A bed bug infestation is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Here’s how to identify these terrible insects so you can call a pest control professional immediately.
While they’ve not been shown to carry diseases like rats, mosquitos, and other common types of rodents and pests, bed bugs are one of the most stressful infestations to have. Not only can their bites lead to severe itching, allergic reactions, and skin infections, symptoms like anxiety and insomnia can persist for long after the infestation has been cleared.
From the moment you spot a single bedbug, you already have a huge problem, as they can remain undetected in the smallest crevices for weeks at a time. From chair and cushion seams to curtain folds and in mattress tags, whether your home is clean or dirty, they can be brought inside on clothing or in other items and wreak serious havoc.
Small and brown with eggs the size of a pinhead, bed bugs are wingless insects that can be difficult to see unless they’ve fed, and may resemble other bugs like carpet beetles, cockroach nymphs, or spider beetles. Therefore, if you suspect an infestation, look out for these signs:
- Blood Stains On Your Bed – Bed bugs will travel relatively short distances to feed on humans in the night, and can sometimes be crushed when persons shift or roll over in their sleep. Spotty blood patterns on your sheets in the morning could indicate a bed bug problem.
- Itchy Red Spots Typically in a Line – Individually, a bed bug bite can resemble other bug bites, but bed bugs tend to bite the skin multiple times in a straight line. If you notice this unusual pattern, it’s time to search for bed bugs.
- A Musty Smell – Bed bugs release a pheromone that most persons find to be musty as well as sweet and ‘berry-like.’ This smell will get stronger as the infestation grows.
- Brown or White Spots in Crevices – Bed bugs leave both fecal stains and eggs in furniture joints, under wallpaper, along mattress edges. If you suspect you might have bed bugs, thoroughly check possible hiding areas.
Bed bugs can enter the home by hiding on anything, and moving between apartments or nearby buildings using piping and wiring. Because they’re so resilient, it’s important to always take precautions.
- Inspect Secondhand Items Thoroughly – Previously owned furniture is one of the most common ways that bed bugs enter homes. Try to do a thorough check of every piece of secondhand furniture, appliance, or other item entering the home. If you’re using a moving company, be clear on their policy for preventing bedbug transfers via their trucks.
- Avoid Bed Bug Hotspots – If a particular area is known for having bedbugs, or a friend or family member is dealing with the issue, it is best to stay away until the situation is resolved.
- Be Alert in Shared Facilities – If you live in an apartment and share laundry and other facilities with multiple households, take extra care to minimize contact and transfer between your personal items. You should also clean all your clothes and luggage after getting back from a trip.
- Close Entry Points – Like all pests and rodents, bed bugs will have a much more difficult time getting into a sealed home from the outside unless they are carried in.
While bed bugs will enter both clean and cluttered homes, keeping things tidy will ensure they have fewer places to hide and increase your chance of spotting an infestation sooner.
Because bed bug infestations require the use of strong pesticides for effective eradication, it is highly recommended to call a professional immediately and not try to handle it yourself. Bed bug infestations can be so severe that persons burn belongings or move out to escape.
Professional Bed Bug Treatment by Gregory’s Pest Control
The safest way to remove bed bugs from your Florida home and keep them out for good is to get a full-service treatment from a professional pest control provider.
Gregory’s Pest Control, based out of Coral Springs, Florida, has over thirty years of experience completely and effectively removing bed bugs from homes in Broward, Palm Beach, and other South Florida areas. There is also an exclusion service to seal all possible entry points, and an ongoing maintenance service to prevent a subsequent infestation.
Owner/President of Gregory’s Pest Control
I’m a 2nd generation pest control owner who started working for my father in 1999. I was raised in South Florida and feel blessed to call it home for my entire adult life. As a long-term Florida resident, I recognize the challenges of controlling the many different pests that thrive in our subtropical climate. In particular, I understand how difficult it can be to prevent pests from invading our homes and businesses. By helping families solve their pest problems so they can live safer, more comfortable lives, I feel I am also meeting my family’s commitment to help our community. When I’m not out fighting pests, you can find me on the golf course or out on a soccer field where I have been fortunate enough to coach soccer to kids of all ages for the past 20 years.