Bed bugs are now so prevalent. That is something that couldn’t be denied. But what is worse than them being so widespread is the fact that you could be their next victim. Because of that, it is vital that you must learn how to check for bed bugs.
There are so many problems that come with the said presence of the vampire-like pests. And because of that, you couldn’t just let them roam around your house, apartment, store or hotel room.
However, before you could keep them away or eliminate them, you first must confirm that you really got them otherwise, you will just waster your time, money and effort trying to get rid of them. And that is where learning the steps how to check for bed bugs come in.
Before we go over the specific procedures of bed bug inspection though, let’s first go over some important information about the pests.
Bed Bug Problems
As mentioned, bed bugs could bring in problems. And sure thing, unlike other blood-fed pests as fleas and ticks, their bites do not transmit diseases. But despite that, they could still negatively affect your general well-being.
- Bed Bug Bites – leaving you with itchy, red and bumpy marks, bed bug bites could bring you social embarrassment. And with some people taking bed bugs as something icky to have, the marks could also get you discriminated in one way or another.
- Other Skin Problems – because bed bug bites could cause an itchy sensation, the scratching of the rashes could tear the skin and lead to an infection and increased pain.
- Anxiety and Paranoia – the massive spread of bed bugs and the fact that they could sneak in anywhere causes many to anticipate their presence. To others, that anticipation leads to anxiety and paranoia, which usually leads to insomnia.
Bed Bug Inspection Before Bed Bug Elimination
To prevent those bed bug problems, of course, you must first prevent the pests. But let’s say you have a feeling that you already got them? What then is your next step? Implement a bed bug treatment, right?
If you automatically take steps to eliminate the pests, you could just waste your resources. Why, you ask? That’s because you don’t know yet if it is really bed bugs that you have. And if it is really a bed bug infestation that you have to deal with, you don’t know still where to concentrate your treatment. So before implementing it, you must first learn how to check for bed bugs and inspect the places that they will likely invade.
So you could look for bed bugs properly, you would need to know their physical appearance, their hiding spots and their signs and symptoms. Knowing how bed bugs look like will help you identify them right. On the other hand, knowing their hiding spots will tell you where to exactly check for them, thus, saving you some time. And of course, the signs and symptoms of bed bugs will confirm to you their presence.
Bed bugs are oval-shaped, tiny and wingless creatures. Before feeding, they appear flat with a light-brown color. However, after feeding, they look plump donning a reddish-brown shared because of the blood they consumed.
But apart from the adult bed bugs, you must also familiarize yourself with the eggs and the young of the pests. Remember, females of their specie could lay three to four eggs a day. So to completely eliminate them, you also have to kill their eggs and their nymphs.
Bed Bug Eggs, Nymphs and Adults
Bed Bug Hiding Spots
Two words often used to describe bed bugs are “sneaky” and “hitchhikers.” And truly, those pests are sneaky and very good hitchhikers. In fact, their widespread is largely because of those two characteristics that they possess. So when doing your bed bug inspection, always look into areas and things that they could easily sneak into or hitchhike on.
Specifically, bed bugs are most likely to hitch a ride on clothes and luggage. That is the reason why travelers are considered the most likely people to spread them. But nowadays, given that the said pests are already so widespread, whether you are a traveler or not, your bed bug inspection must always include checking your clothes, bags and shoes. Your closet and other areas where you store those things you bring outside, you must look into them.
But apart from those “entry points,” you also need to inspect the parts of your house where the pests would likely settle in. By settle in, that means where they could hide and lay their eggs after not being initially found. The gaps on furniture pieces, especially in a bed and a couch, particularly top those areas. Also high on the list are the cracks and crevices on the wall and the floor.
Lately, there have been reports of bed bugs also found in books. So if you have one or stacks of it, it’s best to look into them as well.
Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are very good at keeping themselves out of anyone’s sight. And small as they are, even in their spots, they are sometimes hard to find. To confirm their presence and that you need to do a treatment in that specific area, check for the signs of bed bugs.
There are three major bed bug symptoms that you must always look for.
- Bed Bug Droppings – this refers to the small black drops that bed bug excretes. If there are black stains in an area they will most likely invade, chances are, they are indeed in it or close to it.
- Bed Bug Shells – these are exoskeletons of the pests. Bed bugs molt five times in their lives. So if you see shells of them anywhere, that means they are hiding near.
- Musty/Sweet Smell – a massive bed bug infestation gives off a pungent-sweet smell. If you could smell it, follow it. It could direct you to the pests.
Guidelines How to Check For Bed Bugs
Now that you know how to identify bed bugs and confirm their presence, let’s learn the specific steps how to check for bed bugs in different places.
How to Check For Bed Bugs in Your House
Houses are the most common places that bed bugs infest so always be ready to check yours.
- Make your bed the focal point of your inspection. After all, it’s the favorite hiding spot of bed bugs. Prepare a flashlight and a magnifying glass.
- Remove the pillow cases. Carefully inspect the seams of the pillow itself and the case. Do the same to your bed sheet.
- Lift the mattress or box spring off the frame. Inspect each side of it, of the frame and the front and back of the headboard as well.
- Look into the adjoined parts of the bed. The smallest gaps between them could serve as a bed bug hiding spot.
- After the bed, inspect all the other furniture adjacent to it. Every nook and cranny of them must be checked. And you must not forget to look into the cracks and crevices on the wall and floor of the bedroom. Flip over wall decors and remove the curtains to clearly see any sign of bed bug presence.
- From the bedroom, move to the other parts of your house as the living room and other high-traffic areas. Repeat the step of carefully inspecting every gap and crack in them.
How to Check for Bed Bugs in Hotels
Even if you are not an avid traveler, at some point, you will have to stay in a hotel. And so, it’ll come handy if you know how to inspect for the pests in a hotel. Here are the steps.
- Search online which hotels have been reported for bed bug cases and don’t book a room in them. BedBugRegistry.com could help you with that.
- Before you could inspect your room, leave your luggage outside. Remember, bed bugs are very excellent hitchhikers. They could easily get into your bags if you give them the chance.
- Inspect the bed. Particularly, check the sheets, the mattress and their seams. If you could, move the bed a bit from the wall and check the front and back of the headboard. It’ll help if you have a handy flashlight prepared.
- After the bed, check the couch or chair, the closet and any other furniture in the room. You must also inspect the floor, carpet and wall.
- If you found bed bugs or just any sign of their presence, request for another room. Given that no other room is available, transfer to another hotel.
- In case you detected no bed bugs and saw no sign of them, check again in the morning to make sure. Also, inspect yourself for any bed bug bite.
How to Check for Bed Bugs in Your Office
- Isolate the area or item you suspect to be infested and inspect it carefully
- Particularly, look into the cracks and crevices in them.
- Check books and stacks of papers or documents. Bed bugs could hide in the pages.
- Inspect upholstery and even electric outlets and lockers.
Bed Bug Elimination
While it’s true that you could also check for bed bugs at your hotel room and office, unlike in your house, you couldn’t just implement a bed bug elimination in them. Unless of course, if you are the owner or manager of the infested building. But let’s just assume that you are. What is the best product to use to get rid of the vampire-like pests?
Well, whether you are a house owner, a hotel manager, a cleaning and maintenance office personnel or even a pest-control expert, Bed Bug Bully is the best spray for bed bugs that you could get.
As stated under the FIFRA 25(b), it is a minimum risk bed bug help. And because it is pesticide-exempt, that means it is safe to use anywhere. Whether it is in your home, hotel or office, you could apply it without the need to evacuate or spend big.