How to Identify Bed Bugs

Have you ever woken up in the morning and found what look like tiny red bite marks or rashes on your skin and wondered if they could be caused by bed bugs, or maybe you were changing the sheets on your bed and noticed little red dots on your mattress?

Whatever the indication might be, the important thing to do is be able to correctly identify a bed bug infestation early on and seek the proper treatment from your local pest control company as soon as you identify them in your home.

What do bed bugs look like?

  • Small in size, generally the size of a pinhead or apple seed (3/16”-1/4”)
  • As any “true bug”, has a body made up of 3 segments, antennae, and produce a smelly, must-sweet odor through glands on the lower side of their body
  • Eggs appear pearl-whitish in color
  • When not recently fed, bed bugs are long and brown, with a flat, oval-shaped body
  • When recently fed, balloon-like and elongated appearance, reddish-brown
  • While the young bed bugs (nymphs) appear much smaller and translucent or whitish-yellow in color, and when not recently fed, they are nearly invisible to humans.

What do they eat and where do they hide?

Essentially, bed bugs eat what are called blood meals from humans and other mammals and can travel from 5-20 feet away from hiding spots to find a host for those meals. While they are usually active at night, bed bugs can search for food during the day if they are hungry enough. Feeding takes around 3-10 minutes and they must feed at least once every 14 days in order to be able to produce eggs and mate.

When not feeding, bed bugs can be found in many areas and since they are around the width of a credit card, they can fit almost anywhere. Common bed bug hiding spots include:

  • In and around the bed frame/box spring, and mattress cover lining
  • Electrical outlets and appliances
  • Seams of couches, cushions, curtain folds
  • Underneath window and door frames

Physical signs of bed bug infestation include:

  • Red or rust colored stains on sheets and mattresses
  • Small, dark stains that bleed into the fabric like markers would, an indication of excrement left by bed bugs
  • Tiny eggs or egg shells about 1 mm in diameter
  • Pale, thin skins shed by the bed bugs as they move throughout life cycles

Now that you know a little more about how to identify bed bugs and how they behave when you have an infestation of them in your home, you are probably wondering what the next steps for fixing this problem are.

While there are things you can do to stem the immediate problem, like washing your sheets and cleaning your fabrics and floors as best you can, the only way to successfully have an infestation of bed bugs permanently removed from your home is with the professional treatment plan of pest control experts like those at United Pest Control. So don’t wait to call your United Pest Control technician today as soon as you suspect you have a bed bugs problem in your home