From time immemorial, bed bugs were one of the worst enemies of any person sleeping in a bed with sheets made out of any sort of cloth. The thing is – these can be quite annoying and tough to get rid of, so they are regarded as a tough opponent, which is a description they surely deserve despite their diminutive size.
It’s precisely this size that gives the people who are having trouble with it so much headache.
How does one battle a microscopically small being that likes to hide in your bedsheets? So far, many solutions have been considered and used for this purpose to varying degrees of success.
Of course, we should mention at this point that bed bug bites can be quite painful, cause redness of the skin, and worst of all – they can itch incredibly badly if not treated with some crème or some other means of neutralizing the effects of these bed bugs.
In this article, we’re going to talk about bed bugs and how you can recognize the crime scene where the bed bug is the main culprit. As you will see, there are many telltale signs of a bed bug infestation in your bed, so figuring out what happened if a bunch of bed bugs did make a mess of your bed won’t be that difficult. Also, we’ll discuss some ways of treating bed bug bites in case you suspect you were bitten by these tiny pests.
Right then folks, without further ado, here’s the deal.
If you or someone that has some itchy bites present in clusters, You should start suspecting bed bugs:
- Bed bugs bites typically occur in clusters, anywhere on the body.
- About half of the people are insensitive to bedbug bites.
- Bites occur most often at night but start itching only several hours after the bloodmeal, possibly late in the afternoon.
Actually spotting bedbugs can be difficult as they are small (from 1 to 4 mm), walk relatively fast, and as flat as a credit card. They are most active late in the night.
Don’t let the bed bugs bite!’ is not a saying that folks came up with just like that.
Bedbug Signs & Symptoms:
The black dots are bedbug poop, black from the dried blood it contains. You will also see small white dots, which are bedbug eggs. This photo is from a very serious infestation, so you will hopefully not see as much. After detecting bed bug successfully you need to use bed bug steamer to disinfect them.
Don’t go accusing every creature on your bed of being a bedbug and every welt on your skin as their bite. Bedbugs are very unique. They are wingless and flat and very small. If your creature has wings, it’s not a bedbug. This photo has an adult. You can get a sense of scale from the stitches on the mattress.
a professional opinion, but if you see the black dots and the eggs (salt and pepper sign), you should probably find a new hotel room or get the number of a good, name-brand exterminator service. You have a small nightmare ahead of you.
Bed bugs have returned! And they have done it in search of the best and most innovative “restaurant” in the city … Do you know what it is? No, it is not DIVERXO of the chef Dabiz Muñoz, but you!
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How can this be possible? Well, because bed bugs are very traveling (it is very easy to move in your luggage for example) and they love making new friends like you in these journeys.
In fact, hotels are one of the main sources of propagation of these insects due to the daily movement of guests. We could say that this fact allows bedbugs to enjoy a free vacation hitchhiking from one suitcase to another.
In the event that you find a hotel room infested by bedbugs, we have to tell you that there is a high probability that you will bring them back home with you.
But do not spread panic!
As a leading company in Environmental Hygiene services and an expert in pest control, we will share with you our secrets so you can check if your hotel room is free of this plague in 5 easy steps.
We assure you that if you follow them to the letter, the only thing you will have is a pleasant memory of your trip (no pests involved).
How to Check for Bed Bugs
Mattress and bed frame
Bed bugs usually like to live near their food sources. That is the reason why the beds always register a great activity on the part of these insects.
How to check the mattress and the mattress for bed bugs:
- Inspect the headboard completely, looking carefully at any detail of its design. Separate the bed from the wall and look under and behind it.
- Check all corners, crevices, joints, carved elements or any other small crack or hole in the mattress.
- Check the bedding. This includes analyzing the pillowcases and duvet covers both inside and out, without forgetting the sheets. In addition, pay special attention to the seams.
What do Bed Bugs Look Like on Mattress
As far as the foul and nasty appearance of bed bugs is concerned, it’s fair to say that these insects closely resemble ticks.
Bed bugs have six legs and have antennae on their heads, which helps them orient themselves in their surroundings. When their size is in question, adult bed bugs measure up to a quarter of an inch, while nymphs are even smaller.
It’s easy to recognize them when you see them because they are brownish and live all together in their colony. So, if you do see them, you should know that the unfed bed bugs will be of a mahogany color, while the fed ones will assume a different red-brownish hue, as a result.
When they are unfed, they are of a simple oval and flat build, so to speak. But when they bulk up due to all the sucked blood, they assume a bulky shape as well as a more elongated body.
Thanks to these parameters, spotting these on some white bedsheets won’t be that difficult, so even a usual eye inspection would suffice in figuring out where these are. (If you have bedsheets that are of many different colors, you’ll probably have a bit more trouble finding the bed bugs, for the record.)
