Let’s be honest. Nobody likes bed bugs and the thought of them infesting your mattress probably makes you itch all over. Wait…Isn’t that one of the signs? Oh no!
Before we gross you out even more, you’ll be delighted to hear that one in five Americans has bed bugs in their home. Delightful, right? And these little critters don’t just infest homes; they are also prevalent in hotels too. So, even if you manage to avoid them at home, take a trip and you might end up bringing home more than happy memories.
Now we have you in a good mood, let’s look at some of the early signs of infestation so you can burn your bed and all your clothes and… just kidding! Fear not, there are some less damaging ways to deal with a bed bug problem, but in the meantime, here are the early warning signs.
Bed Bug Bites
A tell-tale sign of a bed bug infestation is waking up from a nice dream covered in itchy, red welt. Not nice, especially if you’re fond of taking selfies for social media. These bites often appear in a straight line or a cluster and can be quite uncomfortable. However, it’s important to note that bed bug bites are similar to mosquito or flea bites, so it’s essential to look for other signs to confirm an infestation.
Bloodstains on Sheets
Another telltale sign of bed bugs is the presence of bloodstains on your sheets, and we’re not talking about the kind of bloodstains CSI gets called in to investigate. When bed bugs feed on human blood, they can accidentally crush and leave behind small bloodstains on your bedding. These might be small specks of blood rather than serial killer, arterial crimson spray up the walls. Just in case you were wondering.
Eww. Just eww. Bed bugs also leave behind dark, rusty-colored fecal marks on your sheets, mattress, or furniture. Not exactly hygienic, got to be honest here. The marks are usually small and resemble tiny black dots. If you notice any, it’s a clear indication of a bed bug infestation. Or you haven’t washed your sheets in a year. Not that we’re judging or anything. You do you.
Bed Bug Eggs
Bed bugs are horny little critters, and one female can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are tiny, about the size of a pinhead, and are usually whitish in color. They are commonly found in crevices, cracks, or seams of mattresses, furniture, or walls. Go searching for those eggs, and if you have an infestation, you will find them. Bed bug extermination pros can tell you if what you find are eggs or sand from that trip you took to the beach last year.
Does your bedroom smell musty? Aside from killing your love life stone cold dead (RIP bedroom yoga), a bed bug infestation often comes with a distinct musty odor. This odor is caused by the pheromones released by bed bugs and can be quite pungent. Even Barry White on a loop isn’t going to help you here. If you notice an unpleasant smell in your bedroom or other areas of your home, it’s worth investigating for a possible bed bug infestation.
Live Bed Bugs
The most conclusive evidence of a bed bug infestation is the presence of live bugs themselves. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and are reddish-brown in color. They are usually active at night and hide during the day. Check your mattress, box spring, furniture, and cracks in walls or floors for signs of these pests. And if you find them, run away screaming.
Bedbugs are unpleasant but can be dealt with. More serious infestations are best handled by professionals.