bed bugs - detection
- Remove all the clutter from the area
- Wash any clothing, bedding, rugs etc. and set in the dryer for a maximum of 20 minutes on the highest heat to kill any bed bugs left
- Vacuum up your room, focussing on the cracks and carpet seams
- Contact your local pest control professionals to exterminate your home instead of trying to do anything yourself
- Cover the mattress with plastic and have it stored somewhere for a year
- Do not let any new resident into the home until it has been completely cleared by the pest control professional
What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Sometimes, identifying which bug bit you can be confusing since many of bug bites look incredibly similar.
There are however, ways of distinguishing the bed bug bites from other blood suckers.
Bed bug bites look like small, red welts on the skin. They look strikingly similar to mosquito bites and will feel extremely itchy. Depending on the person, reactions vary. Someone’s welts may look larger or itch more. See image below.
You would not notice the bite at first. Some bodies will show an instant reaction while for others it may take some time. If someone is bitten multiple times, it increases the body’s reaction time. The bites will usually be in a pattern, one that will either be in a line or a zigzag shape.
According to popular pest control website Terminix, there are several signs to look out for when in search of bed bugs:
- Red and itchy welts that are flat and usually a small cluster or zigzag pattern on the skin
- If you start feeling discomfort or itching while asleep or attempting to sleep, it is likely that bed bugs are the culprit
- When you start noticing red marks on your arms and shoulders, that is a sure sign that these blood suckers have attacked
- A bed bug filled bed will consist of blood stains on the sheets that look like rusty brown spots. You may also notice their exoskeleton or smell them
- There is no denying these annoying pests have a foul odour resembling a wet towel. When there is an infestation, you will be able to smell the pheromones from the group.
- Do not forget to do a home inspection, especially in your bedroom. Check your mattress, box spring and everything else around your bed.
- Check your dressers, drawers, and headboard as required for any reddish-brown spots.
- Do not forget to check your closet. Bed bugs are attracted to clutter, and if your closet is known for piles of clothes and a mess of things then it is likely they have found that spot and nested there
- Do not underestimate the power of your nose. The scent alone will give it away.
Contact your local exterminator who will advise you on next steps to take.
Once you know what to do, act fast and be persistent until you get rid of them.
Ask the exterminators, how much is going to cost and how long is the treatment.
Bed bug bites are not considered harmful. Typically, they are minor irritations on the skin that are red and itchy. How people react to being bitten varies by person. Some have no reaction; they get to remain blissfully unaware they’ve been bitten. Others experience intense itchiness, hives, and swelling that may require medical attention to alleviate their discomfort. And of course, there are a few poor souls that have severe allergic reactions, if bitten immediate medical care must be sought.
Of greater concern to humans is the impact living with bed bugs can have on a person’s mental well-being. Sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and paranoia are all symptoms commonly experienced by people dealing with bed bug infestations. A Canadian study conducted in 2012 at Montreal’s McGill University concluded, “Individuals exposed to bed bug infestations are at risk of experiencing sleep disturbance and of developing symptoms of anxiety and possibly depression.” While that conclusion may sound mild, especially for those who’ve survived living with a newborn, the reality is quite severe. Lack of sleep, coupled with the financial costs of bed bug treatment, and resulting social isolation can all add up to a genuine and measurable loss of a person’s well-being.