Bed bugs can feel like your arch enemy if they decide to settle down in your home uninvited. These tiny little creatures can be a nuisance, but they don’t carry disease. Still, if not caught early, a bed bug infestation can create a huge inconvenience and may even become a very expensive problem if it goes too far.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Small, wingless insects that feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals, bed bugs (or at least the two main species) prefer humans to be their hosts. Their bodies are flat, oval-shaped, and about the size of an apple seed. After feeding on blood, however, a bed bug can appear more of a reddish color and their bodies may swell.
Bed bug eggs are extremely tiny—hardly larger than a speck of dust. As they grow, the nymphs shed their skin several times before reaching maturity. In ideal conditions, bed bugs can reach maturity in about a month and reproduce 3-4 generations within a year.
Also see: 6 Tips for Avoiding Bed Bugs This Winter
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Bed bugs can come from almost anywhere that humans are. They can be found all over the globe, and in all fifty of the United States. It really doesn’t matter where in the world you go, you’ll be better off if you know a little bit about bed bugs.
Bed bugs can be found in these places (and more):
- Public transportation (busses, trains, planes, taxis, ships)
- Day cares
- Nursing homes
- Colleges and universities
- Offices buildings
- Fire stations
- Schools of any kind
- Police stations
- Federal buildings
How Do You Get Bed Bugs?
Many people believe that the infestation of bed bugs correlates to the cleanliness of the place they are living. But this just isn’t the case. Although clutter can make it more difficult to detect a bed bug infestation before it grows, even the tidiest of people can acquire these pesky critters without realizing it. Hotels, dorm rooms, and other places where people travel can be especially susceptible because of the amount of human who are coming and going.
Bed bugs really just want to be where the humans are. Although they don’t live on their host, they hang around nearby so that they can have easy access to food at night. This means they like to attach themselves to clothing, sheets, handbags, suitcases, and various other items where they then hitch a ride one location to another when people travel.
Also see: The Top Ways Bed Bugs Enter Your Home
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
Some of the most common signs that you have a bed bug infestation include:
- Rash in neck, arms and legs (bed bugs normally bite exposed skin)
- Small, red, swollen bumps that can hurt and be itchy (sometimes in a collection of 3 bites together)
- Blood stains and/or fecal spots on the sheets (appear as small black spots)
- Egg shells or shed skin in areas where bed bugs might want to hide
- Bed Bugs sometimes radiate an unpleasant, musty odor in your bedroom
Inspecting for Bed Bugs
An effective way to be sure you don’t have a growing bed bug infestation is by inspection your home on a regular basis. This is especially wise after you’ve been traveling, when your child comes home after visiting a friend’s house, when you acquire used furniture, or at any other time when you might have been exposed to bed bugs.
Follow these tips to sleep easy and bed bug free:
- Take the sheets off of your bed, check the areas around the bed for signs of infestation
- Check into the corners and seams of the mattress, around the bed frame, and near the headboard
- Don’t forget to check books, telephones, radios, and even electrical outlets near the bed
- Also check your closet and dresser drawers as bed bugs can attach to clothing
- Inspect curtains or drapes that hang anywhere near the bed
- Launder bedding regularly (tumble dry when possible) and check sheets for bed bug marks
Although discovering that you have a bed bug problem might feel like the end of the world, it doesn’t have to be! Bed bugs can be almost impossible to control on your own, but there is help! Your best bet is to contact your local bed bug control professional to help you eradicate the infestation as quickly as possible.
For bed bug and other pest control in Houston, contact Cypress Creek for the best in professional and effective care. If you don’t have an infestation—and you want to keep it that way—let Cypress Creek Pest Control help you maintain your pest free home with $50 off our Healthy House Program to give you peace of mind that your property is clear of all kinds of critters.