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Bed Bug Detection After The Holidays

bed bug crawling on arm

If you are like most Americans, you traveled during the holidays. If you traveled and did not check for bed bugs, you should definitely look for them now. These bugs are notorious hitchhikers. They don't generally squeeze in through your walls, they crawl into your luggage, lay their eggs in your clothes, or tuck themselves into a tight seclude nook in your laptop, yes, your laptop. Bed bugs are born to travel. The question is: have they traveled home with you?

Now, you may be thinking, "I stayed in a luxury resort on the French Riviera." If you did, congratulations on that. But, you need to be aware that bed bugs are an equal opportunity infesters. They can be found in anything from a cheap motel to a 5 star luxury hotel. And, you may not realize this, but it take less then 1 bed bug to infest your home. How did I work that math? Like this: a female bed bug lays her eggs in a dirty sweater laying on a chair. That sweater is thrown into a bag and brought home with you. The sweater is washed on a cold setting, to preserve the color of the item. And, the eggs survive the washing and hatch inside the drawer where the sweater is neatly folded and stored. Within a month, all those baby grow to mating age. Within another month the new babies are making more babies. In under 6 months, your home is teaming with bed bugs. Sobering, huh?

How do I do an inspection for bed bugs?

  • Whether you are at home, or still on vacation, here are some steps you can take to detect bed bugs.
  • Keep an eye out for bites that look similar to mosquito bites. Bed bugs will feed several times in a night, so you'll have more than one bite in a cluster or row.
  • Peel down the cover on the bed and look for brown seed-like bugs, or ¼ inch tick-like bugs. Adult bed bugs that have recently had a blood meal will be larger and rounder.
  • Inspect the sheets and pillowcases for dark brown dried blood stains. Bed bugs drip from the mouth after feeding.
  • Search for caste bed bug skins.
  • Search for small, white eggs. Bed bug eggs are tiny, but if you have good eyes, you can see them.
  • Pull sheet up, and search the seams and corners of the mattresses and box springs. If bed bugs are in there, you'll see black sticky residue. This is their excrement.
  • Use a flashlight to check the backboards, and any upholstered furniture in sleeping areas.

If you detect bed bugs in your home, or suspect bed bugs, call a professional. This bug is hard to get rid of. Professionals have the materials and knowledge base to protect you from these bugs, and eradicate them from your home discreetly, and thoroughly. Get them now, before they can infest your home.