One of the most important things that you have to do if you think that you might have bed bugs is to learn what they look like so in this article I’ve included some bed bug pictures and other important information about what they look like to help you identify them.
When you look for bed bugs you need to realize that they come in different sizes and their looks can change as they grow and mature.
The first thing that you need to know is that these bugs are really, really good at hiding from detection. Since they can’t fly and are limited in the distances that they can crawl this ability to hide is how they protect themselves.
They like to hide away in your bed, bed frame, cracks and crevices, carpet edges, behind pictures hung on the wall, in furniture that is close to your bed, along carpet edges, and even in electrical outlets. They’ll also show up in furniture, boxes and bags that are brought into your home.
But if a neighbor in your building gets an infestation and it’s not treated properly it’s only a matter of time until they show up in your home as well so it’s important that you know how they get in your home and how to find them to treat them. Learn more about how Bed Bugs get in your home here.
It’s also important that you remember that the one thing that they always do is hide close to the source of their food – you. If you sleep in a chair at times they might even hide there so they can be close.
How To Know If You Have A Bed Bug Infestation
If you’ve never dealt with bedbugs before it can be a bit difficult to tell when you have an infestation. In part this is because these bugs are so small that you can go for a period before you realize they have infested your home.
Of course one big clue that should start you preparing is if your neighbors around or near you are complaining of an infestation. Your building management might also schedule an unexpected inspection of units by an exterminator looking for some unnamed bug if your building is experiencing an infestation.
Another big clue is if you find itchy red spots on your arms, legs and torso that could be a sign that you could already be infested. Here is a link to more about how to identify bed bug bites.
These bed bug bites can be extremely itchy for some people so here is a link to an article with ideas you can use to calm bedbug bites.
Below is a description to help you find the areas that are infested so that you can take the offensive and get rid of the bugs.
Description Of Bed Bugs
These nasty little bugs are wingless and really small, even as adults they will grow less than a quarter of an inch in size. They are a flat, oval shaped bug whose small size allows them to easily hide in the smallest of folds or cracks in and around your home.
Their shape also makes it easy for them to crawl through the tiny cracks and spaces around plumbing or electrical wires that run in your walls which is how they can get from one apartment or room to another.
Then you also have to deal with the tiny eggs that the female bed bug lays that hatches new bugs that grow a molt as they grow into adults.
An infestation can grow into hundreds of bugs depending only upon the availability of food. Once an infestation has grown too large for the food supply (you and your family) or if you treat your home they will move on to another food source.
These bugs can go months without eating so if you move into a new apartment/condo you need to do a careful inspection to make sure that it isn’t infested just waiting for a new victim.
What Color Are Bed Bugs
As the bugs grow and molt their color changes. When they first hatch the color of the bug is going to be slightly off white which later changes to tan or a burnt orange color.
Once they get their first blood meal when they feed on you the color of their shell will change to a dark red or black.
The molting process happens as they eat and outgrow their old shells, cracking those shells open and growing a new, larger one as they feed on their prey.
Where To Look For Bed Bugs
Because they are so small it can be hard to find these bugs but if you know where to look for them you will be able to see them so you know where you need to treat.
One important fact to remember is that these bugs are also usually night feeders, hiding during the day then coming out of their hiding places at night when you are sleeping and they are able to feed undisturbed. Their prime feeding time is in the early morning just before dawn when you are in your deepest sleep and they can feed undisturbed.
Although an adult bug can crawl up to 20 feet at night to feed and then return to it’s hiding space as a general rule they are going to want to find a place to hide that is close to their feeding source.
Therefore any time that you are looking to identify the bugs you should start your search near your bed.
Arm yourself with a flashlight and maybe even a magnifying glass so you can see the bugs.
Pull your sheet off a corner of your mattress and look along the seam for the bugs, their fecal droppings, discarded shells, or eggs.
Be patient and look at all four corners of the mattress and box springs. You can also pull the mattress and box springs off the bed frame and look along the frame, another favorite hiding place for the bugs.
