How do I know if I have bedbugs?

 How do I know if I have bedbugs?

Bites:

The first indication most people have that they might have bedbugs is bites. The bites alone cannot confirm the presence of bedbugs; however, it is a reason to look further. Bedbugs tend to feed on exposed skin areas such as the torso, legs, arms, or neck, which can often help differentiate their bites from other insects.

Reactions vary from person to person, just as they would with other insect bites. They can sometimes take two weeks to appear and can vary from very small and discreet to swollen and inflamed. The bites often occur in a linear pattern or patches as opposed to individual spots; however, this also is not a sure indication of bedbugs. The bites will likely itch and secondary infections can be introduced if the sites are itched open.

Spots/trails:


 

The act of feeding takes only about five minutes and the bedbug will leave the host to digest. The fecal matter (waste) of the bedbug will leave dark reddish-brown spots on the surfaces they move across or in areas where they seek harborage. They will also cast their skins when progressing to the next nymphal stage (molting). This waste will often leave a sweet, musky smell in areas with high populations.

Places to look:

  1. Mattress, seams, and box springs (underneath and in hidden corners and spaces).
  2. Along baseboards in the room, especially the wall(s) closest to the bed.
  3. Inspect all luggage, bags, laundry, and purses.
  4. All other furniture around the home, underneath, in seams and crevices.
  5. Cracks in walls, lifted wallpaper, under faceplates and pictures.
  6. Along pipes or wiring within the walls.

There are other insects and pests that can leave similar markings (bites and waste) behind, such as mosquitoes, lice, fleas, spiders, scabies, ticks, and even cockroaches. Make sure you know what you are dealing with before applying chemical treatments as well as to save time and money in effectively eliminating the pest you have.