Signs To Look For
Click underlined words for photographs
Most people first realize they have bed bugs when they see bite marks. Bed bugs are mainly nocturnal and will bite you in your sleep. Their saliva can cause red welts that become itchy.
Not everyone reacts in the same way to bed bug bites. Two people can sleep in the same bed and one might have a severe reaction while the other will barely notice them.
Your “bed bug bites” could be other things, such as fleas from your pet or an allergic reaction to a new laundry soap. Before you can do anything definite in terms of treating your home for bed bugs you will need to spot them or their traces.
There are seven stages to a bed bug’s life. As an adult they have six legs, no wings, and are reddish brown in colour. They are approximately the size and shape of an apple seed.
If you don’t find actual bugs, there are other tell-tale signs that they are around.
Just like mice, the presence of a bed bug’s poop, or spotting, is a giveaway. It appears as little dark brown dots and will usually smear when you wipe it. Bed bugs will also leave behind shedded skins from when they morphed from larvae into adults.
Bed bugs will stay close to their food source – which is you. When looking for signs of activity start within a three meter radius of your bed and check the following places:
Beds: Check the bedding and put it in plastic bags to bring to the dryer. Then, inspect your mattress and box spring, including the decorative piping, inside the seams and behind any plastic corner protectors. Be sure check the joints and any empty screw holes in your bed frame.
Dressers and night tables: Empty and pull out the drawers. Check inside then flip them over to check underneath. “Chip board” is a material bed bugs can hide in so be sure to turn over the furniture or tilt it back to inspect the underside where the chip board meets the floor.
Carpets or rugs: Check in the fibres and underneath the carpet and any underlay.
Electrical outlets: Remove the cover plates and look behind them.
Skirting boards and floor boards: Check the space between floor boards and where the skirting board meets the floor. Drag a thin piece of plastic, such as a disposable knife, through these spaces to see if there are bugs or skins in there.
Walls: Inspect curtains and blinds as well as behind hangning photos, posters and rips in the wallpaper.