What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs are small, rust-colored bugs that feed off hosts such as humans. As adults, they are just under ¼ inch long, flat, and oval-shaped, with a lifespan that can exceed one year.
Bed bugs have adapted to living with humans due to the favorable conditions we live in. Extreme temperatures kill off bed bugs, so they prefer to live in environments that humans also find desirable, typically between 70-90° Fahrenheit.
You may be wondering, why do people get bed bugs? Where do bed bugs come from? These cryptic and resistant pests are difficult to understand without all the facts. Read along to learn about bed bugs and how they impact humans.
How Does a Person Get Bed Bugs?
Bed bug infestations spread when an individual comes into contact with bed bugs and unknowingly brings them somewhere else. They are transported as stowaways, hiding in luggage, couches, beds, pillows, and wicker furniture, for example.
To survive in any environment, they need the following elements:
- A host – Bed bugs need to feed on blood meals to survive. Without a host, they do not have a source of nourishment.
- A place to hide – Bed bugs do not want to be found or disturbed. The most common hiding areas in a bed are the back of the headboard or under the box spring.
- Climate – Bed bugs prefer to live in areas that are 70-90° Fahrenheit.
Dirty houses do not attract bed bugs. Because they feed off humans and live close to their host, bed bugs do not spend time eating other insects or fallen crumbs like common pests such as ants and spiders.
However, clutter is a major issue when it comes to bed bugs. Once bed bugs find their way into your home and claim you as their host, clutter is a perfect hiding spot. Other common hiding places for bed bugs within homes are behind hanging picture frames, in the corners and tight spaces around your box spring, behind electrical outlet plates, in the crevices of couches and fabric furniture, and clutter in dresser drawers, under beds, and in closets.
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What Are the Signs of Bed Bug Infestations?
When you mention bed bugs, most people think of bites and welts that they cause while you’re sleeping. While it’s possible that bites cause marks to appear on your skin, some individuals will not exhibit any visual signs after being bitten.
Even if you experience bed bug bite welts, everyone reacts differently. For this reason, it’s impossible to say with 100% certainty that you have markings caused by bed bugs.
Marks could be from another pest, such as fleas. Flea bites usually appear as a red mark with a “halo” shape around the center in clumps or in a straight line. Ankles, legs, and armpits are common spots for flea bites.
If you see markings similar to this on your body, call a pest control professional for an inspection of your home. Judging solely on the appearance of the bites will not give you much clarity. A professional inspection of your home will determine a breeding source or evidence of specific pest activity.
You can perform a visual inspection if you suspect you have bed bugs. The most reliable way to confirm you have bed bugs is to contact SOS Exterminating to identify a potential infestation in your home. However, there are key warning signs that you may have an infestation:
- Dark spotting or blood droplets on mattresses or bedding. These are waste products bed bugs excrete while digesting a blood meal.
- Visible observation of eggs, molted insect skin, or the insect. The failure to locate an insect does not indicate they are not present. Adult bed bugs are difficult to locate, and immature bed bugs can be difficult to see due to their size.
If you think you have a bed bug problem, you want to look throughout your bedroom, primarily in the box spring, headboard, and frame of the bed. They also make their way into other furniture in the bedroom like couches, chairs, or dressers.
Keep in mind that bed bugs are not exclusive to beds; you can have them anywhere in your home, such as behind electrical outlets and behind hung picture frames and artwork.
How Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs on My Own?
If you think you have bed bugs, do not try to treat them on your own. Without in-depth knowledge of bed bug biology and behavior, the proper professional tools, and entomological training, it’s more than likely that you will just push and scatter bed bugs rather than eliminate them.
DIY bed bug control tactics and store-bought products may kill a few bed bugs, but ultimately will repel bed bugs, pushing them out of their hiding places.
This is also true for throwing out affected box springs and furniture. Bed bugs will find other hiding spaces in your home rather than being thrown out. Doing things on your own makes it even more challenging and time-consuming for pest control professionals to eliminate bed bugs when the pests are scattered throughout different rooms and harder to find.
Always call a professional if you think you may have bed bugs.
Contact an Expert Bed Bug Exterminator Today
SOS Exterminating can get rid of the bed bugs in your home with a combination of steaming and professional pesticides. If you suspect you have bed bugs, give SOS Exterminating a call at 480-571-1486 or fill out the contact form on this page to set up an inspection at your home or business.