As children, “good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” was a nighttime nicety told to bleary-eyed children at bedtime. A saying that encouraged uninterrupted, sound sleep. Bed bugs were nothing more than a dream of a bygone threat. So antiquated was the idea of bed bugs, it almost seemed quaint.
Today, we all know that bed bugs are anything but quaint. No longer the stuff of bedtime stories, these pests pose a real threat to our home comfort and security. Although the size of an apple seed, a bed bug is a bonafide vampire, living off the blood of humans (and other mammals and birds) for centuries.
If you awaken with blood on your bedsheets (yes, that is a thing!) or have red itchy bumps on the skin, you may have bed bugs. Or you may not. The fact is bed bug bites look a lot like other insect bites. Some people have a visible reaction, while others don’t.
So, how do you really know if you have bed bugs?
Seeing is believing:
- Look for stains. Brownish-red marks on your sheets or mattresses could be crushed bed bugs. Dark spots could be bug blood-filled excrement.
- The presence of small eggs and pale, yellow skin casings (not unlike popcorn kernels) are present.
- There is a foul odor in the air, caused from the bugs’ scent glands.
And, of course –
- LIVE BED BUGS! These insects are identified by their small, oval bodies, the size of an apple seed. After feeding, their typically flat bodies swell and their brown coloring takes on the reddish hue of blood. They don’t fly but move quickly over flat surfaces. Over the course of their lifetime, female bedbugs lay hundreds of eggs the size of dust.
Where do they hide?
- The crevices of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains.
- In drawer joints.
- In electrical receptacles and appliances.
- Under loose wallpaper and wall hangings.
- The corners where the walls and the ceiling meet.
- Suitcases, boxes and shoes.
Once your home falls prey to a bed bug infestation, it is very difficult to get rid of them. Often, extermination will require more than one treatment.
The Mosquito Squad are not bed bug experts. We are mosquito experts. For more information on fighting pests in the home, visit the Environmental Protection Agency website. And with summer fast approaching, don’t forget about the outside of your home. Protect your backyard –visit https://www.mosquitosquad.com/bugs-diseases/mosquitoes/!