The other problem associated with bed bugs is that they can cause anxiety and sleeplessness, which can also lead to other problems. Despite their name, bed bugs do not limit themselves to just beds, but can also be found in other furniture, such as couches. Sleeping on any of this furniture can be unsettling for many people, and that can interfere with their ability to sleep.
Preventing Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, and they have been shown to have developed an immunity to certain pesticides. Due to this, the best practice is to do everything you can to prevent them from ever coming into your home in the first place. The best way to prevent bed bugs includes:
- Use protective covers on your box springs and mattresses.
- Vacuum carpets and rugs often.
- Clear out clutter that provides bed bugs with a place to hide.
- Inspect all accommodations when spending time away from home.
- When returning home after being away, unpack luggage outside to ensure you are not bringing bed bugs into the home.
- Wash your travel clothes separately from other laundry as soon as you come home.
- Fully inspect secondhand furniture and clothing before purchasing.
Even when you take all of these measures, you may still find or suspect that you have bed bugs in the home. When that is the case, it is important to understand how to identify the problem so you can eliminate it.
Spotting a Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs quickly produce offspring and in a very short amount of time, a few bugs can turn into a full-blown infestation. Many people never see bed bugs because they come out at night to feed on their hosts. However, there are still a few ways you can identify a problem.
Start by looking in the areas bed bugs like to hide, such as headboards and footboards of beds, around bedside tables, in loose wallpaper and wood paneling, mattress seams, and baseboards. Mature bed bugs are approximately the same size as an apple seed, so you can spot them with the human eye. They do not have wings, but are flat and reddish-brown in color, and swell after feeding.
You may also find bed bug eggs while searching, although these are much harder to see. The eggs of bed bugs are pearly white and typically about one millimeter long. Eggs are also usually found in clusters.
Bed bugs also molt as they mature and when they do, they leave behind skins and empty shells. Large infestations will produce thousands of skins and shells of varying sizes, as the size depends on the life stage of the bed bug.
Bloodstains and fecal matter is also a good way to determine that you have a bed bug infestation, but these two differ from each other. Fecal spots are dark brown to black in color because bed bugs consume and excrete the blood. Blood spots are red or rust-colored and are a result of bed bugs becoming crushed in the area they live as a person sleeps and moves.