Sofas, chairs and blankets
The CO2 you produce attracts bed bugs, so you can often see this type of plague hidden in places where there are high levels of interaction with humans, such as chairs or sofas.
How to check sofas, chairs and blankets for bed bugs:
- Remove the seat cushions and check both above and below them. Look for any sign of activity of these insects between joints or cracks.
- Remove the covers from the cushions and analyze the seams, corners and zippers.
Cabinets and baseboards
While it is true that bed bugs tend to hang out in those areas near where their food source is located, this does not prevent them from exploring new places inside the room, such as cabinets.
How to check cabinets and skirting boards to see if there are bedbugs:
- Check all the cabinets, drawers and other pieces of furniture in the room both on the back, above and below.
- Analyze joints, handles and any groove, crack or crevices.
- Inspect the spaces between the walls and baseboards.
Furniture near the bed, such as bedside tables, is also a focal point for bed bugs.
How to check bedside tables for bed bugs:
- Look inside the drawers, especially along the joints and in the handles.
- Inspect the back of the tables and also below.
- Analyze decorative elements, lamps and picture frames.
Luggage is one of the most attractive places for bed bugs. Therefore, it is recommended that you leave it in the bathroom before starting to inspect the room. In this way, you eliminate the risk of unwanted stowaways.
How to check luggage for bed bugs:
- Check the straps around the suitcase
- Inspect the creases and crevices of each suitcase or travel bag
Check for Bed Bug Eggs or Excrement
If you can’t find the harborage of the bed bugs that are terrorizing you, a good start would be to look for the signs of their presence first.
For example, even if you don’t find bed bugs themselves, seeing their eggs or pieces of miniature excrement can be a great indicator that they’re somewhere in your vicinity. If you find a lot of their eggs, chances are – they are nearer than you think.
As far as the shape of a bed bug egg is concerned, these are no bigger than the head of a pin and sort of resembling a tiny barrel if you look at them with a magnifying glass.
Look For Red Blood Stains From Dead Bugs
Finding bed bugs is all about understanding where to look – the rest is just following the bread crumbs, or in this case, the bloodstains to their harborage.
The thing is, since they attack us in our sleep, some number of bed bugs also dies in the process of feeding when we turn around or otherwise move in our sleep. This squishing will not only leave the bed bugs dead but also a small bloodstain, too. Now, if you see multiple bloodstains on your bed that you have no idea how they got there, and you have a problem with bed bugs as well – you can put two and two together and figure out what’s going on.
Check Between the Cushions and Around Furniture
Bed bugs love to hide in dark and cold places, so checking if they haven’t made an impromptu living quarter underneath your pillow is the first step to determining where they are.
The thing is since pillows, and especially their flipside is cold and there’s no light there, bed bugs will very likely fancy this spot and probably attempt to make some sort of organized living environment there if you don’t check it regularly.
Another spot that bed bugs simply adore would be furniture. Let’s take your standard bed stand, for example. It’s a piece of furniture with some drawers where it’s dark and cold. There you have it – if you don’t check on it often enough, you run the risk of having your nightstand contract a bed bug infestation.
What to look for when you inspect a hotel room for bed bugs?
At the moment you know where and how to detect the signs that indicate the presence of bed bugs in the hotel room, but … what should you look for?
Bed Bug Behavior and Habits
Type of Bed Bugs
- Live bugs: these insects are small, flat and oval in shape. They have six legs and two antennae, and their color is a reddish brown. In its adult stage its size is usually around 5 or 6 millimeters.
- Blood specks: occur when the bugs have been crushed after a good feast and look like small red spots, due to the blood they have ingested.
- Dark spots: they come from the dark liquid that they excrete after feeding.
- Skin shedding: the bedbugs shed their skin in order to continue their process of development and growth until they reach the mature stage. Seeing these skins is a sign that there is an infestation.
- Eggs: Bedbugs can lay between 200 and 500 eggs anywhere in a period of two months, and usually in “lots” of 10 in 10. Bedbug eggs usually have a size of one millimeter and one color pearly white
One of the most annoying things that can happen to you in your sleep would certainly be to get bit repeatedly by some nasty bed bugs. These miniature but vile creatures are perfectly capable of traveling vast distances (in bug terms) to find the target of their blood-sucking attacks. To be precise, a single bed bug can travel between 5 and 20 feet to get to their destination, so don’t be surprised if the nest you’re looking for is not even close to your bed.
As far as their feeding time is concerned, bed bugs usually come out during the night. This is possible because their targets are fast asleep, so they can easily sneak up and suck as much blood as they wish. On the other hand, if they are hungry and there’s nothing to eat during the night, they are just as likely to come out in broad daylight, so you don’t be surprised if you see these creeping about on your bedsheets or carpet as you’re reading a book or doing something else during the day.
