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Bed Bug Infestation: Signs and Prevention

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

While most of us have never had an experience with bed bugs, just the thought of having them gives us eerie chills followed by the involuntary scratching. So let us give you peace of mind by helping you identify the signs of an infestation and how to prevent a future one.

Signs of an Infestation

Dead bed bugs that have accumulated in the seam of a mattress
Bed bugs, dead or alive, can easily accumulate in the seams of a mattress.

Bed bug infestations can be difficult to detect, but here are some common signs to look for:

  1. Bite marks: Bed bug bites can appear as red, itchy welts, hives, or clusters of tiny red bumps on exposed skin.

  2. Blood stains: After feeding, bed bugs may leave behind small, reddish-brown stains on sheets, pillowcases or mattresses.

  3. Fecal spots: Bed bugs excrete dark, rusty-colored fecal spots on mattresses, walls or upholstery.

  4. Musty odor: Bed bugs release pheromones that can create a musty odor in the infested area.

  5. Shed skins: As bed bugs grow, they shed their skins, which can be found in areas where they hide.

  6. Bed bugs - dead or alive: Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and are brownish in color. They can be found in the seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and other furniture.

Prevention Tips

A couch that has been left outside with a 'free' sign
Bed bugs can easily infest upholstered furniture that has been left outside and on the ground..

Here are some effective tips to prevent having a bed bug infestation in your home:

  1. Inspect secondhand furniture for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them into your home. This is especially true if the furniture has been sitting outside, in a basement or in the attic for some time.

  2. Use a protective cover on your mattresses and box springs to eliminate hiding spots for bed bugs. An ideal cover is one that encases the entire mattress or box springs.

  3. Reduce clutter in your home as it provides hiding places for bed bugs.

  4. Regularly wash and heat-dry your bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads, and any clothing that touches the floor.

  5. Vacuum rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, bed frames, and cracks and crevices where bed bugs may hide. Then dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister in a sealed plastic bag outside your home.

  6. Avoid placing items on upholstered furniture or the floor next to furniture. Instead, use a hard surface like a table to inspect and store items.

  7. If you have traveled or purchased used items, open and inspect your bags and luggage outdoors or in a bathtub where bed bugs can be easily spotted.

  8. Seal cracks and crevices in walls, baseboards, and furniture to eliminate potential hiding spots for bed bugs.

By knowing the signs and following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of bed bug infestations in your home. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, act quickly and reach out to a professional pest management company for assistance. Learn more about bed bugs and treatment here.

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