Can you tell the difference between a mouse and a rat? Maybe not, but simple observation with the naked eye would tell you that these are two distinct rodents. Tiny pests like bed bugs, on the other hand, aren’t always so easy to properly identify. And if you can’t properly identify bed bugs, you could end up wasting time and money on needless bed bug treatments, or worse, allowing a small bed bug infestation to grow larger. So, here’s how to tell if it’s bed bugs in your Westchester home.
Why Bed Bugs Are Hard To Identify
Bed bugs are small. Most bed bugs measure between just 3/16 and 1/4 inch in length, about the size and shape of an apple seed. This alone makes them tricky to properly ID, since many other common pests like fleas, ticks, carpet beetles, and cockroach nymphs fit a similar description. However, you are actually unlikely to spot a live bed bug.
Bed bugs prefer to feed at night and hide in some very obscure locations during the day. They can be found behind headboards, in the folds of curtains, underneath upholstered furniture, and even hiding inside appliances and electronics.
Of course, itchy bite marks are a surefire sign of bed bugs, and in some ways, bites might be the most reliable indicator of bed bugs. But bites from other pests are sometimes mistaken for evidence of a bed bug infestation, particularly bites from mosquitoes and fleas.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
If you do manage to catch a strange bloodsucking bug in your bedroom, you should be able to tell if it’s really a bed bug or not. Bed bugs are flat and oval-shaped with a reddish-brown color. They lay pearl-white eggs that resemble grains of rice, measuring about 1/16 of an inch in length. Once the eggs hatch, pale bed bug nymphs will emerge, essentially just smaller versions of their adult selves. Bed bug nymphs will grow in several stages before reaching maturity, repeatedly shedding their skin the process.
Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation
Although you might not see live bed bugs crawling around your home, there are several signs of bed bug activity that can help you to determine whether or not you have an infestation on your hands:
Stained bedsheets – Active bed bug infestations often result in the appearance of dark stains on bedsheets. These stains are caused by accumulating bed bug droppings, but can also be caused by engorged bed bugs being crushed while their victim turns in their sleep.
Bite marks – Bed bugs tend to bite on the areas of skin left exposed while we sleep rather than areas under the covers. The face, neck, hands, and forearms are common bite sites. Bed bug bites appear in groups, either in straight lines, zig-zag patterns, or in other small clusters.
Shed skin and eggshells – Pale white and flaky in appearance, bed bugs will leave behind an abundance of skin and eggshells as they go through their life cycle. This detritus will often appear in the seams of mattresses and areas where bed bugs hide.
While they’re called “bed bugs,” it’s crucial to remember that these blood-sucking pests don’t just live in the bedroom. Bed bugs can be found in furniture, curtains, and appliances throughout the home.
If you notice any signs of bed bug activity around your Westchester home, don’t hesitate to call Parkway Pest Services for assistance. Our bed bug treatment plans offer complete relief using a blend of industry-leading techniques, including K-9 inspections. For safe and effective elimination of bed bugs in your home, contact us today.