Bed bugs are rapidly becoming a major problem for American homeowners. In fact, one in five homeowners has either had an infestation in their house or know someone that has dealt with an infestation.
Getting rid of bed bugs means hiring an experienced exterminator to handle the job. However, before you can hire someone, you need to know if you have bed bugs in your home in the first place.
Spotting bed bugs isn’t as tough as you might think. Here are a few of the most common signs to watch for.
1. Red Welts and Spots Appear on Your Arms and Legs
Bed bugs aren’t harmless. They bite and when they do, they leave large red welts and spots on your arms, legs, and even your face.
If you wake up and notice swollen and itchy patches of skin and can’t explain how they got there, you may have a bed bug infestation.
Keep in mind that some bed bug bites can look similar to mosquito bites. However, they tend to pop up in very specific places.
Bed bugs love to feed around your knees, elbows, and neck. These spots are often the warmest parts of your body at night, making them tempting targets. Mosquitos, on the other hand, will bite you wherever they land.
If you notice a pattern to the bites, call an exterminator as soon as possible.
2. There Are Strange Brown Smudges On Your Sheets
One of the most noticeable signs of bed bugs in your home is strange brown stains and smudges popping up on your bedsheets overnight. Contrary to popular belief, these bed bug stains aren’t pooping. They’re bloodstains.
Bed bugs feed on your blood. As you move around throughout the night, it’s common for some of those bugs to get squished. You might not even be aware of what you’re doing when you’re smacking them.
When you do, you end up creating those bloodstains. As the blood dries on your sheets, it goes from red to brown, leaving the telltale smudges behind.
If you can’t explain how those smudges got there and don’t have any other cuts or abrasions on your skin, it’s likely a sign that you have bed bugs in your home.
3. You Notice Musty Smells in Your Home
You probably don’t think of strange smells as a clear sign of an insect infestation. After all, most don’t emit any kind of odor.
Unfortunately, bed bugs do.
If you smell a strong, musty odor, you could have a bed bug infestation on your hands. Pay attention to the way each room in your home smells. If you notice a slightly sour or sweet smell and can’t find an obvious cause, call experienced bed bug exterminators.
They’ll be able to inspect your home and find the cause of the strange odor.
4. There Are Dark Splotches on Your Mattress
As the name implies, bed bugs love to crawl around on your bed. When they’re not actively feeding, they often hide beneath your sheets.
If you notice dark spots on your mattress when you change the sheets, you could have bed bugs in your home. Those dark splotches are nothing more than bed bug waste and they can stain just as much as the blood they leave behind when you squish them.
Keep in mind that stains don’t mean the bed bugs are nesting in your mattress. It just means they’ve been there in the past. The best thing you can do is get your home inspected and see if the infestation is current.
If it is, your exterminator will be able to treat your house to get rid of the bed bugs once and for all.
5. You Find Egg Shells Lying Around
Bed bugs lay eggs when they reproduce. Those eggs are often tiny and hard to spot, but spotting them means you have an active infestation in your home.
Look for shells in dark, warm places. Bed bugs love to lay their eggs in the corners of drawers, under cushions and pillows, and even in wall sockets. The eggs themselves are small and white or speckled in appearance.
Don’t try to clean them up. Leave the eggs in place for your exterminator to inspect. They’ll be able to tell you if the eggs are new or have been there for years.
6. You See Smudges on Your Walls
Though spotting bed bugs in your bed and on the cushions of your furniture are way more common, the troublesome insects can also leave signs of their presence on your walls. Look around your room and see if there are any unexplainable smudges on the paint or wallpaper.
That smudgy residue, like the stuff you find on mattresses, is bed bug poop. You can clean the residue with warm soapy water. However, it’s also best to get your home treated before you start cleaning.
The treatments often send the bugs scurrying out in search of a safe place. During that time, they’ll often leave more smudges in their wake.
7. The Furniture in Your House Is New to You
Buying used furniture is a great way to save money, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to accidentally bring bed bugs into your home. If you’ve recently acquired a piece of furniture and notice any of the other signs, you likely have bed bugs.
The best way to know for sure is to inspect the furniture closely. Look for bed bugs crawling along the seams or joints and under any cushions that aren’t sewed into place.
Spotting Bed Bugs Is Easier Than You Think
If you’re worried about spotting bed bugs in your home, keep these signs in mind. If you notice even one, don’t hesitate to call your exterminator and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
The sooner you do, the sooner you can get your home back. Just remember that ignoring bed bugs won’t make them go away. You need professional remediation to completely get rid of the infestation.
Looking for more tips to help you keep your home in good condition? Check out our latest posts today.