Bed bugs: how to recognize an infestation

Have you noticed your children or spouse scratching odd places? Okay, so that might not be the best…

Bed bugs: how to recognize an infestation
Foto: Flickr

Have you noticed your children or spouse scratching odd places? Okay, so that might not be the best way to identify a bedbug infestation, but it is a start. All kidding aside, bed bugs leave tiny red bites on the body which are pretty itchy. If you or members of your family can’t stop scratching – you might have bedbugs.

Tiny red bite marks aren’t the most reliable way to tell if you have bedbugs. Fleas and mosquitos also leave these tell-tale marks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bedbugs leave behind signs that will help you recognize a bedbug infestation.

You’ll need to look for the signs that the insects leave behind during their quest for human blood. Like fleas and mosquitoes, bedbug love to dine on blood. One of the nastiest, but easiest tracks left behnd – feces. Bed bugs feces are about the size and shape of a period at the end of a sentence made by a pencil or pen. When looking for bed bugs feces think of this bolded period here . The excrement may also bleed like pen or marker does on fabric.

The insects also lay eggs in the hidden areas of couches and beds. In fact, you may find eggs in all furniture in a bad infestation. The eggs and eggshells are white in color. The skin shed by nymphs (larvae) can be found in the same areas. Check between matteresses and box springs, and under couch or chair cushions for these signs.

Bed bugs may also be seen if you are fast enough. Live bed bugs are usually hidden during the day and come out during the night hours to feed. To catch sight of the bugs, have a light ready and toss back the blankets in the middle of the night. You might catch sight of the live bugs. If not, you may see reddish stains on the sheets where bugs were crushed by you or your family members rolling over in bed.

Bed bugs are very tiny. Their body is about the width of a credit card according to the EPA. Where ever a credit card can slide into – so can a bedbug. The insects can hide anywhere and do! A bright flashlight can help you look into wall cracks, behind wallpaper, in the cracks of paneling, and inside of furniture. Check every one of these areas for eggs, eggshells, skins, and feces. You may also wish to check luggage if you have been traveling, just in case you have inadvertently carried bedbugs home.