Tips and Tricks: Signs you have bed bugs


November 15, 2012

Headshot: Chrissy HansenBy Chrissy Hansen
Media Coordinator, Bird-X, Inc.

The most difficult thing about bed bug prevention is that there is no guaranteed solution. Bed bug infestation has nothing to do with sanitation or cleanliness. A five-star hotel is just as vulnerable as a cheap motel. All it takes is one person to walk through the door carrying one of these tiny, unwanted hitchhikers.

Bed bugs are found in homes, dorm rooms, hotels, public transit seats, cars, etc. From there, they attach themselves to clothing and other belongings and are unknowingly transported to new locations. Because they can live up to a year without feeding, it is possible for them to survive almost any journey to a new host site — even a new continent — intact.

Bed bugs are often difficult to detect until an infestation has taken hold, but not impossible. For homeowners, the removal process and replacement of property can cost thousands. For businesses (particularly in the hospitality industry) where damages may also include lawsuits, loss of revenue and reputation, the cost can be even greater. Early detection is crucial and can save a lot of time and money.

Signs you have bed bugs:

• Bites

• Casings or shed skin

• Blood stains or smears on sheets

• Fecal matter and small white eggs

• Bed bugs themselves

Where bed bugs hide:

• In cracks and crevices in protected locations

• Along the seams/tufts of mattresses or box springs

• Bed frames, headboards and other bedroom furniture

• Cracked woodwork and recessed screw holes

• Upholstered chairs and sofas, especially when used for sleeping

• Under the edges of wall-to-wall carpeting

• Under loose wallpaper

• Anywhere they can hide during the day without being disturbed

Look for the signs listed above and start monitoring for bed bugs on a regular basis. Knowing what to look for and where may help you prevent a small bed bug problem from becoming a widespread infestation.

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