Bed bugs have invaded and are living all throughout Washington State. This is not alarmist; it is a fact, and early intervention is the best way to stop an infestation of bed bugs. These unpleasant insects cause bed bug bites and can be a real nuisance. Recognizing the early stages of bed bugs can be a significant factor in knowing how to get rid of bed bugs. The earlier they are found, the faster they can be eliminated.

Observation

Scientists and pest control specialists enlist the same tools to observe nature: their senses. You, too, can uncover the early signs of infestation if you know how to check for bed bugs:

  • Touch — If you notice unexplained bites on your body (behind your knees face, neck, between your shoulders; often in a zig-zag pattern), or feel very itchy, you may have bed bugs.
  • Smell — A musty, sweet aroma in and around your bedding could be the bed bugs’ chemical signals used to communicate with one another.
  • Sight — Look for yellow or reddish-brown shells (the exoskeletons) in mattress seams, inside your box springs, on bed linens and soft fabrics like couch cushions. When pest control professionals are asked, “What do bed bugs look like,” many people are frustrated by the answer since the various life stages show very different appearances.

In early stages of bed bug infestation, you may notice rusty reddish brown specks on mattresses, box springs, or soft fabrics (duvets, comforters, couch cushions and the like). You may see very tiny, whitish eggs, or you might spot bed bug droppings (very small, black dots). You may not see actual bed bugs until you confirm your suspicions by lifting up and examining all seams on your mattress, mattress pad, and springs.

Prevention

Michael F. Potter, Entomologist, connected with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, points out that you may inadvertently spread bed bugs if:

  • You frequently travel abroad, staying in bedbug-infested hotels and apartments; the insects find their way into suitcases and clothing and return with you from your travels.
  • You use insect repellent on your body in a fruitless effort to discourage their bites.
  • You buy used furniture with soft fabric (couches, second-hand bedding) that may harbor bed bugs.

Bed bugs do not favor messy houses over pristine homes, they can hide in small spaces, and they can follow the sleep patterns of people they live among (so sleeping with lights on does nothing).

If you suspect a problem with bed bugs, time is not on your side. Contact the professionals at Whitworth Pest Solutions, Inc. today to learn how we can help eradicate this annoying, irritating, and fast-spreading pest.