What do bed bugs look like?
The answer to this question changes as bed bugs grow older. Bed bugs begin as a tiny 1mm, pale, transparent insect with six legs and two antennae. As it develops, several attributes change. Over time, the insides of a bed bug will start to be coated with black feces. Since bed bugs are transparent, this will make internal structures visible in the abdomen of the insect. This black feces will be seen all the way to adulthood. But as a bed bug passes from one instar to the next, and sheds its skin, which is called a cuticle, its skin becomes less transparent and more of a rusty brown color. Therefore, seeing a tiny 1 mm, pale bed bug feeding on your skin is quite different than seeing a 4.5 mm, brown bed bug feeding on you. If you are fortunate enough to see a bed bug feeding in the daytime, it is most likely to be the former rather than the latter. Adult bed bugs do not take as many risks as immature nymphs.
It is also important to point out that a bed bug will change in appearance if it has had a blood meal--or is currently having a blood meal. A tiny pale bed bug will have a bright red abdomen and an adult bed bug will have more red coloring to their brown appearance. Bed bugs also become bloated and pill shaped as they fill with blood. An unfed bed bug will be flat and oval in shape.
How do I keep bed bugs from coming home with me?
No matter where you stay, always do a quick inspection. Bed bugs can be in the cleanest hotels and resorts.
Use the light on your smartphone or a penlight to check mattress and box spring seams, bed frames, upholstered furniture, baseboards, and outlet covers for black streaks, black droppings, shed insect skins, tiny white eggs, brown blood stains, or tiny insects grouped together.
How do I keep bed bugs from coming home with other people?
Teach everyone in your home to recognize bed bugs, and demonstrate how they can do an inspection if they ever travel on their own. When family or friends come to visit, don't be afraid to share what you know. You could save them from getting an infestation in their home, as you endeavor to protect your own by spreading awareness.
What do I do if I have bed bugs in my home?
These are frustrating and difficult pests to get rid of. They are wired to protect themselves from extermination. Even methods that are used by professional pest controllers can be ineffective when done by someone who is not educated in the entomology of these insects and in industry-established best practices for eradicating them from a man-made structure. DIY methods can, and have, had heartbreaking results.
When bed bug protocols are administered by a professional you will know that all safety guidelines will be followed, and all protective measures will be taken to safeguard your belongings and your home.
If you live in our New Jersey service area, you can trust the bed bug experts at ChemTec Pest Control to do it right. In fact, we guarantee it. If you see bed bugs within 6 months of your first treatment, we'll come back and do a targeted re-treatment at no cost to you. That is bed bug control you don't have to worry about. For immediate assistance regarding bed bugs or any pest-related issue, reach out to us today.