Tips On How To Identify Bed Bugs – Know Your Enemy!
Learning how to identify bed bugs is the first step in learning how to fight them. Yes, bed bugs are making an unwelcome comeback, and it is best to be prepared. The earlier you can deal with these nasty pests; the better off you will be – as well as everyone around you. Here we present some of the most important tips on how to identify bed bugs.
Bed Bugs – Their History
Bed bugs are parasitic insects of the family Cimicidae. While all of the species in this family feed on blood, most of them feed on animals and not humans. However, a few species have become well-adapted to feeding on humans.
In particular, the Cimex lectularius or more commonly known as the bed bug. These bothersome bugs have been plaguing the nights of humans for thousands of years. In fact, bed bugs have been feeding off of humans ever since we were living in caves!
In the 1940’s, developing countries implemented major steps to eliminate bed bugs, but with this world-wide effort, infestations began to appear again, by the mid-fifties. While the infestations were controlled, the total number of infestations has seen a small but steady increase across the decades, and today, this is a problem that plagues a significant portion of the population.
Know How To Identify Bed Bugs
Let us begin with the physical characteristics of the bed bug. Once you know how to identify bed bugs on sight, then you are that much better equipped to deal with any infestations. In appearance, mature bed bugs appear reddish-brown, flattened, and oval in shape with bands across its abdomen.
Immature bed bugs are paler than their adult counterparts, with the youngest being translucent. As these young insects grow into adulthood, they will molt six times before reaching full maturity.
Bed bugs are tiny, with unfed mature adults at a maximum of 5 millimeters long and 3 millimeters wide. When it has fed, it will grow rounder and larger – a phenomenon that makes identifying bed bugs easier. Though at this point, the insect has already met it’s victim and had it’s meal.
These insects are sometimes confused with booklice and carpet beetles, and vice versa. Upon closer examination though, there are differences between these creatures.
Know How To Identify Bed Bugs’ Presence
Next up is learning how to identify bed bugs’ presence in your home or place of stay. Remember that you can get bed bugs from hotels and other temporary lodgings too – especially at establishments with low sanitary standards.
Actually spotting a bed bug is not all that easy. While not strictly nocturnal, these pests prefer to come out only at night. This may be a result of humans only being available for feeding at night, when they sleep. When they are not feeding, they prefer to stay in deep holes or crevices, so you aren’t likely to see them unless you are actively searching for them.
In any case, here are 3 ways when identifying bed bugs’ presence.
1) One way is to check your sheets for small blood stains. Though not definitive, since you can bleed even if bedbugs aren’t present, it can point out the existence of a problem. The size of the stain can be as tiny as a pinprick to larger coin-sized stains, such as when an engorged bedbug is squished.
2) Another way is to check for their eggs. A lot of the nutrition from blood goes into the production of bed bug eggs. If you want to learn how to identify a bed bug egg, then you should read our article on “Bed Bug Larvae.”. The actual eggs are tiny, so they can be hard to spot.
3) A final way to identify bed bugsis to locate their molts and droppings they’ve leave behind. Molts look like more translucent versions of the bugs and are basically discarded skins, whereas droppings are tiny dark pellets or streaks.
Know How To Identify Bed Bugs’ Bites
Answering the question of how to identify bed bugs’ bites can be difficult because the marks differ from person to person. Some may not show any reaction, while others can receive prominent blisters. For the most part though, these bite marks are small, reddish, and slightly raised. They will usually go away in a couple of days.
Though bed bugs can be infected with human pathogens, it is unknown if they can pass on infections to other victims.
For early prevention and/or quick eradication, the next step is to start looking for signs of these pests!
So there you have it, our tips on how to identify bed bugs.