Identifying Bed Bugs
These days, bed bugs frequent the news as they attack people in hotel rooms and in their homes around the country. But where exactly do they come from? More importantly, how do you get rid of them? Having an understanding of where bed bugs come from can help you get a better idea of where to start eliminating them.
What are Bed Bugs?
Before trying to figure out where bed bugs come from, make sure you know how to identify them correctly. Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval-shaped pests. They reach about a 1/4 inch in length and are semi-translucent. They are most often found in clusters between mattress creases and cloth-covered furniture, but they can also be spotted on decaying ceiling mold and cracked walls. When they bite their victims, they can sometimes be mistaken for mosquitoes as they leave behind small red marks. The major difference between bed bug bites and mosquito bites though is that bed bugs leave multiple bites in a line. They also attack mostly at night, so if you’re waking up with new bites, it’s probably a sign that bed bugs are nearby.
Recognizing the Signs
If you’re not sure whether you have bed bugs or not, there are some telltale signs to look out for:
- Tiny blood stains on the bed sheets
- Bites along the arm, neck, and ankle
- Bed bug carcasses on or around the bed or furniture
- Small bites and itchiness after traveling
Where Do They Come From?
Bed bugs can enter homes a number of different ways, but here are a few of the most common:
- Luggage placed on hotel room floors
- Unwashed or unprotected clothing stored away for long periods of time
- Old furniture purchased at antique stores or yard sales
- Shoes or socks from walking in areas where bed bugs or their eggs are
- Unwashed bed sheets
The primary reason people acquire bed bugs is through a failure to clean linens and other fabric materials on a regular basis. Also, constant clutter around the home provides regular hiding places for bed bugs to thrive until they emerge to bite you at night. Remedying these simple issues will help ensure your home remains safe from bed bugs.