Other insects, such as spiders, can cause bites, so how do you know you have bed bugs? You really have to be sure that you are infested before starting any type of treatment.
Most people will suspect they have them if they wake up with red bites on their arms or legs. It is common to see three bites in a row. The reason: the pest is following the same vein as it feeds.
This common bite pattern is also called breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You might think that you will be able to see the pests, however, it is not easy to see them as they like to hide within wall cracks, deep inside the mattress, under base boards and within electrical outlets, just to mention a few places.
If you are wondering how to see bed bugs in your bed, you can try flipping the mattress over very fast. They will look like apple seeds. If you going to try this, be sure to have the vacuum ready to scoop them up. You will be very surprised at how fast they can move.
So, how do you know if you have them? There are four broad ways of detection.
- If you see the actual bugs, their eggs or their droppings.
- By getting a pest control professional to inspect your home to confirm that you have them.
- By using a detector
- If you show signs of having been bitten by bed bugs
If you see them yourself…
– How big are they? The mature ones are about the size of an apple seed. They are brownish-red in color. And they have 6 legs.
– What color are their eggs? They are tiny, translucent and milky-white in appearance. You will need a magnifying glass and an LED flashlight to see them. They are usually attached in egg clusters to bed head boards and other solid surfaces.
– You see brownish spots on bed linen. This is common and caused by their fecal matter.
– You might also see shed skins on the bed or flooring
Inspection by a pest control professional…
– Try to get a licensed professional, one who uses a licensed bed bug sniffer dog.
Follow all the instructions they will give you to prepare for the dog’s visit.
The dog will zero in on areas that are infested. This will increase your chances of successful eradication by targeting these areas first when you start a treatment. A good dog handler will be testing the dog periodically by using live bugs.
These test bugs will be trapped inside sealed bottles and hidden throughout the house. This will avoid a bed bug dog false negative.
Inspection by this method can be very quick and accurate
Use detection devices…
There are products available that claim to detect, and prevent, the pests from crawling up the bed legs. For example, cup devices that are placed under each leg of the bed. The bugs cannot climb up smooth surfaces so they will fall into this jar-like device when they try to reach you in your bed.
As an alternative, you can also use plain glass jars.
You can make your own trap by using glue-boards (used for mice catching). Place these around the bed legs.
Some people have had success using two-sided carpet tape wrapped around the legs of the bed.
A word of caution here about traps: If you don’t trap any bugs, it doesn’t mean that they are not around. So don’t be fooled by a negative result.
If you show signs of having been bitten by bed bugs…
You might ask, what do bed bug bites look like? Most bites are large, raised, reddish and about the size of a quarter. If you don’t mind being alarmed, you might look on the Internet for pictures of them.
Do the bites itch? They certainly do. Try to avoid scratching them as they will only get more painful as a result.
But the bite test is definitely the ultimate one. It is the best answer to the question: how to tell if you have bed bugs.