The recent news coverage of the bed bug problem hitting cities across the US has brought our collective attention to these little pests.
Of course, they’ve been a problem for longer than the past few years, but it wasn’t until then that we all started worrying, “Do I have bed bugs?” Here are some ways to determine if you do and what to expect if they’re a problem in your household.
Bed Bugs: The Great Travelers
If only we could all travel as easily as the dreaded bed bugs can. These roaming pests can come into your home through your luggage, clothing, used soft furniture (such as beds and couches), or just through the wall from your neighbor’s, if you live in an apartment building. At the size of an apple seed, they’re hard to spot and have an easy time moving through tiny spaces or clinging on to items undetected. It’s usually not until you’ve been attacked by bed bugs that you notice there is an issue — and sometimes, even then, you may mistake the culprit.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
To bed bugs, you are the tasty treat in the room. And so are your partner, kids, and pets. That’s because bed bugs feast on blood, much like mosquitos. The differences are that mosquitos can usually be felt when they’re biting, they don’t feed as long as bed bugs do, and they are notorious for spreading disease (thankfully, bed bugs don’t cause that kind of problem). Bed bugs crawl from their daytime hiding spots to get under your sheets in search of bare skin. They then latch on and suck for 3–10 minutes and, satiated, crawl back to their homes, which are usually located close by, in the mattress, box spring, bed frame, walls, or floor. You’re left with itchy bites and little red spots across your body, although it’s unlikely the critters will wake you while they’re eating.
Bed Bugs or … Something Else?
With all of the hubbub about bed bugs in the media, there followed a mass epidemic of hypochondria. Not everyone can have bed bugs; sorry to disappoint you if you were looking forward to the infestation. If you awaken with a couple of bug bites in the morning, there’s no reason to immediately suspect you have bed bugs. There could be other reasons, such as mosquitos or spiders. Certainly, none of this is terribly appealing, but you shouldn’t jump right to the conclusion you have bed bugs. Now, if you continue to see new bites each morning, even after you’ve washed the sheets and turned the mattress, then you might think to worry.
Time to Call in the Reinforcements
If you find that you do— or strongly suspect you do — have bed bugs, you’re signing up for a losing battle to take them on yourself. As mentioned earlier, they’re tiny, and they spread quickly. Instead of worrying, spraying, washing, and itching, avoid all of that by calling in the professionals. Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination offers the expertise needed to identify the issue (whether it’s bed bugs or something else) and fix the situation.