Bed bug infestations continue to grow at an alarming rate in the United States, and we are getting more and more questions about how to detect these bugs when they get in. If you're wondering whether or not your Texas home has bed bugs, we have a few tips that can help. Here's what you need to know.
Step One: Bed Bug Identification
Bed bugs are not so small that you can't see them, as some might have you believe. If you have these bugs in your home, you can see them. It might be difficult, but you can see them.
What They Look Like
Eggs — Bed bugs eggs are white and about 1mm in length. You may see them in a small batch or scattered about as individuals. They look like tiny, gel-like pieces of rice or specks.
Newly Hatched Nymphs — When a bed bug first hatches, it has a skin that is mostly see-through. If it has had a blood meal, you will be able to see the bright red blood in its abdomen. These nymphs have six legs, an oval shape, and will be about a millimeter long.
Growing Nymphs — As a bed bug grows, it becomes tan and eventually brown, but its skin never becomes completely opaque. One noticeable characteristic of bed bugs is that their black excrement can be seen inside the abdomen.
Adults — When a bed bug reaches its adult stage, it will be a rusty brown color. If it has had a recent blood meal, it will appear more of a red color and have a bloated body. If it has not fed, it will be a flat-looking insect with striped crease lines running down its body. At full length, a bed bug is only about 4.5mm long.
Where To Look For Them
Now that you have an idea of what bed bugs look like, it is important to know where to look for them. The first place to check is obviously your bed. But it is far from the only place bed bugs can be found.
Bed — Check between the mattress and the box spring. Inspect all the creases and crevices in the mattress, box spring and bed frame.
Baseboards — Sometimes bed bugs live behind baseboards, crown molding or under the edges of rugs. Do a detailed inspection along your baseboard, particularly near beds, couches, and chairs.
Furniture — Bed bugs can establish themselves in chairs and couches. This is because they are able to feed on you while you're awake. Look in every tight space and in every void you're able to look into.
Seeing a bed bug is a great way to know that you have these insects in your home, but they can be elusive. Fortunately, there are other signs you can look for.
Black patches on mattresses and box springs. If bed bugs are living inside these items, the build up of their excrement can soak through the fabric.
Black streaks or tiny black speckles. As bed bugs travel around, they leave their excrement. This black residue can be a sign that a bed bug has passed through the area.
Brown or red stains. Bed bugs may excrete some blood that they have acquired. This can leave a red stain at first. But red blood stains turn to brown stains rather quickly. If you find red or brown stains, you're likely to find black stains with them. This is from their excrement, as you can probably guess.
Shed skins. Bed bug nymphs pass through five stages of development. These are called instars. At the conclusion of each instar, the insect sheds its skin. These skins can be found anywhere bed bugs are exploring. Keep in mind that they can look like meer fragments or particles.
Bites. When a bed bug bites, it bites several times. This makes the tiny, red welts they create, look like they follow a path across the skin. You don't have to do any inspection to see this warning sign.
Best Way To Find Out Whether Or Not You Have Bed Bugs
If you want to know for sure, we can help. The licensed and experienced pest professionals at Innovative Pest Control are trained in bed bug detection. We can help you remove all doubt and help you get some much needed rest. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.