Bedbugs are little reddish-brown insects with a flat, oval shape. Contrary to popular belief, they can be spotted with the naked eye, being about the size of an apple seed, and they expand greatly after feeding. Blood is their food, and though any mammal's blood is technically good enough for them, they like us in particular because of the carbon dioxide we exhale. They prefer feeding at night when we're asleep and still.
How Bedbugs Get In
We often associate bedbugs with unhygienic environments, but the fact is that bedbugs can invade any building so long as there's an opening outside and warmth inside. Even the tiniest crack or crevice is sufficient. Bedbugs are also excellent stowaways, spreading from hotel and motel rooms to the homes of ordinary people by latching on to luggage, clothes, and shoes (not to the skin itself, though). Once inside, they'll find cozy spots to hide like the closet, upholstery, and bedding. The box spring is arguably the number-one hiding place for bedbugs.
Signs of Bedbugs
The most obvious sign of bedbugs are their bites, which are often confused with flea bites (fleas usually nip at the ankles). A defining trait of bedbug bites is that they are painless at first but start to itch about a week later, even developing into welts. Bedbug bites will be found on the exposed parts of your skin, normally in a single row or in clusters. Bedbugs also give off a coriander smell, so unless you left some moldy socks out, this could be a dead giveaway.
There are three more common signs. If you see a tiny blood stain on top of your bed, then chances are you rolled on top of a bedbug and squished it. Stains with a similar rust-like color that have bled into the fabric could be bedbug excrement. Lastly, you might find clear shells with the outline of a bedbug. These are skins that the larvae have shed.
How to Keep Bedbugs Out
Regardless of whether you have an infestation or not, you'll want to take preventative measures. For example, caulking any cracks in the exterior of your home would be a good idea. You should then take steps to de-clutter your interior, limiting the number of areas where the pests can hide. If you travel and stay at a hotel, inspect your belongings upon return.
If bedbugs invade, they won't leave on their own. That's when you'll want to consult A-Academy Termite & Pest Control. We're state-licensed for bedbug inspection and extermination, so give us a call today.