Every little crack and crevice around your bed can contain bed bugs, their eggs, shells or feces (dried poop). If there is a lot of dust, dirt and grime around these areas its going to be hard to see which is which but you can be certain there are nasties in amongst the common dust like bed bugs (Cimex lectularius & Cimex hemipterus) that you do not want.
You might notice black spots on the sheets, bed edges or mattress, this could indeed be the remains of their dried feces.
You might have zig zag lines or small clusters of red itchy bites on your skin, this is a likely sign that your bed is already pretty heavily infested.
Bed bugs can release pheromones which when in great quantity can smell much like an old damp towel that has been left in a bag after the gym or bunched up on the floor for a few days after a shower.
How to test for bed bugs
Although there are no specific test you can get traps which will attract the bugs and then they are easy to spot on the white surface. You can of course use the naked eye to check for the signs mentioned above or even better a little hand held magnifying glass to make a more accurate identification of these various signs
Can you see bed bugs
Knowing how to detect bed bugs is not easy, they are absolutely tiny in size and so can hide in almost every crack, crevice, crease and tear you can imagine. The most obvious signs are again the same mentioned as above, patches of red or brown dots which is usually your blood that they have excreted as feces or even more disgustingly their vomit.
Bed bugs size – exactly how big are they?
What we would refer to as juveniles also known as nymphs can range from a size of 0.9 inch / 2.5mm to a bigger size of 0.18 inches / 4.5mm for the adult bed bugs. Below is an image captured showing some in various stages of there life cycle.
Bed bugs images
Here are a few pictures of bed bugs
Bed bugs bites pictures
Here are a few pictures of bed bug bites on human skin
Allergic reaction to bed bugs pictures
Here are a few pictures of allergic reactions to bed bug bites
Bed bugs on SEPTA bus seat gone viral
This video shows bed bugs infestation on SEPTA bus seat. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 5pm on September 6, 2018. This just goes to show that bed bugs can be and are everywhere and can be carried from place to place via people, clothing and ay other items that have been near an infested area. It only takes one pregnant critter to get loose and boom you have an infestation going viral over the internet.
Bed bug bites vs flea bites
Firstly you must realize that everybody has a slightly different immune system tolerance and reaction time to things like flea bites and bed bug bites. This means that the reactions and timescales can differ between groups of people.
Bed bug bites differ slightly from flea bites in that they tend to be small harder lumps very much like a mosquito bite and appear most often on peoples neck, arms & hands and can be a little itchy.
Flea bites are also red and swollen but more of a blotchy look across the skin as opposed to lumpy. Unlike bed bug bites, flea bites are usually constantly itchy and often are accompanied with a rash.
What causes bed bugs
Sometimes bed bugs can be brought into your home from something as simple and random as a holiday. People from all over the world are visiting hotels from all kinds of environments and hotels can become a hot spot for things like fleas and bed bugs.
I don’t know about you but quite a few hot destinations I have been to i often see a lot of stray cats? Cats are cute I love them and have one myself but these can also be a reason for people bringing home fleas in a suitcase, and obviously bed bugs can hitch a ride in the same case as they are often lying around in the hotel room near the bed.
How to find bed bugs during the day
It is because bed bugs are nocturnal that the question often arises “how can I find bed bugs during the day”. Its really not that difficult, you see because they come out at night to steal your blood, you can be sure they are hiding nearby during the day.
Bed bugs feed for around 5-10 minutes and then do not need to feed again for up to 10 days. So unless your room is heavily infested you are not going to see them much at all during the day. All you have to do though is check all of the folds, creases, tears, ledges and surfaces near your bed and mattress because if there going to be any in your room it will be within a few feet of your bed.
Be sure to check the closest furniture too because any crack or crevice is a home to them.
Bed bug shells – what are they?
Your not going to like this but bed bug shells are literally the old carcass and exoskeletons of the bed bugs that live in and around your bed. The bug as it ages has to shed its exoskeleton to enable it to grow bigger.
These are also the tell tail signs that people notice first when they realize they have an infestation, as the shells are literally like dead bugs lying around for you to see rather than the ones that run away and hide each night
Types of bed bugs
Common or household bed bug (Cimex lectularius)
The tropical bedbug (Cimex hemipterus)
Mexican chicken bug (Haematosiphon inodora)
Bat bugs (Cimex adjunctus)
How to get rid of bed bugs fast and easily
Below are a few ways to kill bed bugs around your home, some are much more realistic to do than others. Like this one below using cold – for some it might be possible because it does and will work but the likely hood that someone can seal and keep things to sub zero for two weeks is not likely.
You can wrap things up in plastic bags and place in sub zero temperatures but the chilling period must be maintained for at least 2 weeks or it will fail
Home remedies to get rid of bed bugs
Use a steam machine to quickly spray steam in all corners, seams, edges, mattress and wall perimeters.
How to get rid of bed bugs fast with heat
Wrap what you can in plastic bags seal and place somewhere in 122 degrees Fahrenheit or 50 Degrees Celsius heat for a few days to kill the bugs with heat.
How to get rid of bed bugs fast with baking soda
By putting a light layer of baking soda throughout the room, your bed edges and mattress you will kill the bugs by drying out all of the areas they are likely to be. They need humid damp areas to live and by providing the opposite your are eliminating there home.
How to get rid of bed bugs fast naturally
You can use tea tree oil added to water to clean all fabrics, mattress, bed, furniture and surfaces to kill all of the bed bugs. Tea tree oil is an antiseptic and will kill the bugs on contact
You can also spray them with vinegar is it is a strong acetic acid that can play havoc with the bugs nervous system and will ultimately kill the bed bugs. Vinegar is cheap too.
How to get rid of bed bugs fast with essential oils
The following essential oils are great at eliminating or deterring bed bugs due to there chemical properties.
- Lavender essential oil
- Thyme essential oil
- Tea tree essential oil
- Lemongrass essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Neem Essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil
These oils can be mixed with water and sprayed around all of the effected areas and likely hiding places. Be careful not to get these on your skin as they are not all that friendly to human skin either but much safer than many bug pesticides. Just be sure not to soak your sleeping area.
How to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress
The simplest way is to buy a bug proof mattress encasement found online, eliminate all bugs in other areas using the methods above and then starve the ones on your mattress by locking them in. That is if you do not want to use any of the above methods on your mattress.