Signs of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs hide in tiny cracks and crevices and usually visit their host for a brief feed in the few hours just before dawn. To an expert pest controller, signs of bed bugs are easy to spot. But to the untrained and inexperienced eye identifying bed bugs is a little harder.
Here are a few of the common signs that there may bed bugs in one of your rooms.
Bed Bug Infestation Signs
- Dark/black stains – on the mattress and surrounding area from bed bug excreta.
- Sweet scent – an unpleasant, sweet, sickly scent.
- Small dark spots – small dark blood spots on bedding known as ‘faecal pellets’.
- Live insects – despite being small (adult are only 4-5mm long) it’s possible to spot live bed bugs and shed skins.
- Blood spots – on the sheets or mattress.
Where Will I Find Bed Bugs?
- Bed frames and headboard crevices
- Mattress seams
- Carpets and underlay
- Skirting boards
- Between timber floorboards
- In cracked or broken plaster, behind peeling wallpaper
- Inside electrical sockets and fittings
- Drawers and cupboards
- Bedside cabinets
Have You Noticed Any Of These Signs?
An inspection visit by Azalia Pest will help to confirm a problem and enable our Technicians to offer the best solution using industry leading bed bug treatments.
As part of our bed bug services, Azalia Pest also passes on our expertise in the form of training for your staff on bed bug early warning signs. Contact our team to find out more.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are easily spread and can be difficult to treat. A bed bug infestation can quickly reach an epidemic level if not treated in a professional way. It takes just 10-12 weeks before your bed bug infestation will reach a level at which guests will notice the problem. The key to eradicating bed bugs is early detection and quick treatment by a pest control expert.
Effective Bed Bug Services from Azalia Pest
Our bed bug treatment programs are the best way to take action against a bed bug infestation.
Azalia Pest technicians are extensively trained skilled and experienced professionals. They understand the habits of bed bugs and use their knowledge to choose the correct control methods and materials to develop an effective management program.
Our innovative range of treatment options will quickly, effectively and discreetly treat bed bugs in your home or business.
We will respond to your call-out and arrange a survey of your property to identify the need for control.
Depending on the survey carried out on your premises and the level of infestation, your Azalia Pest technician will either implement a spray treatment to eradicate bed bugs, or perform a Heat Pod treatment that eliminates all types of insects, and bed bugs through the application of heat.
Once all treatment options have been discussed and a treatment plan is agreed, a Azalia Pest Technician will arrange to come back to your business to commence the bed bug treatment.
All our treatments are based on the cube approach, which is critical to effective and lasting bed bug treatment. This approach includes treatment to an infested room and inspection of surrounding rooms (and treatment if required).
As part of our service, we offer a proactive inspection service to reduce future risks. Our recommendation is to inspect all high risk areas of your business. The exact details will be agreed with you.
Early detection of bed bugs is essential to quick and effective treatment. No one is better placed for identifying bed bugs in a hotel than your housekeeping staff. As part of our bed bug treatment programs our experts will train your staff to look for signs of bed bugs before they end up in a review on a travel website!
High Risk Bed Bug Businesses
You should consider a proactive approach to bed bug control if your business offers accommodation or provides transportation. These environments are considered the main sources for harbouring and spreading bed bugs:
- Hospitality – hotels, guest houses, hostels
With such a range of infestation sources it is almost impossible to prevent bed bugs entering your business premises. The best defence for your business is early detection of common bed bug signs.
A bed bug problem can spread very quickly and if left uncontrolled can put your business in jeopardy of loss of revenue, reputation or even forced closure. The presence of bed bugs also poses a high risk of distressing bites for you and your customers.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
Bed bugs or their eggs get into clothing, furniture or suitcases and are then transported wherever these items go. As they are so small and like to hide in cracks and crevices during the day, it can be very easy for bed bugs to move into your home or hotel.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
There are some preventative steps you can take for bed bug control – especially if you are a frequent traveller – to prevent this pest from invading your home or business.
In Your Home
If you are worried you have brought bed bugs back home after your travels, there are a few things you can do to prevent them from spreading to your home:
Leave your luggage in your garage or in the bathroom. Bed bugs don’t like the tiles or concrete and if they are present you will see them easier than on carpet!
If you’re very worried, take your clothes off in the garage or bathroom and put them straight into the washing machine.
Wash and dry clothes at the highest possible temperatures.
Treatment by a professional pest control expert is always the best solution to get rid of bed bugs. However – as a precaution and if possible – you can put your suitcase in the sun, away from the house for a couple of days to help eradicate any bed bugs.
- Vacuuming can greatly reduce the size of the bed bug population, but only when they’re clearly visible. It cannot guarantee total elimination. (Empty and clean the vacuum to avoid transferring eggs to other rooms.)
In Your Hotel or Residence
With the number of guests moving in and out of your hotel or dorm rooms, it is impossible to completely prevent bed bugs. However, there are ways you can prevent an infestation taking hold and moving from room to room and that is via early detection:
- Train your staff on how to identify common signs of bed bugs.
