How to Spot a Bed Bug Infestation

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bed bugs are a growing problem in the U.S. Although they don’t spread diseases, their red bites can be itchy and very uncomfortable. Do you suspect that you may have bed bugs in your home? The earlier you identify an infestation, the easier it will be to treat the problem. Here are some tips for spotting an infestation.

The Bed Bug Life Cycle

  • Stage 1 – Egg: Each tiny, pearl-colored egg could fit on the head of a pin.
  • Stage 2 – First instar nymph: Hatched bed bug is the hardest to see.
  • Stage 3 – Second, third, fourth, fifth instar: Translucent, visible to the naked eye

Signs of an Infestation

The pale yellow skins of bed bug eggs and eggshells are approximately 1 mm. Live bed bugs leave rust-colored marks in their wake. The dark spots are actually fecal stains. Bed bugs are black, unless they fed recently, in which case they will be red. Taking the following steps can help you to locate the area(s) of infestation:

  1. Check sleeping areas. Their small size–the width of a credit card–makes it easy for bed bugs to hide.
    • Look for them on your mattress and box spring along the piping, seams, and tags. Also, be sure to check cracks in the bed frame and headboard.
    • Pay attention to the four corners under plastic corner guards and underneath box springs where the dust cover is stapled into the frame.
    • In heavy infestations, bed bugs can hide in chair and couch cushions, door joints, and even electrical outlets.
  2. Install interception devices or monitors. Bed bugs naturally move around at night. Research has found interception devices to be highly effective for detection. Put them under beds and couches to detect low-level infestations. Leave them in place for 2-4 weeks, inspecting every few days for activity. Bed bug monitors use chemical lures to trap bed bugs. While also effective, they can cost more than interception devices.
  3. Install mattress and box spring encasements. These products can help you identify an infestation early and be used for prevention. Many people combine them with interception devices for the best results.
  4. Have a professional inspection from a pest management company. These stubborn bugs are difficult to detect and in many cases you will need a professional inspection. A pest management company can also offer the best treatment solutions.

Here at Patriot Pest Management, we’re committed to helping you get rid of bed bugs and remain bed bug-free in the future. Our specially trained technicians use liquid and aerosol treatments for maximum effectiveness and automatically follow-up afterward. We stand by our results, offering a 60-day warranty for all bed bug services. You can count on our safe and effective solutions!