When it comes to the time these require to feed, they take between three and twelve minutes. Also, they will attack birds, and mammals just as likely as humans, so if you have a pet, you might want to check it too for bed bug bites.
Bed bugs are creatures whose life spans about a year and who can reproduce at an alarming rate, provided they have proper conditions. These conditions are mostly connected to the amount of and the frequency at which these can suck the blood out of their host.
Each female may lay between 200 to 500 eggs in her lifetime and an egg takes from four to five weeks to hatch if the conditions are favorable. As we’ve already said, the biggest prerequisite for their reproduction process to go forth, so to speak, would be food – so, the more they eat, the more of them you’ll be seeing around shortly.
Other than the reproduction cycle, another important thing about bed bugs would be that they typically go through six stages (when it comes to their body build) in their lifetime. They can only reach those stages if they have their blood meal and a single bed bug can feed multiple times throughout their life.
An interesting thing about bed bugs is that they don’t live in beds more often than not.
They usually creep up to a person sleeping in a bed to bite them and feed on their blood, but as far as their actual ‘living quarters’ – these can typically be found elsewhere.
Usually, any crevice or small crack will do for this purpose. So, you can find bed bug harborages (that’s how their hiding places are called) between a layer of wallpaper that’s hanging out, underneath your floor, between power sockets in your walls, or in hollow pieces of furniture.
Other than these domestic locations, bed bugs can also hide in other, non-fixed places, but which are typically frequented by people. These would include trains, buses, and even car seats. So, pretty much any area where you can find humans – you can find bed bugs, too.
One of the most notable weaknesses (and thus extermination methods for killing off bed bugs) would be to expose them to excess heat. Bed bugs die when their body temperature reaches 45° Celsius, so ramping up the temperature to a value higher than that in your room can be a great way to get rid of these pests.
Treating Bed Bug Bites
Even though bed bug bites are mostly harmless and pose no real danger for the person, in the long run, getting bitten by a bed bug is still no picnic, as the bite spot can itch like hell.
Now, the best course of action to tackling this occurrence is to just wait it out, because your skin will come back to normal after a couple of days.
If you feel you can’t stand the constant feeling of itchiness, however, you may want to apply some anti-itch cream to the spot and get rid of the itching sensation in that way. This can be an easy way to get rid of some of the worst symptoms early on, so that even though you have the visual embarrassment, at least the bite spot won’t itch.
Another way of addressing the most immediate symptoms of bed bug bites – the itches, would be to simply get some antihistamine in oral form. This drug is recommended for all sorts of itches, resulting from a variety of sources, so to speak.
So, if the itching is unbearable and the cream won’t help sufficiently, so to speak, you can always turn to the ancient art of taking some antihistamine and resolving the problem. Of course, you only need to take this drug for the duration of the symptoms.
Use a Pain Reliever
Here’s another solution for the immediate symptoms of a bed bug bite.
If, along with the itching, you feel a great deal of pain, too, from where the bed bug bit you, a good course of action would be to take some pain-relieving medication to help you weather the storm.
As you probably already know, the pain will subside quickly even without any medication, so you don’t need to worry about being in pain for too long if you do get bitten.
Ice Pack Wrapped in a Towel
Bed bugs don’t always strike at the exact time the nearest pharmacy is open.
So, if you have to misfortune to fall victim to a bed bug attack in the middle of the night and you don’t have any of the aforementioned three first-aid solutions close by, you can take a towel, put a couple of cubes of ice in it, and apply it to the area that’s itching.
The coldness of the ice will numb the area temporarily for just enough that the hotspot will subside and you can proceed with your day.
Baking Soda & Water
This would be a home remedy type of solution for situations where you don’t have anything else to put on your skin and the itch is becoming horrendous.
What you do is get some plain ole baking soda, mix it up with a little bit of water, and then apply a thin layer of it on your skin where the bed bugs bit you. As the water evaporates, the thin layer of baking soda will remain there and soothe the itching as well as the pain resulting from getting bitten by one or more bed bugs.
Some Types of Essential Oils
Last but not least, if you don’t have any of the aforementioned soothing solutions for your bed bug bites, you can always opt for essential oil.
The thing is, some essential oils can reduce temporary inflammation and itching caused by bed bug bites, so if you don’t have anything better, but do happen to have some essential oils in your possession, you can always try and apply some of it on your skin where the bite happened.
All things considered, bed bugs aren’t that dangerous nor do they hurt that badly. That said, it’s always better to soothe the pain and even worse – the itching that comes with bed bug bites, than to suffer for that duration of time until the pain subsides, no matter how short it is. We hope that this article helped you learn more about bed bugs, about how to recognize them, and most importantly – how to treat their annoying little bites. We wish you a successful bed bug fighting campaign and best of luck with getting them out of your bedding.