It is natural for most people to write off spotting a few bugs at home. Upon finding a fly or ant in the home, you aren’t going to think any more of it. Why would you? This is a common occurrence.
While these bugs are incredibly small and even harder to spot, you can distinguish the males from the females by looking at the abdomens. The females are equipped with rounded abdomens while the males are more pointed. Either way, a sighting of a bedbug means it’s time to get a professional on the line. What to know why this is the case? You’ll find out below.
Why Does One Bug Mean Problems?
Bed bugs are social creatures. This means where there is one, there are many. It’s a miracle that you are only seeing one. They live in hordes, they work in groups, and they reproduce rapidly. A single female can lay as many as 500 eggs during her lifetime. When you combine these things, you’ll agree that spotting one bug is incredibly problematic.
Why Are Bed Bugs Hard To Spot?
What makes matters even worse is that bed bugs normally go out of their way to avoid detection. They’ll usually do whatever is necessary to avoid getting spotted, including changing their schedule to match yours. This means if you are seeing one in the home, something is wrong.
It likely means the infestation has grown so large that they are running out of places to hide. Again, these bugs will rearrange their schedule to opposite that of yours so they can feed when you are sleeping.
If you were working at night, these bugs would start sleeping at night so they could feed on you during the day when you’re asleep. Bedbugs are incredibly stealthy. They have reddish-brown textures that allow them to blend in easily with most surroundings. They also possess the innate ability to squeeze their bodies into some of the tiniest cracks. These 10-millimeter bugs can hide in holes and cracks only a quarter-inch in diameter. In general, it is essential to work with a professional to identify the infestation.
Most people only know they are dealing with an infestation because they show signs of feeding. Bed bugs are parasites, so they latch onto the victim’s skin and suck the blood out of the victim’s body. The feeding process leaves puncture wounds and welts. These welts can usually swell, turn red, and sometimes become itchy. While the bite itself usually goes undetected, the site can turn unsightly and uncomfortable.
With that in mind, some individuals don’t respond to bites. As a result, it becomes even harder to detect the infestation.
Confirming Your Problems Are Bed Bug-Related
Even when you find marks on your body, it doesn’t guarantee you are dealing with a bed bug infestation. It’s entirely possible that the home is infested with fleas, mites, or mosquitoes. Whatever the situation, you need to know exactly what you are dealing with before you can figure out how to proceed. If you are dealing with bed bugs, you’ll need to get a professional on the phone. Here are some key signs and symptoms to keep an eye on:
Bloodstains: As was mentioned, bed bugs are parasitic creatures, meaning they feed on human blood. While this is unpleasant, it is a process that leaves droplets and sometimes stains behind. Since the feeding process takes place on the bed, there could be droplets that they’ll show up on the sheets. It’s also possible that you’ll accidentally roll over and squash one or two of the bugs at night. Either way, the results will be bloodstains on the sheets.
Exoskeletons: Like a snake, the bed bug also sheds its skin. This skin will give a similar appearance to that of the bug itself. Just remember that skin is delicate, molted, and near translucent. The skin of the bed bug is brownish-red.
Egg/Egg Casings: You certainly do not want to find eggs in your home or egg casings for that matter, but it’s a real possibility. Although they’re about the size of a head of a pin, eggs guarantee that the problem is about to worsen. They could be getting ready to hatch or they might’ve already hatched.
Fecal Matter: Yes, it sounds disgusting, and it is. Nevertheless, bedbugs are no different than any other living being. The bug will leave feces around your home. When it does, it is normally by the feeding site which will probably be in the bed. These stains will show up on your sheets as black inkspots.
Bite Marks: Not everyone reacts to bed bug bite marks, but most people do. This is good because it is a surefire sign that you are dealing with bed bugs. Bedbug bites usually appear on the feet, hands, shins, neck, face, and arms. Flea bites and mite bites are similar in appearance, but they have the potential to show up anywhere.
Musty, Sweet Odors: There is an unpleasant smell that comes from the bed bug’s scent gland. The odor smells like soda pop syrup. In general, the scent is only detectable in larger infestations.
Begin Your Search
Anytime you are dealing with pests like bed bugs, you want to get a professional involved. The potential for the infestation to grow is incredibly higher. Remember that you can start the process on your own. At the very least, you can confirm that you are dealing with bed bugs. To do this, you’ll want to start by moving the bed and bedroom furniture away from the walls. This allows you to dictate the path in which the bugs will have to travel before they can feed on you. You know that the bugs that are traveling from outside the mattress will have to travel up the legs of the bed before reaching the mattress.
You can place traps under the feet of the furniture and that will force the bugs to crawl into the traps. Once the bugs enter the trap, they won’t be able to escape. You’ll also want to search low and high for bedbugs in your home. Be sure to search around mattresses, box springs, electric outlets, baseboards, and elsewhere. There is always a risk that the bugs are hiding under your nose. If you find them in your home, call our office. We’re always ready to help our Raleigh residents.