Tips & Tricks: Bites Are Clues, Not Confirmation

|  December 24, 2015
Andy Linares

Andy Linares

When confirming the presence of bed bugs in an account, I stress to never rely on “bites” as a determining indicator to my students and clients. After all, 30 percent of the population reportedly will show no reaction to an insect bite. That number apparently increases to 40 percent in the case of children younger than 10 and in adults age 65 or older.

These figures hold true regardless of the level of infestation. In cases where bites are visible, who is to say they were produced by bed bugs and not another blood-sucking organism? Although bites can serve as clues, for confirmation of the presence of bed bugs, there is no substitute for a thorough visual assessment coupled with the use of effective monitoring tools.

And don’t limit yourself to inspecting the bed. We know 93 percent of bed bug signs are found on sleeping and resting sites (beds, sofas, armchairs), and these are logical places to start. But if you ignore the remaining 7 percent of possible sites, the population could rebound and negate all of your previous efforts.

Andy Linares is president of Bug Off Pest Control Center.

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