Bed Bug Identification
Often, an unexplained, unidentified bite on one’s body is the first suggestive hint that bed bugs may be present. However, this is not a foolproof method for diagnosing a bed bug infestation with people reacting to bites in various degrees. It is necessary to have knowledge of what bed bugs look like as well as their habits and activities. The adult bed bug is reddish brown and about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs are wingless and adults can be easily seen with the naked eye. It should also be noted that the appearance of an adult bed bug changes from time to time. If not recently fed, the bug is dark in color and has a flat shape. After a good blood meal, the bug blows up to a more rounded shape and becomes bright red in color.
The most difficult to see is the nymph in its first stage of growth. This is the stage in which they first hatch and emerge from the egg. This tiny nymph is difficult to see unless it has been fed and full of blood, making it bright red in color. It is also easier to see when moving about.
The bed bug egg is very tiny, only about the size of the head of a pin. The egg is white, but eyespots begin showing up after about 5 days, making it somewhat easier to identify. Another identifier of bed bug infestation is finding molted skins. The eggs hatch and nymphs begin their growth process. They will go through 5 instars, shedding 5 times before becoming an adult. These molted skins have the general shape of the bug but are translucent and nothing more than an empty shell. Shed skins are often seen along the seams of mattresses, behind headboards and along baseboards. One additional sign of bed bug infestation is small black spots found on mattresses and bed sheets. These black spots are fecal spots of excreted, digested blood.
Bed bugs do not just show up—they have been brought into your home. Bed bugs are hitchhikers that “catch a ride” to your house from various sources. This can include used furniture brought into the home, luggage from a recent trip or your clothing.
Dangers Associated With Bed Bugs
While bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous, they are an irritation that varies with each individual. It is possible for some individuals to have an allergic reaction to several bites and, in extreme cases, may need medical attention.
Bed Bug Prevention
The risk of infestation increases anytime one is exposed to other humans through public transportation or motels. It should also be noted that bed bugs can be found anywhere from budget motels to the best of 5 star rated establishments.
To reduce the chance of carrying bed bugs home with you, you should…
Thoroughly inspect your room for signs of bed bugs prior to moving into the room. Look closely at the mattress and bed clothing, behind headboard and inside drawers.
Store your suitcases and bags off the floor. Use the suitcase stands.
Don’t use the dressers. Keep your clothes in the suitcase.
Place soiled clothing in plastic bags and laundry immediately upon arriving home.
Vacuum the inside and outside of your suitcase prior to storing it in closet.
Any used furniture or used clothing should be carefully inspected and then washed and sanitized prior to moving it into the house.
Bed Bug Treatment:
As with other household pests, swift treatment is paramount with bed bugs. Elimination is not easy and should not be done with the DIY treatments or methods. You may remove adults only to find that eggs continue hatching and nymphs show up within days. Eradication calls for professionally trained pest control specialist with the experience necessary for successful treatment. ChemTec will effectively treat your home for bed bugs with three treatment sessions. This will effectively eliminate all adults, nymphs and eggs. They will also guide you through other prevention methods to reduce future infestations. ChemTec also provides bed bug control for commercial environments.