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I Found A Few Bed Bugs – Does That Mean I’m Dealing With An Infestation?

Finding just a couple of bugs in your home or office might not seem like a big deal. Especially not when you are dealing with a critter as small as the bed bug. What damage could a bug the size of an apple seed do? You’d be surprised! There is no other way to say it, but if you spot just one bug in your home, it’s cause for concern. It’s even more cause for concern if that bug is female. And, this is because females possess the ability to reproduce. Some can reproduce without the assistance of males. While this is not the case for the bed bugs, they are prolific breeders. Spotting one of these critters means it’s time to all in the pros. As dire as the situation might be, you still need to be careful about rushing to judgment. There is no doubt you need the assistance of a pro, but not just any pro. Not all pest management professionals are created equal. You’ll want to make sure you take the time to choose one that’s willing to put your needs above the rest. Someone willing to go above and beyond for you, your family, and your home.

Why Are A Few Bugs A Problem?

If you are lucky enough to spot a bed bug, you’ll certainly want to be concerned. Why? It is in these bug’s nature to avoid detection. That’s right, they’ll go out of their way to avoid detection. Just as an example, if you sleep during the day and are awake a night, the bugs will change their sleeping pattern to opposite yours so they can feed while you are sleeping. Unlike other critters, they will try to avoid detection. This means if you are spotting one bud, the infestation has likely become so widespread that it’s pushing the bug into the open. What’s even more troubling is, these are social creatures. If you see one bug, there is no question that there are likely hundreds right around the corner. Combine with this the fact that they are prolific breeders, and you can already see what kind of situation you are facing. Spotting a female bug is even more cause for concern because of her unique ability to reproduce. A mature female bed bug can lay as many as 500 eggs in a single lifetime. That’s 500 more bed bugs in your home throughout a lifetime. One way to differentiate between the male and female bugs is by examining the abdomens. The male abdomen will be more pointed, whereas the females are rounded.

What Are Bed Bugs So Hard To Find

If you happen upon a bed bug out of the blue, you might not consider yourself lucky. However, this is the case, as most people looking for infestations can’t even find them without the assistance of trained pros. And the reason for this is, these bugs will try to avoid detection. They’ll apply techniques and methods that help them avoid detection. Along with all this, they have reddish-brown coats that easily blend in with the most common surrounding objects. The bugs are also extremely small and only grow to about 10 millimeters in length. Some are even smaller with credit card-like widths. While these bugs do feed and this is one of the best ways to determine an infestation, some people don’t react to bites. You could be getting fed on and not even know it. Unfortunately, this is the case for a lot of people.

Confirm Your Infestation

Dealing with any kind of pest is never ideal, especially not bed bugs. That being said, you have to start by determining what you are dealing with. The best way to do this is by identifying the bug you’re dealing with. Sometimes this might require the assistance of a pro. However, if you do happen to procure a sample, you can try to identify the bug by yourself. Bed bugs are oval with reddish-brown coats. They have six legs with segmented antennae and can grow anywhere from 7 to 10 millimeters in length. They’ll be razor wire-thin. Bed bugs have a similar appearance to cockroaches, nymphs, fleas, and carpet beetles. This is why these critters are commonly mistaken for each other.

Learning To Spots The Early Signs

Learning to identify the signs of a bed bug infestation is also another surefire way to determine whether you are dealing with an infestation or not. Here are some early warning signs, you can keep an eye out for:
  • Bloodstains: Reddish spots on your sheets could be dried blood or the entrails of a bug that got squashed during feeding. You’d be surprised how many people roll over and squash bugs during the night while they are feeding.
  • Exoskeletons: Just like a lot of bugs, reptiles, and insects, these critters also shed their skin. It looks similar to that of other skins. It’ll be delicate, molted, and near-translucent, giving the shape and appearance of a common bed bug.
  • Eggs/Egg Casings: You certainly do not want to spot eggs or egg casings in the home because it means reproduction has taken place. If one bug has reproduced already, there are likely hundreds more ready to or about to reproduce.
  • Fecal Matter: Fecal matter alone is nasty, but when you find it smeared on your sheets or clothing, it makes things even more disgusting. This will usually appear in black spots, similar to that of black inkblots.
  • Bite Marks: Bite marks on your neck, hands, feet, and arms could be an indication of bed bugs. However, bite marks don’t necessarily mean you are dealing with bed bugs. Fleas and a handful of other critters also bite and leave marks.
  • Musty, Sweet Odors: In large infestations, it’s not uncommon to smell musty, sweet odors.

Start Your Search For Bed Bugs

From everything you learned above, you can see why it usually takes the assistance of a pest management professional to spot an infestation. These bugs are incredibly small, smart, and will go out of their way to avoid detection. That being said, this doesn’t mean that you can’t help or save yourself some time. Either way, you go about it, the pro will also have to determine you are dealing with bed bugs. This might be something you can help with. You’ll want to start by moving the bed away from the wall. Now, completely strip everything off the bed. Take off the pillows, pillowcases, sheets, linens, comforters, box springs, and mattresses. You want to turn each item inside out and upside down, scouring it for signs of an infestation

Turning To The Pros

Doing the above will only help you determine whether you are dealing with an infestation or not. If you are, you’ll still have to figure out how to eliminate it. This will likely require the assistance of a pro as well. While there are a variety of treatments available today, you might want to consider a more eco-friendly option. Eco-friendly solutions are not only safer for the environment and everyone involved, but they have proven more effective. Pesticides and insecticides that were once effective against bugs have proven not so effective anymore. Maybe the bugs have adapted over the years. Maybe they’ve become more resilient. Whatever the situation, this is something that the trained pros with experience can help with.

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