It starts with a small itch and then after a closer look you see what appears to be bite marks on your leg, arm, or body. You suspect you have bed bugs but who knows for sure. The first thing you need to do is trace your whereabouts in the past week or so. Have you been traveling and stayed at a hotel or motel? Did you visit someone and stay for a long visit? Did you have a guest sleepover or host a daughter or son sleepover? If the answer is yes, then you may have brought bed bugs home with you or someone may have brought them to you. Unlike occasional invaders, bud bugs do not come from the outside. They have to be transported in by some type of vehicle, usually a person. Bed bugs hitchhike in backpacks, pocketbooks, luggage, and knapsacks.
It is difficult to tell from a bite if you have bedbugs but certainly this will tip you off so you can expand your investigation. Since bedbugs feed on people and are more active at night they can usually be found in and around the bed or a chair if anyone is sleeping in it. The good news is that bedbugs do not transmit diseases like mosquitos. They are only interested in a blood meal for survival.
Once you suspect you have bedbugs, get yourself a very good flashlight, and begin your inspection in your bed. Look for small spots of blood on your sheets or covers. During the night you may scratch a part of your body that the bedbug is feeding on and crush it causing a blood spot on the sheet. Take all your linen and place in a plastic trash bag which you can dump directly in the washing machine. This will prevent you from spreading bedbugs to other parts of your home. Next, look in all the small cracks and crevices of your mattress and box spring. Bedbugs can be seen with the naked eye and can get to be a quarter of an inch long. Expand your search to include any nightstands, carpeting edges, picture frames, etc., anything close to an area where people sleep.
If anything is found during your inspection keep a sample in a zip lock bag or on a piece of cellophane tape. Take it to your local pest control professional for identification. They will be able to identify it correctly and offer recommendations for elimination. We always recommend a family-owned and operated business with more than fifteen years of experience.