Do you think you might have an infestation of bed bugs in your New Jersey home? What signs are you seeing? Have you found a couple of tiny red bumps on your skin that you think may be bed bug bites? Have you found an insect crawling in your bed? Lots of insects can bite you, and there is no shortage of insects that will climb around on, and in, your bed. Let's take a moment to look at how you can tell whether or not bed bugs have invaded your home, and not some other bug.

bed bug on skin
bed bug crawling on mattress

Is It A Bed Bug Bite?

When bed bugs feed, they feed more than once. An individual bed bug will often feed three times. Entomologists jokingly refer to these bites as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But it is no joking matter when several bed bugs feed on you while you're sleeping. You can wake up with dozens of bites. 

How To Identify Bed Bug Bites:

  • They range from tiny red dots to big itchy welts.
  • They often appear in a line or path across the skin.
  • There is usually a rash. This rash can be extensive if there are many bites and if the bites are from adult bed bugs.
  • They are most often found on exposed skin (areas of your body that are above the covers). But this is not exclusive.
  • They are most often found on the neck and face because bed bugs are drawn to carbon dioxide. 

Is It A Bed Bug?

Most people know what a bed bug looks like. It is oval in shape, flat, rusty colored, and has horizontal lines on its abdomen, right? Unfortunately, bed bugs don't always look like the images you've seen.

Bed Bugs May Look:

Bloated. When a bed bug feeds on blood, it will become bloated. This changes the shape of the bed bug. It no longer looks oval. It becomes more of a pill shape.

Pale. When bed bugs first hatch, they are pale and mostly transparent. If you see a tiny, six-legged insect crawling on your skin, it could be a bed bug.

Tan. As bed bugs develop, they become tan and eventually brownish red. So a bed bug may not be pale or rusty colored.

Red. In all stages of development, bed bugs will look red after they have had a blood meal. Newly hatched pale bed bugs will have a bright red abdomen. Adult bed bugs will simply have more red coloration to their normally reddish-brown color.

Characteristics Of A Bed Bug:

Transparent skin. One thing you're likely to notice about bed bugs is that you can see through its skin. This will allow you to see the color of the blood inside, as we've already mentioned. It will also allow you to see its black excrement within its internals.

Small. While not invisible to the naked eye, a newly hatched bed bug is only 1 mm long. That's tiny. Adult bed bugs aren't much bigger at about 4.5 mm. You'll have to look closely to find these bugs in your home.

Warning Signs

You can have bed bugs in your New Jersey home and never see them, and it can take time for bed bug bites to become bad enough to notice. Initial bites from immature nymphs can be slight. If you want to find these bugs before they become a serious problem, you can look for the warning signs they leave.

Four Warning Signs Bed Bugs Leave:

Black speckles, streaks or patches. Bed bugs leave their excrement everywhere. It will be most concentrated in areas where the bugs are congregating together. But you may find it on sheets, pillowcases, bedding, or some other spots.

White eggs. A bed bug egg is about 1 mm long. This makes it difficult to see. But you might find several eggs together in a batch or scattered about.

Shed skins. As bed bugs pass through their five instars, they shed their skins.

Blood stains. Bed bugs sometimes excrete excess blood after feeding.

What To Do When You Find Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of, and when you fail to get rid of them, there is the potential that you could expose others to an infestation that could come back around to bite you once you've had your bed bugs treated by a professional. Bed bugs spread by hitchhiking from one location to another. It is best to contact a licensed pest provider as soon as possible and get these bugs dealt with quickly. If you're in our New Jersey service area, we can help. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.

 

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