Upon finding a few bedbugs
on your property, you might just write the situation off and not think about it twice. It would be like spotting a fly or ladybug
in the home, right? They probably just hitched on to your shoes or clothes and make a quick entrance into the home. Nothing to worry about, right?
Wrong! Especially if the creatures in question are bed bugs
. Indeed, spotting a ladybug
or two or even even a fly in the home might not be a big deal, but these are bed bugs
we are talking about here. These are entirely different creatures, and just spotting one in the home means it’s time to pick up the phone and get your local Charlottesville, VA
pest professional on the line. Why?
Why Just One Bed Bug Is A Major Cause For Concern
The bed bug
is no bigger than the size of an apple seed, but this slim and sleek creature can be immensely troubling. While they do not carry or transmit any known diseases, they can be dangerous. They can be damaging to your mental psyche. Some people become so enamored with the fear of being bitten by the creature that they find themselves unable to sleep in the same room, even after the problem has been cleared up. Although rare, some people have moved from the property altogether.
are social creatures, meaning where you see one, there are probably hundreds nearby. However, what makes the presence of these creatures so troubling is, they usually go out of their way to avoid detection. They usually choose to take the path less traveled, so if you are seeing them something is wrong! The population has likely grown so large they are pushing each other into the open.
It could, however, mean that they are starving as well. Either one is not good. The whole situation becomes even worse if the bugs you are seeing are of the female sex. This is because adult female bed bugs are prolific breeders, with the innate ability to lay as many as 500 eggs in a lifetime. You’ll have a house full of creepy crawlers if you don’t jump on the problem right away. This is why seeing a bed bug means picking up the phone and getting a pro in on the problem.
Why Bed Bugs Are Hard To Spot
See a bed bug is so troubling because, as was already mentioned, they go out of their way to avoid detection. They will go out of their way so much that they will rearrange their sleeping habits to match that of yours. Say, you start a new job working at night and sleeping during the day. These bugs will rearrange their sleeping habits so they can sleep during the night and feed on you during the day while you are asleep. Whatever they need to do to avoid detection, they will do!
You combine this with their slim profiles, abilities to squeeze into tiny spaces, and their reddish-brown hides, and it all becomes pretty evident. They can hide among your everyday surrounding and you won’t even likely know they are there. Truly troubling! Oh, did I also mention, they are only about the size of an apple seed? They don’t jump or fly, so they are crawling everywhere they go, making them even tougher to location.
Learn The Signs
Because bed bugs are so hard to spot, you’ll always want to be on the lookout. This means keeping your eye peeled for potential warning signs of the bug’s presence. Here are some of the things you’ll want to look for:
Bloodstains – Bed bugs are parasites, which means they feed on warm-blooded mammals. This is a process that requires the transfusion of blood. Sometimes drops get left behind. Sometimes bugs get squashed in the process. Whatever the situation, the results end up being the same. And those results are blood on your sheets.
Exoskeletons – Just like a snake or many reptiles, the bed bug will shed its skin. It’ll leave behind a near-translucent, delicate, and molted skin that looks just the bug, minus the reddish-brown color.
Egg/Egg Casings – Only about the size of a pinpoint, it is still possible to spot these items in the home. You’ll likely find them in known hiding spots, but they are the last thing you want to find, as it means more bugs are on the way or have just hatched. Either way, it’s not a good sign.
Fecal Matter – It’s disgusting, but bugs defecate just like the human. They usually do this near their breeding and hiding spots. It’ll usually be something that shows up on your sheets as well. The evidence will be similar to that of the bloodstains, but black in appearance like inkblots.
Searching For Bed Bugs
The last thing you want to do is scatter the infestation or further spread it to parts of the home. This is one of the first and biggest mistakes that most people make when dealing with bed bugs. They’ll start sleeping in other rooms or move out entirely. Unfortunately, the bugs will only follow you. They might not be able to follow you to the nearby hotel
, but they will follow you to other rooms of the home.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do or shouldn’t do. You’ll just want to be smart and methodical about it. You’ll want to start by moving the bed and bedroom furniture away from the walls. This will allow you to place lures or traps under the feet of the furniture and bed, forcing the bugs to travel through them before they access you in your sleeping spot.
You can also strip all your bedclothes and pillowcases and wash them in hot water and then dry them for 90 minutes or more. Bed bug’s bodies cannot stand up to specific amounts of heat and when exposed they will dehydrate and die. Their organs virtually shut down. You can vacuum the mattress and box spring but only discard the contents outside in a sealed bag far away from the residence. This will be an excellent starting point for the pro to step in and take over.