With all the media attention placed on bed bugs lately, how do you actually know if you have bed bugs?

There are a few obvious signs, but also some other things which you need to be aware of.

Firstly, the first time most people think they might have bed bugs is if they see bites. Bites can be caused by a number of different things life fleas & mosquitoes, so don’t jump to conclusions straight away. Bed Bugs feed about every seven days and generally you will not see any effect of a bite for a few days afterwards. They inject an anaesthetic into you before they feed, and it is the after effect of infection rather than the bite that reacts.

Clusters of bed bug bites

Bed Bugs also tend to feed on the upper body, arms and neck (as its is normally close to their harbourage – the headboard). They normally leave a “track” of bites between 4 – 7 piercings in a line or block as they are trying to find the best blood supply. Other bites like fleas tend to have a red spot in the centre and itch, and mosquitoes generally swell and itch almost immediately.

Upper Body is the normal bite zone

Other signs to look for are small reddish brown dots on sheets and pillow cases. You may only see one or two, but this is bed bug faeces and a sure sign they are feeding.
You are more likely to see adults than eggs or juveniles to start with, so pull off the top sheet from the mattress and look on theĀ mattressĀ seams with a strong light source and magnifying glass. You are looking for the small brown bugs, old cast skins or smaller almost clear young which will hide very tightly in these creases.

Another place to look is behind the head board or around and under the buttons of the head board – these will show tell tale signs of faeces, casts or even eggs (small white cylinders about 1 -2 mm long).

Eggs, Cast Skins and Faeces found behind a head board

If you see these signs, don’t panic, just call Rapid Pest Control and we will talk you through a series of steps to take to ensure the infestation is contained. We always recommend getting in a professional pest control company who will be experienced in dealing with bed bugs – its not easy for Pest Controllers who have all the chemicals, so its almost hopeless to do it yourself. Be warned, it is a long and expensive treatment, but if left will only get worse.

The other thing to think of is when you are travelling and staying in hotels, B&B’s and the like, do a quick check before you unpack – if you see signs, get out of that room and complain to the management – I think you will be amazed how quickly you get looked after….!

So if you think you may have a problem, contact Rapid Pest Control now to get advice and a quotation to deal with the problem.