“Sleep Tight and Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite”
It’s a cute saying, but not so cute when you realize bed bugs are a real pest that cause very real problems. Bed bugs tend to become an even more common issue during the summer months, likely due to summer travel. They are extremely adept at catching a ride while you travel, and the most common instance we see bed bugs introduced into a home is after a vacation. Unfortunately, bed bugs are also very good at hiding, so it can be difficult to know you have them until after they’ve spread through your home.
Many people don’t know bed bugs tend to become an even more common issue during the summer months, likely due to summer travel. Knowing the signs of bed bugs is helpful both so you can quickly inspect anywhere you’re vacationing, and so that you are more likely to know if bed bugs infest your home. If at any time you are concerned you may have bed bugs in your home you should contact a professional exterminator. Bed bugs are not a pest you want to treat yourself; bed bugs are very difficult to fully eliminate and treatment requires a high level of expertise.
Can You See Bed Bugs?
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are visible to the naked eye. A fully-grown bed bug is about the size of an apple seed. A nymph is about the size of a pinhead. They are flat, wide, and will look bigger when they’ve recently had a blood meal.
Even though they can be seen with the naked eye, bed bugs are excellent at hiding, and are often mistaken for other pests. We often see them mistaken for carpet beetles, mites, or bat bugs. Identifying bed bugs is incredibly difficult without proper training, which is just one of many reasons you should never attempt to DIY pest control for bed bugs.
Bed Bug Bites
One of the most common signs we hear about as pest control professionals are bed bug bites. There is no one common way bed bug bites always look. Everyone’s body reacts slightly differently. With that in mind, we often see bites that are in a circular sort of pattern, and they typically appear bright red with a darker center. Bites don’t tend to show up right away, so you may start to see signs 2 days to 2 weeks after you’re bitten.
Bed Bug Signs
Bed bug bites are not an accurate way to determine whether you have bed bugs, so it’s important to watch for more physical signs.
- You should look for small, dark red blood spots on pajamas, pillowcases, and sheets if you suspect you’ve been bitten by a bed bug. These blood spots tend to result from bites.
- Dark brown or black spots are also a sign of bed bugs.
- Cast skins, which are very small clear or pale yellow shells which bed bugs shed as they grow larger.
In addition to these signs, of course seeing an actual bed bug, living or dead, is a definite sign that you have an infestation that should be taken care of by a professional pest control technician.
How to Check for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are cryptic, meaning that they hide during the day and come out at night. Their flat bodies easily hide in small cracks and crevices, so you may not see any bed bugs even if they are in a room. To (very quickly) follow these steps:
- Pull back the sheets and examine the edges of the mattress. Look for tiny red or brown spots on the mattress and sheets.
- Inspect around the headboard, and the other furniture within a few feet of the pillows.
Please keep in mind that it's very possible you may not see any signs of bed bugs even if you follow these steps. A full bed bug inspection is best done by a professional, as the signs are easy to miss and can be difficult to identify.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
It can be tempting to try to DIY treatment for bed bugs, but doing so is just not a good idea. You should always contact a licensed, professional pest control company if you are concerned you may have bed bugs. Of course, we’re partial to you giving us a call, but if you use another company just make sure to ask what licensing technicians carry, whether they are insured and bonded, and what their experience with bed bugs is like. Reading online reviews can also give you a good idea of what others have experienced with the service.
A professional pest control technician will need to first inspect your home before starting treatment. During the inspection they will determine the locations bed bugs are in, the best products and treatments to use for your home, and they will look for any unique factors in your home’s environment that will need to be worked around in order to eliminate the bed bugs. Following the inspection, you’ll receive a full pricing estimate and treatment plan, and you can book your first treatment as soon as you’re ready.
Get Rid of Bed Bugs Now
Are you concerned you may have bed bugs in your home? Give Halt Pest Control a call today at (503) 822-6555 to get help. (Check out our specials page here for money-saving offers!). Waiting until an infestation gets worse will make treatment more time consuming, not to mention costly.