The only clear indication that you have bed bugs is to watch out for bed bug signs and symptoms which we will be discussing in this guide. Often, people assume that a bite on the human skin is due to the presence of bed bugs. However there are many explanations for such bites and several species of insects can cause similar ones. Hence, it is important to educate yourself about the exact signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation. This can help you alert the right authorities, especially if you are suffering from bed bug infestations when living in a motel or rented condo or apartment.
Top 6 bed bug signs
Anyone can have a bed bug infestation. It does not matter where you live, whether you are rich or poor, living in a sprawling estate or rural/suburban community.
Here are 6 important bed bug signs to look for when you suspect a bed bug infestation:
- You are waking up with bites that appear in a linear pattern typically on the arms, legs, thighs, torso, back etc. (More bed bug symptoms are discussed below).
- You notice red blood stains or fecal matter of bed bugs around your pillow casings, mattress corners, and sheets. These are the partially digested matter left behind by the bugs.
- You might see tiny white granular eggs of the bed bugs in cracks and crevices near sleeping areas.
- You might also see tiny black spots which look like pepper grains around the corners of bedding, mattresses, and edges of pillows and so on.
- You see discarded exoskeletons of the bugs which appear like rust colored skin or empty shells.
- An obnoxiously sweet odor like those of crushed almonds, or dried cilantro may be present in the air.
These bed bug signs are especially concentrated around certain areas such as the bed sheets, tufts or seams of mattresses, in the box springs, in crevices of sofas and furniture, beneath loose areas of wallpapers, in and around the laundry units and within the pleats of curtains etc.
Now let us study important symptoms of bed bug bites on human skin.
Top 6 bed bug symptoms
Bed bug symptoms are often confused with other insect bites. Typically, bed bug bites appear in the form of small, itchy and red bumps on the skin. These are generally linear, meaning they appear in straight lines as the bugs travel in this fashion. Many people are allergic to bed bug saliva. As a result of this, their body produces histamine to counter the proteins in the bugs’ saliva. This is what causes the rashes and blisters.
Here are 6 important bed bug symptoms:
- Large itchy bumps which are spread over an area measuring 6 to 8 inches. This is the distance a single bed bug might cover on its host’s body in a single night to complete one blood meal.
- In large infestations, the victim might be covered with red itchy bumps that cover the entire arm or leg spreading up to the thighs.
- Blistering is one of the most common bed bug symptoms, especially seen in people allergic to insect bites. The blisters may be fluid filled.
- Groups of small, sac-like bumps covered with pus are some other signs and symptoms of bed bug bites.
- Skin rashes that are very similar to hives are also seen in people having bed bug infestations.
- Some people might go in anaphylactic shock which results from a severe allergic reaction to the bites.
Naturally, the key to knowing for sure whether you have a bed bug infestation is to actually have a living/dead sample of the bug. You can do the following important steps to catch the bed bugs:
4 Steps to catch the bed bugs
- Bed bugs usually hide during the day and come out at night time to feed. So, visually inspect the sleeping areas for all the aforementioned six bed bug signs.
- You can install interception devices near the foot of the bed. These devices emit CO2 to which the bugs get attracted. Bugs move towards these traps and get caught in the interceptors. Experts recommend leaving these traps in place for a period of at least 2 weeks.
- You can make use of mattress encasements. These are expensive but they help protect your bed and also help in early detection of bed bug signs.
- You could also seek professional help for detecting the bed bugs. Qualified and trained personnel use the best methods for bed bug monitoring and ensure that even the low/small-sized infestations are caught early on before they spiral out of control.
These are some of the best methods for discovering bed bug signs and symptoms.