What To Do About A Bed Bug Infestation In Your Tampa Home

Haskell logo

How To Identify A Bed Bug Infestation

There are a few ways to tell that you have a bed bug problem. Sometimes it is easy to tell. Sometimes it isn't. Let's break down the warning signs and discuss the challenges of knowing whether or not you have bed bugs in your home.

Bed Bug Bites: When you wake up with numerous bumps and an extensive rash, you may have bed bugs, but it is possible that you don't. Many things can cause a bumpy rash. Sometimes we get calls to deal with bed bug problems when there are no bed bugs present. It is essential to know what bed bug bites look like.

  • When one adult bed bug bites you, you'll likely have three bumps, one after the next. The bites can range from minor bumps to mid-sized welts.
  • When several adult bed bugs bite you, you'll have many bites. Each bug is likely to bite three times. Look to see if there is a pattern to your rashy bumps. Each group of three bites will appear in a line or zig-zag.
  • Bed bugs feed as a group. You'll have lots of bites in one area. Look for bumps that appear to create a path across your skin.
  • Bed bugs tend to bite near the head. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale while sleeping. You may have bites on the cheeks, neck, shoulders, or upper arms.
  • Bed bugs may feed on any part of your body that is exposed during sleep. If your leg pokes out from under the covers, that is a prime spot for bites to appear.

As you consider bed bug bites, keep in mind that all insect bites get worse over time. It can take hours for a wound to grow a bump and a rash. In some cases, you could wake up and notice you were bitten during the night. Keep this in mind if you notice bites later in the day.  

Bed Bug Identification: If you've seen bed bugs on television or news reports on the net, you may wonder why you need to know what bed bugs look like. There are a few reasons, actually.

  • Bed bugs are tiny. When they hatch, they're only about 1/26 of an inch in length. They max out at around ? of an inch. When you see one in your home, it will look like a speck at first and develop into something smaller than an apple seed.
  • Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown and look somewhat like apple seeds. They are easy to identify if you get a good look at them. Baby bed bugs don't look like this. They are tiny, tan insects. 
  • When you see a baby bed bug, it might not look tan. Why? Because you may catch it feeding on your skin or shortly after. If so, it will look like a tiny red insect.

Keep these facts in mind as you go looking for bed bugs in your home or as you keep watch for bed bugs while away from home. They're not much more than specks.     

Other Bed Bug Clues: Often, people don't see bed bugs. They notice other signs that lead them to believe that they have a bed bug infestation. Do you know these signs?

  • Bed bugs leave tiny black stains on pillowcases, sheets, and other fabrics. These stains are fecal spotting.
  • Bed bugs leave tiny brown stains. These are created when bed bugs excrete blood.
  • Bed bugs leave tiny, yellowish skins lying around in infested areas. These skins are often tucked into seams, creases, and cracks.
  • Bed bugs leave pheromones. These excretions are often described as smelling like coriander.

When you catch bed bugs in your Tampa home, keep Haskell Termite & Pest Control in mind. We can help you find out where the bugs are hiding and target them with advanced solutions.  

There are a few ways to tell that you have a bed bug problem. Sometimes it is easy to tell. Sometimes it isn't. Let's break down the warning signs and discuss the challenges of knowing whether or not you have bed bugs in your home.

Why Bed Bugs Like To Bite Sleeping People

As you consider what to do about bed bugs in your home, it helps to know why they want to live with you and why they like to bite you while you sleep. Knowing their behavior patterns will provide valuable insight as you consider how to clean bug bugs up in infested areas. Here are a few facts you should know and why they're important.

Bed bugs prefer to bite you while you're sleeping because you make an easier target. They can't fly like a mosquito or spring like a flea. They have to scale furniture, climb on you, and fasten to your skin for several minutes. Here are ways you can apply this knowledge:

  • The first place they'll want to establish themselves is near the beds in your home. You should check your mattresses, box springs, and bed frames first.
  • They can get into your couch and feed on your while you watch television. They only need a few minutes for each blood meal. There is more than enough time during a blockbuster movie or a football game.
  • They can bite your ankles or back while you're at your computer. It isn't preferable, but it does happen, particularly with baby bed bugs.

Bed bugs prefer to bite sleeping people because these insects consume blood and because we aren't furry or excessively hairy. Humans provide the perfect food source. Bed bugs can't move through hair or fur like a flea or tick, which is one reason why they don't do well in nature. Over the centuries, they've taken to living almost exclusively indoors. Here are ways you can apply this knowledge.

  • Bed bugs don't come in from your yard, so perimeter pest control won't keep them out or stop them from getting in.
  • You won't succeed in repelling bed bugs and driving them out of your home. They can't easily find food sources out there because they have trouble biting furry animals.
  • Prevention is the best way to stop bed bugs. You need to consider how they may hitchhike into your home and take steps to stop them.   

Let's take a closer look at that last fact. There are many ways bed bugs can find their way into your Tampa home. Some may surprise you.

All The Ways Bed Bugs Can Hitch A Ride Into Your Home

You know you can get bed bugs from a hotel or motel during a trip. But these are far from the only ways bed bugs can find their way into your home. Here are a few more to consider:

  • Bed bugs eventually move into wall voids. They can get into your home if you live in an apartment or multi-family home. 
  • Bed bugs hide inside furniture, electronics, pianos, and other items. You can get bed bugs when you buy these items second-hand.
  • Bed bugs can hitch a ride home from school or work. One student can share bed bugs with another by putting their bags in the same locker. A coworker can share bed bugs with you by putting their clothing or briefcase on top of yours.
  • Bed bugs can hitch a ride into your home on guests.
  • You can pick bed bugs up in a taxi, bus, or train.

It is essential to always keep watch for bed bug activity and teach your children to do the same. You have a chance of stopping bed bugs if you see them first. You can also use certain preventative steps to deter bed bugs even if you don't see them. Check out our other blogs to learn how to prevent bed bugs.