What To Look For Bed Bugs
Bed bugs may be tiny but they leave telltale traces. Look most closely near beds and in bedrooms where bed bugs feed. Look for these telltale signs of bed bug activity:
A heavily infested room may have a characteristic musty or sweet odor like the scent of fresh red raspberries or coriander; however, the odor may not be obvious.
Look for active, crawling bugs on bed linens, carpet and furniture near the bed.
Look for dark fecal and blood stains on bed linens; carpets and carpet welting; and in the seams, creases, tufts and folds of mattresses and box springs.
You should also look for fecal smears or pea-sized pearly egg deposits behind headboards; along baseboards and door and window casings; around electrical plates; in plaster cracks; and under loose wallpaper, paintings and posters.
Look for whitish nymph molts and old exoskeletons under area rugs, at the edges of carpets, and in under-the-bed storage containers.
Beware of bats in the attic or eaves. Quite often bed bugs feeding on bats in the attic of a house will migrate to the living area in search of an easier food source, humans.
Bites, odor and voiding smears are indicators of a bed bug problem. However, these insects often go undetected when symptoms are not obvious. Bed bugs are also easily confused with other nuisance bugs like carpet beetles, bird and rodent mites, shiny spider beetles, parasitic wasps, even lint by the more paranoid, making definitive diagnosis a job for bed bug experts.
Before you buy a new home, ask the owner if there has ever been a bed bug problem. In co-ops, condos, apartments and any multi-unit residence, ask the property owner whether bed bugs have been reported in any unit. Before they buy, many home buyers are now requiring a pest inspection by a bed bug expert in addition to the traditional home inspection. When it’s buyer beware, it makes sense to protect yourself.
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