How To Identify Bed Bugs

How to Identify Bed Bugs


Many people are under the mistaken impression that bed bugs are not visible to the naked eye. This is false. Bed bugs are oval shaped insects that are usually 4 to 5 mm long, or the size of an apple seed. They are flat and reddish-brown colored, appearing redder after they eat. Bed bugs are wingless, although adults do have undeveloped wing pads that never develop into functional wings. Full-grown bed bugs are a slow moving bug that can easily be found and seen when present. The nymphs (newly hatched bed bugs) can be difficult to see, they are about the size of the head of a pin. Nymphs are white or tan colored but become red after eating. Bed bugs feed solely on blood. Bed bugs are found in the crevices and cracks in which they hide.

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Bed bugs feed only on blood. If bed bugs are living in extremely cool conditions, they can survive up to a year without a meal, but they generally are found in warm areas such as beds, thus the name. Bed bugs are more active at night when the host is asleep.

Bed bugs are found in crevices and cracks, especially mattress seams. They are also found in furniture, sheets, suitcases, behind baseboards, picture frames and electrical outlet plates. Often found in hotels, it is a good idea to inspect the mattress seams before you stay in any new room. In hotels, bugs are transmitted through luggage, purses and briefcases, which can make managing infestation a problem in need of a trained professional.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

  • The most tell-tale sign of a bed bug infestation are actually seeing the bugs. They are, once again, reddish, brown, flat, oval and about the size of an apple seed.  
  • In addition to seeing the actual bugs, you may also find case skins. As the juveniles grow they shed their skin leaving behind the tan cases. 
  • Black and brown stains or mounds depending on how porous the surface are signs that the bed bugs are defecating in the places where they live.  
  • Bites are also a good indication of bed bug activity, but a red rash alone needs further investigation as there are many causes for skin irritation besides bed bugs. 

What to do

If you suspect you have bed bugs, it is important to deal with the infestation as soon as possible. In the short term, you can vacuum anywhere you expect bed bugs, and wash all bedding or infested clothing in hot water. The next step is to call a trained professional like IPM Pest and Termite Management in Lexington, Kentucky and the surrounding areas. A professional will inspect your premises and help you determine a course of action. IPM Pest and Termite Management is a family owned business with over 20 years in the area. They pride themselves on community involvement and offer pet and kid enviro-friendly products. Having bed bugs can be a disturbing experience but with IPM professionals, you will feel you are not alone as they help you rid yourself of your bed bug crisis.

Bed bug infestation? 
Don't panic. We can help.

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