There are a lot of bugs that can get into your home. The temperate climate of Texas makes our area perfect for bugs. This can make it difficult to tell what type of bugs you've found in your home. Determining whether or not you have bed bugs is easier, since you probably know exactly what bug you're attempting to identify. But even this has its challenges. Let's take a look at the problem.
Things To Think About When Identifying Bed Bugs
The internet is full of images of bed bugs. You'll quickly learn that bed bugs aren't always a rusty red coloration. They can appear white, tan, or even black. It is important to examine images of bed bugs in all stages of development if you hope to properly identify the bugs you've found.
If you saw a bug and it vanished, it can make your job hard. All you may have to go on is its general size and coloration. If you saw a bed bug, there are a few things to consider. Newly hatched bed bugs are pale in coloration. These will be about 1mm long. Older nymphs will be tan and range in size from 1.5 to 4mm. Adult bed bugs are rusty brown and about 4.5mm in length.
The black coloration of bed bugs is from feces. When a bed bug first hatches, it may not have feces built up inside its body. If a bed bug is well fed, it can appear very black, especially in low lighting. So, seeing a black insect in your home could be a bed bug sighting.
The red coloration of bed bugs is from blood. If a bed bug has had a blood meal, it may look more red. This red coloration is particularly noticeable in nymphs that are in the first or second instar. A newly hatched nymph that is feeding on your skin could look like a white insect with a red abdomen, which you may not even recognize as a bed bug.
Bed bugs aren't always oval-shaped. During feeding, a bed bug can become bloated and no longer have the oval shape you would expect to see.
Let's get back to size. We touched on the fact that bed bugs are 1mm to about 4.5 mm long. It is important to understand how small that is. When you go looking for images on the internet, you're going to easily see visual characteristics that will be much harder to notice on a bed bug in real life, especially if you only have a few seconds to examine the insect before it disappears.
Most Of The Time, You Won't See Bed Bugs
Not only are these insects incredibly tiny, but they have a preference for being in tight spaces and compressed areas. You can tear your bed apart and explore every inch of it without finding a single bed bug—even if your bed is full of them.
They can be hiding in the seams of your mattress or box spring.
They can be inside your mattress or box spring if they have found a hole or a tear.
They can be in the cracks and crevices of your bed frame.
They can be inside your bed frame if it is hollow.
How To Identify Bed Bugs When You Don't See Them
There is more than one way to tell that you have a bed bug infestation in your home. You don't have to see these bugs to know you have a bed bug problem.
Bed bugs leave excrement in many places. This black excrement can alert you to an infestation. You may find it on pillowcases, sheets, bedding, and surfaces.
Bed bugs shed their skins. You may find these skins in compressed areas, such as between your mattress and box spring.
Bed bugs have a scent. If you notice a smell that reminds you of a dirty locker room towel, it could be the scent of a bed bug infestation.
One bed bug will bite more than once—often a bed bug will bite three times. These bites will appear one after the other on your skin.
Bed bugs feed in the same area as a group. If five-bed bugs bite you, you'll find about 15 bites in one region of your body.
Bed bugs prefer to bite skin that is exposed during sleep, such as your arms, neck, and face.
Bed bug bites aren't always noticeable when you wake up. It can take hours, or even days, for bites to become noticeable. This is because the rash and the red bump associated with a bed bug bite takes time to form.
Do You Have A Bed Bug Problem?
If you find bed bugs in your home, it is best to contact IPC as soon as possible. These insects can be extraordinarily difficult to exterminate. Let our friendly, experienced, and highly-trained pest professionals make sure no bed bugs remain in your home. Connect with us today for immediate assistance.