Is It A Bed Bug Bite?
The clearest indicator that you have a bed bug infestation, and the one that most people first notice that tips them off, is the presence of bed bug bites on your skin. However, to the untrained eye, telling a bed bug bite apart from other bumps or bug bites can be difficult. Different people react to bed bugs bites in different ways, so identifying them with certainty may not be possible.
Some people get tiny red dots without a rash while some experience the opposite - huge red welts with heavy inflammation around each bite.
If you’re unsure about what’s bugging you, here are some tips to help you determine whether or not you're dealing with bed bugs:
- Count the number of bites you have. One isolated bite is usually from a spider or ant, but groups of several bites narrow your options down to fleas, mosquitoes, or bed bugs.
- Touch the bites to test their firmness. Flea and mosquito bites are generally soft with ulcers or pustules in the center. If the bites are firm, puffy, or filled with pus, you are likely dealing with bed bugs.
- Look for patterns in the bites. Are they spread out seemingly at random, or do they seem bunched into groupings? While mosquitoes and fleas generally bite and feed on one area at a time, bed bugs will often feed by biting multiple times in the same area. If your bites are in groups of three or more, chances are high it’s bed bugs.
- Examine where the bites are located on your body. Fleas have no wings and have to jump, and so bites on humans are most commonly found on the feet, ankles, and legs.
- Mosquitoes bite on parts of the skin that are exposed while you’re outdoors, mainly arms and legs while wearing short sleeves. Bed bug bites are most commonly found on the skin left exposed while sleeping, which can often mean most of the body. If the bites are congregated closer to your face, it is most likely bed bugs.
Other Warning Signs Of Bed Bugs
Here are some common indicators that alert homeowners to a bed bug infestation within their home:
- Tiny black streaks or specks found on bedding or clothing. If you’ve found small black streaks on your mattresses, box springs, bed frames, baseboards, carpets, or furniture, these are likely droppings left by bed bugs.
- Small white sheddings. Bed bugs shed their skin as they develop, and these skins could be what you’re encountering around your home.
- Small white eggs. While minuscule, bed bugs leave small (1mm) white eggs in homes they infest. While individual eggs can be nearly impossible to recognize, many times eggs can be found in batches, making them more visually distinctive.
- Live or dead bed bugs. Bed bugs are about 1mm long when they first hatch. They are white in color with six legs. As they grow into adults, their color changes to brown or black, although they can have a reddish tint if they’ve recently fed on blood.
While they are most active in the fall, holiday traveling can often lead to bed bug infestations. If you’ve had family and friends visiting over the holidays, they could have inadvertently brought bed bugs inside with them. On the other hand, if you were visiting family and stayed in a hotel or motel during your trip, they might have hitched a ride in your luggage and made their way into your home.
Why Bed Bugs Require Professional Help
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to treat pests for homeowners due to their small size, fast-breeding capacity, and ability to get into almost any area of your home. Worse, if you do not treat the entire infestation in one go, you can rest assured that it will only come back stronger in a matter of months, weeks, or even days.
Don’t let bed bugs keep you up at night. If you’re suffering from a bed bug infestation, don’t hesitate to call a professional service for help.
At Pestmaster® Services, we have spent decades keeping homes across America free from bed bugs using environmentally friendly Integrated Pest Management practices. If you have an infestation, contact us today for more information about how a professional bed bug control service can stop bed bugs in their tracks.