The most challenging part about addressing a bed bug problem is the fact that these pests cannot be simply spotted by the naked eye. Indeed, the size of a bed bug, which is described to be as small as an apple seed, provides these critters the power to effortlessly hide and tuck themselves into the smallest cracks or gaps throughout your household. Because of this, these pests can thrive for months without being noticed. However, having the upper hand due to their tiny size does not mean they can’t be caught early.
Catching the Culprit
The truth is that it is possible to detect bed bugs during the early stages of infestation no matter how difficult it may seem to find them. You can catch bed bugs early on if you won’t waste time to spring into action immediately after your first encounter with any subtle sign of bed bug activity. So, what can we do to catch these bloodsucking creatures before they can multiply beyond control? Easy! You simply need to inspect and suspect. Here’s how:
1. Search For Clues.
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As long as you are well aware of the various indications of potential bed bug infestation, then you can personally conduct a thorough inspection of the various area of your household starting in your bedroom. Since bed bugs are so little, you may opt to use a flashlight as you inspect your mattress and beddings. Using the flashlight, as well as a magnifying glass if you have one, search for bed bug exoskeletons (molted skins), which are translucent reddish brown in color, blood stains, and bed bug excrement.
These nocturnal pests survive by sucking the blood of their human prey. It is therefore natural to find blood stains on your pillow cases, mattress, blankets, and even on your sleeping clothes once. These stains come as a result of the bugs being crushed by their sleeping host. Bed bugs also leave poop in all places they dwell on. Their excrements look like small dark brown or black dots. Most of all, these sneaky ectoparasites shed skin five times to become fully mature and so they leave behind their shells in zones they typically hide.
Thus, if you happen to spy molted skins, black excrement, and blood stains on your mattress, pajamas, bedsheets, and even on other spaces near your bed including wall papers, headboard, drawers, and wardrobe, then you are most likely dealing with a bed bug problem.
2. Find The Bugs.
If you are lucky enough, you may even come across the bugs themselves, their nymphs, and their eggs. The bed bugs’ appearance is characterized by their elongated, brown, flat oval-shaped bodies that stretch longer and turn reddish and balloon-like after gorging on blood. Nymphs, on the other hand, are way smaller than the adult bugs and are translucent with whitish-yellow color making them almost invisible to the naked eye especially if they have not fed yet. The bed bugs’ eggs, which are pearl white in color, can be very difficult to spot as they are so tiny, just about the size of a pinhead. You can also distinguish the eggs when they are over five days old because of their eye spot mark.
Also bear in mind that looking for bed bugs does not mean you can see them immediately in large numbers. It takes a lot of patience on your part to be able to find these minute pests. In fact, those who go hunting for bed bugs usually just catch one or two bugs lurking on the mattress, upholstered furniture, and other places they may be hiding. After all, these nuisances are so good at hitching and hiding into the tiniest crack or crevice away from human reach. That is why homeowners are advised to do vacuum cleaning and/or use portable heaters (heat treatment) for these methods can effectively exterminate bed bugs and penetrate those hiding areas that are difficult to reach.
Early detection of bed bugs is an important quest for sensible homeowners. When it comes to bed bug removal, experts know best and suggest using treatment methods such as bed bug heat treatment and chemical treatment. Getting rid of these bothersome pests is the only way for us to enjoy a sound and peaceful sleep at night. Otherwise, we will continue to suffer from discomfort and from the itchiness of their nasty bites.