- Ensure thorough checking for bed bugs is written into your room cleaning processes.
- Have a procedure in place for handling bed bug complaints.
- Inspect adjacent rooms to identify if the bed bugs have spread (although Azalia Pest will do this as part of our emergency response survey).
- Immediately contact Azalia Pest Services to arrange a thorough inspection and bed bug control program.
Bed Bug Bites
One of the first signs that you may have slept in a bed with bed bugs are the bites you see after you wake up.
However, it is difficult to tell the difference between a bed bug bite and a bite from any other insect when you look at them in isolation to the other signs.
So, how do you know whether the bite you’ve received is from a bed bug? Here are a few things to look out for.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Looking at the pattern of bites, the location on your body and the approximate time they happened may help to correctly identify the culprit of your insect bites.
Bed bug bites are generally small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin. Redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur on these spots.
Several bites tend to appear in a line or row along an exposed area, such as an arm or leg as a single bed bug may bite more than once in the same area, if disturbed whilst feeding. Bites found in different parts of the body can indicate being bitten by several different bed bugs.
- A small proportion of people can react very badly to their bites and develop a skin rash. The red spots which indicate the location of a bite may become raised and very itchy over time.
Bed bug bites can occur anywhere on the body but are often close to blood vessels near the skin. Check for signs of bites on your:
When Do Bites Happen?
Bites often occur at night when we are sleeping.
- Bed bug bites are unlikely to wake the host (victim) as bed bugs inject an anaesthetic whilst drawing blood from the host (victim).
Worried About Your Bites?
Prevention is better than cure! Look for signs of bed bugs as soon as you arrive in a hotel.
However, if you do happen to get bitten by a bed bug or two and the bites are causing you pain, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Bed bugs are not known to carry any infectious diseases but everyone will react to a bite differently.
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) shouldn’t be confused with dust mites. Bed bugs are nocturnal parasitic bugs that feed on blood from warm blooded mammals.
Dust mites are microscopic spiders that feed on shed dead skin cells. Dust mites are not visible to the eye.
- Bed bugs are around 5 to 6mm long before a blood meal extending to about 7mm when fully engorged.
- Oval and flattened from back to underside with thick, well-developed legs. Bed bugs do not have wings.
- Their mouths are pointed for piercing and sucking.
- Adult bed bugs are rusty red-brown in colour.
- Eggs are whitish cream, getting darker as they hatch to larvae.
- Their shed skins are lighter brown and look like flaky exoskeletons.
- Bed bugs lay 200 – 500 eggs over a 2 month period in batches of 10 to 50.
- The adult female must have a blood meal before egg-laying.
- The eggs are usually laid in cracks and crevices and can be attached to items of furniture or fittings in clusters by a transparent substance.
- There are 7 stages to the lifecycle from egg to fully grown adult which can be from 45 days but may be up to a year.
- The typical life span of a bed bug is about 50 days to over a year depending on favourable conditions.
- They can survive for weeks to months without feeding.
- Bedbugs feed on human blood and are attracted to body heat and CO2 from sleeping humans.
- They inject an anaesthetic when they pierce the skin, so the bite can go unnoticed at first.
- They are found in cracks and crevices, headboards, behind peeling wallpaper, broken plaster, light switches, under carpets and skirting boards etc. so they are near to people for feeding.
- Bed bugs usually visit their host for a blood feed just before dawn. When alarmed they move quickly and emit an odour.
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are approximately 5-6 mm in length before a blood meal, extending about 7mm when fully engorged with blood, are oval and flattened from back to underside with well-developed legs and wings absent. They are also red to brown in colour.
What are the common signs of bed bugs?
Common signs of bed bugs being present are finding small blood spots on bed sheets, faecal pellets, a distinctive smell and – of course – live insects.
Is there any potential harm in having bed bugs?
The harm bed bugs can cause is that guests can be bitten. Bed bugs move around easily and if not treated fast and in a professional way, can quickly reach epidemic levels. Specialist solutions only available to professional pest control companies offer the most reliable way to get rid of bed bugs.
What do bed bugs feed on?
Bed bugs feed on human blood.
What steps can I take against bed bugs?
Bed bugs are very difficult to find and treat and for this reason we recommend that you do not try to get rid of bed bugs without professional help. Call us for more information on how Azalia Pest can help you on 0861 117 851, or email us. Let us help you manage the risk of future infestations through risk assessment, training and proactive inspections.
Although your bed is the first place your check, bedbugs can also hide in furniture and furnishings including:
- inside electrical sockets and fittings
- skirting boards
- between timber floor and ceiling boards
- carpets and mats
- drawers and cupboards
- cracked or broken plaster, behind peeling wallpaper
- wardrobes and nightstands
- bed frames, headboard crevices
- mattress edges
Note: Body heat and carbon from our breath attracts them.