new box spring because there may be way more inside than you see in that small tear.
You will want to inspect the bed frame as well. Take the mattress and box spring off and inspect and vacuum the metal/wood/plastic frame. Bed bugs will like to hide in the cracks and crevasses so make sure to vacuum this area well.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Couch
To rid yourself of those stubborn bed bugs on a couch you will want to first realize that despite what many experts say, steam cleaning does not work very well on couches or furniture. The steam does not penetrate through the upholstery on the furniture to make it effective. If your couch has bed bugs the best thing to do is vacuum extensively. Make sure to get all the cracks and crevises. Couches and furniture are extremely easy for bed bugs to hide in so again, if possible, use a stiff brush before vacuuming.
Once you have vacuumed your couch a few times, make sure to put diatomaceous earth in the cracks to help ensure that all the bed bugs are gone and if they are not that they will be. Diatomaceous earth will kill the bed bugs leaving your furniture bed bug free. Keep in mind you will have to vacuum this dirt like substance up after a day or two and repeat.
If possible, you may want to find a plastic cover that zips over the whole entire couch. This will help keep any bed bugs not removed from spreading and biting as well as making sure no others come back. Like mentioned earlier this cover would stay on for a year because bed bugs can live a year without feeding.
Where do Bed Bugs Hide During the Day
Bed bugs are nocturnal which means they act at night and are active mostly during that time. When the daylight arrives it almost seems as if the bed bugs are gone, but they are just hiding in many places around the room. A popular place for bed bugs to hide is in any cracks or ripping wallpaper. Bed bugs are extremely small so they can fit in the smallest of places. If your wall or floor has a crack, you might want to check there for bed bugs.
Another popular location would be in seams of chairs and couches. Bed bugs like to hide between cushions and even in the folds of curtains. This is a very easy hiding place for bed bugs because of all the space available when they find upholstery items.
Bed bugs are a nuisance and can find hiding in many other not so obvious places such as the drawer joints in a dresser or even around an electrical outlet. Sometimes bed bugs will even cling to appliances that are in the infected room. Most bed bugs are going to be located lower to the ground but sometimes bed bugs like to hide where the wall and the ceiling meet.
Even though most places are obvious, we do not realize that they could be harboring these blood sucking creatures. Even cardboard boxes could be an effective hiding place for a bed bugs. Sometimes bed bugs even lay their eggs on the cardboard boxes.
Bed bugs are amazingly small which makes them able to hide in the smallest of places. They are oval shaped with a flatter body. This makes them able to fit anywhere a credit card could fit. They even could be spotted hiding on a screw head because they are so small.
Bugs Mistaken for Bed Bugs
Many times, people think they have bed bugs when in reality it is a completely different bug/insect/or animal. There are many different bugs that look similar to the bed bug. One being the spider beetle. This beetle is the shape of an oval and are dark brown. They may appear reddish brown as if they have just fed on human blood. However, beetles typically like to feed on pantry items during the night. Spider beetles however, will be active during the day in dark locations. This animal is generally not known as a blood sucking animal.
Another animal that may be mistaken for a bed bug is a cockroach nymph. These roaches like to hide in cracks and crevices to stay close to food, warmth, and moisture. Like the bed bug, this animal is active at night. However, when hatching or molting this animal appears white then turns reddish brown. Unlike the bed bug this animal is more like the shape of a cylinder unlike the bed bug being oval and short.
Booklice can be commonly mistaken for bed bugs. They are small in size and can be translucent to gray/brown. Commonly found under wallpaper and along sides of windows, these bugs do not feast on blood but on fungi, pollen, mold, and dead insects.
Carpet beetles are sometimes mistaken for bed bugs because they are small and round as well as brown but what makes them different than bed bugs are their distinct wings. Unlike bed bugs the carpet beetle’s larvae look like fuzzy caterpillars. These bugs damage furniture, fabric, carpeting, and any clothing that contains animal fibers naturally.
The last most commonly mistaken bug for a bed bug is a bat bug. These bugs are similar in appearance to a bed bug. The only way to tell a difference is with a microscope. The primary difference between bed bugs and this bug is the longer length of fringe hairs located below the head. The bat bug feeds primarily on bats as its name suggests but if there is no bat then feeding on a human or pet can occur. The most common location these bugs would be found is in an attic due to bats being present but is bats are not present they may make their way down to the pets and humans to feed.