Five Easy-To-Spot Signs Of Bed Bugs In Your Pleasanton Home
June 30, 2020
Bed bugs are more than the topic of a nursery rhyme. They are real bugs, and a real problem for Pleasanton homeowners unfortunate enough to share a living area with them. Because bed bugs can infest any home, learning a little bit about them and the signs they leave behind is essential in detecting their presence early and thereby stopping an infestation before it grows out of control. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at bed bugs, why they’re so effective at invading California homes, the problems they cause once they get inside, and what you can do to stop an infestation before it starts.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and other mammals. Bed bugs have wide, flat bodies that swell when they feed. Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, while immature nymphs start out a translucent white before slowly darkening as they age.
Named for their penchant to feed on humans while they sleep, bed bugs require blood meals to survive, but can last long periods of time without eating if they feel the need to hide. Although they enjoy human hosts, they will feed on any warm-blooded animals they can find.
How Do Bed Bugs Move From Place To Place?
Unlike most pests that infest your home, bed bug infestations don’t typically start in your yard and work their way inside. Instead, they are expert hitchhikers, climbing onto shoes and pant legs or crawling into bags, boxes, or luggage, and going for a ride wherever their “driver” takes them. At some point in their journey, they’ll climb off their ride and start their new lives in their new location - settling down and starting a family inside any suitable piece of furniture they can find.
Because of the way they travel, bed bugs can be found in almost any location where humans congregate. With the increase in travel over recent decades, bed bug populations have surged across the United States. They can be found anywhere, from the nicest hotels, to the local library to your neighborhood, to your school or workplace.
Due to their unconventional way of infesting new locations, bed bugs have an advantage that most pests don’t possess in that it is extremely difficult to prevent a bed bug infestation. For most pests, you can seal up your house and reduce food and water sources to prevent them from getting inside, but with bed bugs, these methods don’t work. Without professional help, almost nowhere is truly bed bug-proof.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
While bed bugs are a serious nuisance, the good news is that they are not known to spread any diseases. There is some evidence that they may trigger allergies, but studies are inconclusive. However, this doesn’t mean that bed bugs aren’t a problem.
Bed bugs still bite, and the bites can be itchy. If you’re bitten and scratch the area too much, you could open the skin and end up with a secondary infection. Furthermore, severe infestations could lead to anemia, especially in pets.
Perhaps the biggest problem with a bed bug infestation is the mental toll it takes. Having bed bugs in your house is stressful and can lead to insomnia. And when you can’t get a good night’s sleep, every other part of your life is impacted.
Can You Prevent A Bed Bug Infestation?
Unfortunately, preventing a bed bug infestation is no easy task. Most people can’t realistically stop them from getting into and around their homes. Instead, your only real hope to stop them is to remain vigilant before an infestation occurs so that you can face it head-on once it appears.
Get in the habit of checking over your clothing and all bags and boxes before entering your home each day for signs of bed bugs, especially if you have left them on the floor for any extended period of time.
If you go on vacation, check your accommodations carefully before bringing your luggage inside. When you return home, look through your belongings before bringing them in. If you have guests stay at your home, carefully check the guest room after they leave.
What Are The Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation?
What should you look for when checking for signs of an infestation? Although bed bugs tend to remain hidden during the day, there are several easy-to-spot signs of an infestation that can tip you off:
1. Often the first sign of a bed bug infestation is waking up with bites on your body. Bed bugs will bite any areas of exposed skin, but tend to target the hands, neck, face, shoulders, legs, and arms and leave several bites behind in a linear pattern as they feed.
2. Look for the bed bugs themselves. Check mattresses, especially along the seams. Look between the mattress and the headboard. Check behind pictures hanging on the walls.
3. Look for red dots on your sheets, blankets, or pillow. Sometimes after feeding, bed bugs will drip tiny dots of blood as they crawl back to their hiding spots.
4. Look for small tan or brown streaks on your sheets or blankets. Bed bugs sometimes leave waste behind that is visible.
5. Look for bed bug casings or eggs. While more difficult to find, bed bugs leave skins behind when they molt. They also lay small white eggs that you may be able to see if you look closely.
What Should You Do If You Find Bed Bugs In Your Pleasanton Home?
If you find any of these telltale signs of bed bug infestation in your Pleasanton home, it’s important to take immediate action. Bed bugs will not die off on their own; instead, they’ll continue to reproduce until the infestation becomes extremely large and eventually overruns your house.
DIY bed bug control is rarely effective because it either only eliminates adult bed bugs and not the eggs, allowing the infestation to come back in full force in a matter of weeks (or even days), or because it fails to eliminate the bed bugs that are hidden within your walls.
Instead, if you want a lasting solution to your bed bug problem, you need professional bed bug control from Patriot Pest Management. Our service technicians are experts at identifying and treating bed bug infestations to completely eliminate them. At the first signs of an infestation, contact Patriot Pest Management!