How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?
There are several signs of an active infestation. Most commonly an individual (designated The Host) will be experiencing bites. The tell-tale bite marks can appear on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. More than one individual in a household may experience bites, some may not have as strong of a reaction to the bites as others. Bites may appear as red bumps on the skin.
It may be difficult to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug unless you find bed bugs or signs of infestation. Bed bug bites may be mistaken for another cause or rash. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant to prevent a person from awakening and realizing they are being bitten during the feeding. Most people don’t realize they have been bitten until the bite marks appear which can take anywhere between one to several days after the initial bite. These red bumps are often small, flat or raised. Symptoms of these bits include redness, swelling and itching. Bed bug bite marks can be similar to that of a mosquito or a flea -- a slightly swollen and red area that is itchy and irritating. The can appear to be random or appear in a straight line. Other symptoms of bed bug bites may include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems from scratching of the area of the bed bug bites.
However, these bed bug bites may take as up to 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other signs of bed bugs. These signs include:
• bed bugs’ exoskeletons which are shed while molting into another lifecycle state,
• live bed bugs or their eggs in the fold area of mattresses and sheets, or on or in any other areas of the bed or points of harbour...
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... or shells in the following areas:
Seams, creases, tufts and folds of mattresses and box springs
Cracks, crevices and joints in the bed frame and head board
Under chairs, couches, beds, dust covers
Between and on cushions of couches and chairs
Under area rugs and the edges of carpets
Between the folds and creases of curtains
In drawers of all furniture
Behind, on and under baseboards, and around window and door casings
Behind electrical plates and under loose wallpaper, paintings and posters
In cracks and crevices in walls
Bed bugs can also travel from apartment to apartment along pipes, electrical wiring and other openings. Additionally, in early infestations, some of these visual signs may not be clear. Monitoring should be done in suspected bed bug cases and in preventative efforts. Find out more about bed bug monitoring products and programs.
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