When you find lots of tiny bumps on your skin surrounded by a rash, you may wonder, "Do I have bed bugs in my home?" If you don't know much about bed bugs, a question like this is hard to answer. And it only gets worse when you go looking for bed bugs and can't find them.
Today, we'll look at ways to uncover bed bugs hiding in your home. We'll also discuss the characteristics of bed bug bites so you can tell them apart from other common bug bites. Then, we'll dig in and tell you how to stop bed bugs from getting into your home and how to eliminate the bugs that have already breached your defenses.
If you need immediate assistance with a bed bug problem in Tucson, remember you're never alone when dealing with pest issues. Your Conquistador Pest & Termite team is here for you. Our highly-trained and super-friendly technicians understand these and other common pests in our region of the country.
When you need professional bed bug control in Tucson, reach out to us by phone or the internet to schedule a service visit.
Examining Your Home: Where To Look For Bed Bugs
Step one in dealing with a bed bug problem is knowing how to find bed bugs hiding in your home. Knowing where these bugs are and uncovering evidence proving you have an infestation can give you peace of mind. At least you'll understand what you're dealing with, right? Well, here are the best suggestions from our on-staff experts.
What You're Looking For
When you go looking for bed bugs, you may find them. Seeing live bed bugs is solid evidence that you have an infestation. But keep in mind that bed bugs begin life as white eggs, grow into tan nymphs, and eventually become the reddish-brown bugs you've likely seen in videos. They range from 1/26 to 1/5 of an inch. Along with finding the bugs, you can look for other evidence of an infestation, such as:
Black feces or fecal spots on sheets, clothing, drapes, and carpets. The feces may also look like streaks on hard surfaces.
Brown stains that accompany the black feces. Bed bugs often excrete blood with fecal matter. When the blood dries, it appears brown or tan.
Shed insect skins. Bed bugs pass through five developmental stages called instars. As they grow, they shed their exoskeletons. They'll look white or tan, like the color of the nymphs.
Tiny white eggs. Bed bug eggs are the size of newly hatched nymphs, around 1/26 of an inch.
Remember to use your nose to track bed bugs as you look for evidence. These insects use pheromone scents to communicate. The smell of bed bugs is described in many different ways, from moldy to sweet, from a dirty towel to coriander. If you smell something kind of "off" as you look for bed bugs, you may be smelling these pheromones.
Where Should You Look For Bed Bugs?
When looking for bed bugs, you'll want to inspect your mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and couches. These are the places bed bugs gravitate to within your home. Here are some specifics about these and other hiding places:
Check inside seams, compressed spaces, pockets, and gaps.
Check around objects that have a void within them.
Look in the tight space underneath the feet of furniture.
Look underneath labels.
Check behind wall hangings and inspect the frames.
Look along baseboards and up the sides of any crown molding.
Inspect your piano seat and the gaps of your piano if you have one.
Probe along carpet edges.
Inspect your luggage, duffel bags, book bags, pocketbooks, etc.
If you discover bed bugs during your search, you can go right to prevention and control. Skip down to the section about these unwanted guests. If you don't find evidence, you'll need to consider the bites as evidence. Sometimes, bed bugs hide really well.
Bites And Rashes: Symptoms Of A Bed Bug Invasion
When you get a bumpy rash, it may only be a bumpy rash. You might have an allergic reaction to a certain fabric or food. You may have an allergy to a pest but not actually have bites—this often happens with carpet beetles. But, when the bumps are bites, there is a good chance they're bed bug bites. Here are a few reasons why:
Bed bugs rarely bite once. They have a pattern. They bite, crawl, bite, crawl, bite. That means a dozen bugs can leave 36 bites in one night. If you wake up with a lot of bumps, chances are you have bed bugs.
Bed bug bites look like a path on your skin. Since they bite and crawl, they move across your skin. Bed bugs also like to feed as a group. So, the bites will be in a group.
Bed bugs can bite you without you feeling it. They can do this by administering an anesthetic and anticoagulant to draw the blood out. Other bugs can leave many bites, but you'll likely feel it. Either they do not have an anesthetic, or they have venom, which causes discomfort.
These tips should help you zero in on whether or not what you have are actually bed bug bites. If you determine they are, you'll want to figure out how to get these bugs to stop biting you. The first step in bed bug control is prevention. You have to stop the bugs from finding their way into your home. Let's take a look at how you can do this.
Unwanted Guests: Common Causes Of Bed Bug Infestations
Often, people think of bed bug removal as the solution to these pests. But you won't have much success dealing with infestations if bed bugs continue to reinfest your home after you remove them the first time. So, here are some of the ways bed bugs invade your house and some tips to help you stop them:
Bed bugs will hitch a ride home with you in your luggage. You can stop them by storing luggage in high places, putting luggage in a sealed bag, or applying lavender to keep bed bugs away.
Bed bugs can get into your home by hitching a ride in furniture and other household items. Inspect items before bringing them into your house, or wait on buying any used items until your infestation is gone.
Bed bugs can get into your home from another home attached to yours. When an infestation grows, bed bugs eventually get into walls and move between living spaces.
You can pick up bed bugs at work or school. They can go between items that are touching. The solution is not to let your stuff touch the stuff of coworkers or fellow students.
Bed bugs can come home from a sleepover or a visit with family. One way to help prevent this is to keep your laundry items in a sealed bag. Bed bugs are strongly attracted to the scent of the skin oils on your laundry.
If you're diligent, you can track how bed bugs are getting into your home and take steps to stop them. Once you do this, you can get control of these bugs and feel confident that you won't have any more trouble—at least for a while.
Eliminating Bed Bugs: The Smart Solution For Your Home
What is the best way to get rid of bed bugs? Many Tucson residents turn to natural pest control for bed bugs. They'll vacuum, wash, run clothing through the dryer, and try other all-natural methods. While these are important steps to take, they are not a solution on their own. Control materials are required, which makes this a job for a pest management professional. We strongly recommend professional bed bug services from Conquistador Pest & Termite to deal with a bed bug problem. Here's why:
A pest management professional will perform an inspection and track the insects in your home.
We will apply appropriate materials in target locations, such as outlets and along carpet edges.
We will install traps to guard you from bed bug bites as the control materials do their job. These traps also work as monitoring devices to track activity so you'll know when your home is free of bed bugs.
We will follow up, check the traps, perform follow-up inspections, and re-treat as necessary.
After finishing the process, you can return to life as usual, knowing your home is free of bed bug activity. That peace of mind is the main reason to contact a pest management professional. You won't have that if you attempt to do it yourself. Bed bugs are surprisingly hard to control, and they have a habit of appearing again and again after residents think they've finally gotten rid of them.
Say goodbye to bed bugs in your Tucson home. Contact Conquistador Pest & Termite today and schedule a bed bug treatment. It pays to get professional help when it comes to bed bugs.