How to Know if it's Bed Bugs?
Determining if you have bed bugs, can be challenging due to their specific "buggy" behavior. The information on this site should help you in determining if you have bed bugs and what to do next.
Acting quickly to identify and treat bed bugs is the best and fastest way to get rid of them, before they start reproducing like crazy.
If you haven't had an inspection but are starting to wonder if you have bed bugs, gather up your blankets in your sheet right now and put them in a dryer for an hour on hot.
If something is biting you there is a remote "chance" it's hanging out in your blankets. An hour in the dryer "should" kill any bugs in your blankets. It's only a chance, no guarentee, but it's the quickest thing you can do right now. Then get an inspection, preferably a bed bug sniffing dog.
What are some symptoms of bed bugs?
Bed Bug Bites
Bites or unexplained welts that are appearing in frequency on a daily or weekly basis; small blood spots on the sheets, black marker dots on your sheets or pillow cases (bed bug excrement-your blood), obvious molt castings, are signs you may have bed bugs. Since bed bugs are primarily nocturnal, you could go weeks with mysterious bites and not know why or where they are coming from.
Because people have a pretty wide variety of reactions to bed bug bites, such as not reacting to the bite until hours or days later, or mistaking the bites for hives, it can be tricky to know what's biting you. (warning: video below has graphic bed bug bite images)
This is an excellent fact-based university presentation about bed bugs. Warning:There are graphic images of bed bugs, bites and other images that you may find disturbing.
How long would it take to see signs of bed bugs?
This depends on you, and the bed bug(s). Did one come from a hotel, movie theater, bus, or coffee house, hitch-hiking on a back-pack or jacket, or did a small herd of them migrate from a connected apartment into yours?
An adult female will begin laying 3-5 eggs a day.
When those eggs hatch in about 7-10 days, those baby bed bugs, called nymphs, will seek their first meal.
When they reach adulthood (after about 5 meals) in about 5-7 weeks, those females will begin laying 3-5 eggs daily. So now you have a bed bug factory with multiple eggs being laid every single day, and two months later you've got a nice infestation on your hands. This is why it is so important to get an early inspection and rapid treatment if you do have bed bugs.
Have your home inspected if you suspect bed bugs
Have an inspection at the earliest date you suspect it could be bed bugs. Either you will find out you do not have bed bugs, and can take a big deep breath, or you have identified that bed bugs are in your home, and you will have treatment before the population explodes. We have some tips on how to select a competent pest company here.
First steps for bed bugs
- Don't throw away your mattress. Inspect, steam and encase it.
- Don't start throwing out tons of your possessions. There are ways to treat almost everything. You can put things you can't treat right away in giant XXL Zip Lock Bags.
- If you are going to throw things away, put them in double sealed black heavy-duty trash bags and bring the bag to the stuff instead of the stuff to the bag.
- Don't spread bed bugs around your house further by moving infested items and shaking bed bugs all over your home, building or car.
- If you decide to get rid of your bed or furniture, wrap and tape everything in plastic sheeting.