Bed bugs plague countries all over the world. They are tiny, flat insects which can live in bedding, mattresses, furniture and even clothes. As such most people don’t even know they have a problem until the infestation is already quite severe.
One of the most well-known signs of bed bug infestation is the skin marks or rashes. If you wake up in the morning and find out red, itchy spots on your skin, chances are bed bugs have bitten you while you were sleeping. And usually, it’s not just one or two bite marks, but a cluster or a line of quite a few.
Another popular sign is finding red or brown spots on the bedding or furniture. Those are drops of your blood and… bed bug excrement.
Sadly, those signs mean it’s quite late, and the bed bugs have been with you for a while. It will lead to more difficulties in exterminating them. So, it would be better if there was a way to spot signs of bed bugs a bit earlier.
Let’s explore a few more, less-known indications of bed bugs.
If all of a sudden there’s a musty scent in your room, that might be a severe indicator for bed bugs. This smell is actually pheromones which the bugs release to attract even more critters. So, the stronger the scent, the more bugs are already in the room.
Check the walls
While it’s common to see the brown or rusty spots on the bedding and the mattress, don’t neglect the walls. Bed bugs can actually hide beneath loose wallpaper or picture frames and other wall items. As such, you can see their tell-tale marks around those places, too. Cabinets and headboards are also a bed-bug-favourite.
Look for tiny shells
As they grow, bed bugs shed their old shells. Obviously, then they don’t pick them up. Each bed bug will leave at five shells as it grows. And the bigger the infestation, the more shells there will be. While the bugs run and hide, the shells will be where they left them, so it’s an easy way to confirm that you do in fact have a bed bug issue on hand. The shells are tiny and brown like a bed bug, but obviously hollow.
Look for small white spots, too
Those are actually bed bug eggs. As you can imagine, they will be tiny. Usually, they will be in the joints of furniture or hidden in small crevices. You will need a torch for this as they are tiny.
Mind the neighbours
Yep, if you don’t have bed bugs, but your neighbours have, then it will increase the chance you will get them, too. Bed bugs can spread from person to person, albeit not that often. But if you go over to the neighbours for a cup of tea and sit on a bed-bug-infested chair, you will very likely then bring the critters to your house.
What to do when I do find bed bugs?
Most people will usually first try to tackle the issue themselves. This means relying on lots of home remedies with varying success. Suppose you have managed to spot the infestation early and it’s small, for example just in some clothes. In that case, you may be able to remove them with a few cycles with a washing machine and a dryer.
If the infestation is larger and in more than one room, then you will need to call bed bug removal professionals. They will be able to use various treatments (for example with heat only, with spray or a mix of both) to get rid of the bugs.