Bed bugs: Four signs you may have been bitten and how to get rid of an infestation

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Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown parasitic insects that bite exposed skin of sleeping humans and animals to feed on their blood. Although bed bugs aren’t known to spread disease, they can cause other public health and economic issues. Bed bugs are the size of an apple seed and hide in the cracks and crevices of beds, box springs, headboards, bed frames and any other objects around a bed. When it comes to their bites, many are unaware of what a bed bug bite actually looks like. What are the signs that you have been bitten by a bed bug?

Seeing bed bug shells

Throughout bed bugs life cycle, bed bugs will shed their skin five times before becoming a full adult.

The discarded shells look like clear, empty exoskeletons and can be found in box springs, wood framing, inside books, telephones, radios, and carpets.

Having a strange smell in your room

Bed bugs have a unique smell that can distinguish them from other home infestations.

Pest Seek said: “The most common words used to describe a bed bug smell are musty and sweet. Some people describe it as mouldy or rotting raspberries.

“Some people think the odour is more like the herb, coriander seed. It’s important to remember that aromas can be somewhat subjective.

“Not everyone smells a particular scent in exactly the same way.”

Unexplained stains of blood on your bed sheets

Blood stains resulting from a bed bug bite are often visible on lighter-coloured sheets and pillow cases.

The stains are typically dark or rusty spots of excrement. But these signs of an infestation won’t always be found on bedding because bed bugs are highly mobile and move fast.

In addition to bedding, stains can be visible on furniture, clothes, and even walls.

Seeing bed bug poo

Unlike blood stains, feral spotting tends to be black or dark in colour. The stains are from partially digesting blood and clustered in groups in areas that bed bugs inhabit.

The spots will smear if wiped with a wet rag. Evidence of fecal spotting is usually visible in their typical hideouts, including among mattress seams, box spring edges, and corners.

Bedbug central said on its website: “If you are experiencing bites but have not seen any bugs, you should consider the circumstances in which the bites are occurring.

“For example, there is a very good chance that you have bed bugs if you are waking up each morning with bite symptoms on your body that were not present when you went to sleep.

“Carefully examine the areas beneath fitted sheets, along the edges of mattress piping.

“Install interception devices under the legs of beds and couches, install mattress and box spring encasements and contact a pest management professional to conduct a thorough inspection.”

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