Bed bugs are a common issue for folks worldwide, but they’re especially prevalent in Florida. In fact, Tampa ranks 20th on the list of top 50 cities with the most bed bug infestations. This list also features four other Florida cities, including Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and West Palm Beach.
Are you worried about bed bugs in your home? Do you know what kind of warnings to watch for? Read on to learn the signs to look out for, indicating you might have a bed bug infestation.
What Causes Bed Bugs?
Before we dive into some of the specific signs you have bed bugs, let’s address another common question that many people want answered: What causes bed bugs?
There are plenty of reasons why you might have a bed bug problem in your home. Keep in mind, though, that a lack of cleanliness is typically not the issue. Even the most immaculate homes can end up with a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs can live for up to one year without any food. They’re also experts and burrowing into people’s belongings and biding their time there until they find access to a food source (i.e., blood).
Most people associate bed bugs with motel, hotel, room and hostel beds. There are plenty of other places where they can set up shop, though, including the following:
- Dorm rooms
- Cruise ships
- Outdoor campsites (that’s right, you can find them outdoors)
- Public transportation seats (bus, taxi, train, rideshare vehicle seats, etc.)
If you spend time in any of these places, you can easily pick up bed bugs and bring them into your house without even realizing it. They can attach themselves to your clothes, your purse, backpack, or your luggage. From here, they can end up in your bed, as well as other soft surfaces in your home, such as your couch.
Signs You Have Bed Bugs
Now that you know more about how bed bugs end up in your house let’s dive into the warning signs that they’re there. Here are some of the most typical bed bug infestation warning signs to watch for:
Bed Bug Bite Marks
Bed bugs sustain themselves on blood (preferably human blood, but animal blood will do if necessary). That’s why, when you have a bed bug infestation in your home, you’ll often notice bedbug bites on your skin.
Bed bug bites are small and red, and they’ll be slightly darker near the center (where the actual bite happened). You might notice individual bites, or you might see them in clusters. They might gather in one small area, or they could be arranged in a straight line.
There’s a good chance that you’ll find blood stains on your sheets, pillowcases, and the rest of your bedding if you’re dealing with bed bugs, too. Take a good look at your bedding and, if you notice any rusty or reddish stains, that’s likely an indicator of a serious problem with bed bugs.
Bed bugs will also leave their fecal matter behind on your bedsheets. They can also leave it on your furniture and in other areas throughout your home (around your box spring, bed frame, on the wall near your bed, etc.).
Bed bug fecal matter, when wet, is dark red, just like blood. When it dries, it turns a dark rust color and will appear black during the daytime. It also tends to look like thin black streaks.
If you’re not sure if a dark spot on your wall or furniture is leftover from a bed bug, dab it with a paper towel. If it smudges and appears red on the towel, it’s likely to be a sign of bed bugs.
Bed bugs also leave behind molted skins. These skins will look like tiny brown ovals (about ¼ of an inch in length).
You may find these molted skins in your bed sheets, on the ground behind or around your bed, or on or around your furniture. Anywhere where a bed bug might burrow is a good place to inspect if you suspect that you’re dealing with an infestation.
In addition to seeing warning signs of bed bugs, you might also smell them. Bed bugs release pheromones, and the smell of those pheromones is very strong, especially when you’re dealing with pests in large numbers.
If you’re worried about a bed bug infestation, sniff around for a strong, musty smell (similar to a wet towel that’s been sitting around too long). If you pick up on this smell, especially if it’s coupled with the other warning signs mentioned above, bed bugs may be the culprit.
Can You Get Rid of Bed Bugs by Yourself?
When people first find out that they have bed bugs in their home, many then wonder whether or not they can do anything to get rid of them themselves.
There are some possible DIY bed bug extermination remedies. For best results, though, it’s better to call a professional.
Pest control professionals can save you a lot of time. They know what it takes to get rid of bed bugs in the most efficient way possible. You can get back to your everyday life sooner and enjoy peace of mind knowing that there aren’t any critters crawling around in your sheets.
A pest control company will save you money, too. When you invest in a pest control expert’s help, you don’t have to worry about the trial and error associated with a lot of DIY methods.
You’ll also be able to rest easy knowing that the problem was handled correctly the first time around, and you won’t have to spend more money getting it fixed if your DIY tactics don’t work.
Say Goodbye to Bed Bugs Today
Have you spotted any of these telltale signs that you have bed bugs? If so, we can help at Green 365 Lawn & Pest Solutions LLC. We provide bed bug treatment services in Spring Hill, Riverview, Ruskin, Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Tampa Bay, and surrounding areas.