Be sure to look behind picture that are hung close to your bed, behind electrical switch plate, along carpet edges, and in any furniture that is close to your bed or anywhere that you sleep regularly.
The best time to look for these bugs is always early in the morning just before dawn when they are most active. But if you have an infestation they can be found at anytime if you look carefully enough.
You might even close your drapes or shades and turn of lights to darken a room for a while so that you can be find the bugs easier.
Another way to find out if you have bed bugs is to create a trap for them. There are three basic ways to trap these bugs.
One trap is to get a small amount of dry ice and put it in a plate near your bed at night. Put tape from the floor to the rim of the bowl, adhesive side in, so that the bugs can crawl up into the bowl. The slick sides of the bowl will effectively trap the bugs inside once they crawl in and the melting dry ice will create carbon dioxide gas that will fool the bugs into thinking that it’s a new food source.
A second way is to use a trap on the feet of your bed. These traps are called bed risers. They are designed to let bugs crawl in them but trap them from getting to the actual foot of your bed.
The third way is to get some double sided tape and put it on the legs of your bed. If you have an infestation yyou should be able to trap some of the bugs in the adhesive.
But the best way will always be to actively search for them as described above.
What If You Find Bed Bugs
If you find bed bugs you must treat them as soon as possible. Failure to do so only allows the numbers of bugs in the infestation to grow larger which ultimately makes it harder to treat them.
You can treat them yourself or you can contact the management of your building to get a professional exterminator to treat the bugs. Who is responsible for paying for treatment will depend upon the type of building and its’ policies.
But the bottom line is the sooner that you start treatment or get an exterminator to treat the sooner the problem can be taken care of and the bugs killed.
Plus, there are certain steps that you must take regardless of whether an exterminator or you are treating for the bugs.
Preparing properly for treatment makes it much more likely that you will rid yourself of the bugs.
The One Step For Instant Relief
If you have a infestation you probably know how awful it is to be infested by these bugs. It is especially bad for those who are sensitive to their bites. It can make your nights miserable and make it impossible to get sleep.
But there is a simple step that can get you instant relief. All you have to do is make your bed a bed bug free zone.
It includes using bed bug encasements to trap any bugs that are already in or on the mattress and box springs. You also need to put your pillows in pillow encasements to trap any bugs that are hiding there.
Wash and treat your bed frame and headboard then put the encased mattress and springs back on the frame. Make sure that you put bed risers that you buy or you can use improvised ones to keep new bugs from crawling back onto your bed.
Wash your sheets in hot water and dry in as hot a setting as your dryer has available. Always make sure that when you remake your bed you keep any blankets from reaching to the floor since this will give the bugs easy access to you.
You should also plan on treating the areas around your bed and any other places that you have found the bugs.
Persistance is key in getting rid of these nasty little bugs.
Identifying what type of bug that you have is a crucial step that can’t be stressed too much. Treating for bed bugs is different than treating for other bugs and it is important that you take the right steps as quickly as you can to keep an infestation from growing.
The larger the infestation the harder it is going to be to treat it and get rid of bed bugs.
One thing that I want to make sure and point out is that bed bugs are hard to treat for and if you do hire or have an exterminator come into your home it’s likely that you are going to need several treatments.
This is because even though a treatment can kill the bugs, it usually will be unable to kill the eggs which take about two weeks to hatch.
This is why a second treatment is so important. In my opinion, anyone that tells you that they can kill bed bugs in one treatment should be avoided.
If you use an exterminator always use one that has a plan that includes follow up treatments as part of a plan to get rid of these bugs. You can always treat the bugs yourself but the larger the infestation the more likely that you are going to need an exterminator as part of your plan to get rid of bed bugs.
I’ve always treated infestations myself at the first sign of the bugs. I’m allergic to so many different chemicals that treating for them myself with natural bed bug killers just makes sense and keeps me healthy.
So you can treat for bed bugs yourself, it just depends upon whether you are able and willing to do everything that you need to do in order to get rid of them
The ad below leads to a source online that I have often used for everything I need to get rid of bed bugs.