How Do You Get Bed Bugs?
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs have nothing to do with the cleanliness or condition of your home—bed bugs can and do infest everyone. (According to a 2011 survey, 1 in 5 Americans have had or know someone who has had a bed bug infestation). Bed bugs can be contracted from almost anywhere, from friends’ homes and gyms to workplaces and secondhand shops—nearly any public space.
However, you typically get bed bugs as a result of traveling—hotels and motels, regardless of quality or reputation, are notorious breeding grounds for bed bugs. All it takes is for a few of these pests to climb into your suitcase or hitch a ride on your clothing for you to get a bed bug infestation.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
About the size of an apple seed, bed bugs are flat, oval in shape and red, sometimes rust colored. Their appearance varies based on how recently they’ve fed—bed bugs are extremely thin before feeding (about the width of a credit card), and deep-red and swollen just after a meal.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Identifying bed bug bites can be difficult, as it’s hard to differentiate them from those of other biting insects—mosquitoes, chiggers and flea bites all look similar. Raised, red and typically very itchy, bed bug bites are usually found on parts of the body that remain exposed during sleep (neck, face, legs, arms, etc). Bed bug bites tend to appear in small clusters or grouped together in rows.
Bed bug bite reactions vary—some people show symptoms after only a few hours, others after days, and some (especially the elderly) show no symptoms at all. The varying nature of bed bug bite reactions and their generic appearance make bug bites a poor indicator of bed bug infestation. If you suspect you might have bed bugs, you need to check for the common signs of bed bug infestation.
What Are the Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation?
Bed Bug infestations spread quickly, so it’s crucial that you find and treat them as early and as fast as possible.
Your search should begin in the bedroom where you normally sleep, and then move outward to surrounding furniture and linens. Bedbugs are notoriously hard to find, so when searching for signs of bed bugs, take your time, be thorough, and have a flashlight handy—no crack, seam or fold should go unexamined. Here are the signs to look for:
- Red, brown or black stains (these markings are the bugs’ fecal matter, or blood)
- Yellowish shells or skins (these are the result of the bed bug molting process)
- Yellow or white bed bug eggs (in some cases these are too small to see)
- Dead or living bed bugs (bed bugs are white to tan when nymphs, and brown to red when fully grown)
What To Do If You Have Bed Bugs
At Cedarcide, we recommend using only all-natural, eco-safe methods for getting rid of bed bugs, with fogging being our preferred form of treatment. If you suspect that you have bed bugs, you need to act fast before the infestation spreads. For detailed instructions on getting rid of bed bugs, download our How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs ebook: A 5 Step Guide.