How do You Get Bed bugs, Where do Bed Bugs Come From?
How Do You Get Bed Bugs
- 1 How Do You Get Bed Bugs
- 2 How to get rid of bed bugs — the signs that say you have them, and how to prevent them
- 3 How to Inspect and How to Treat Bed Bugs on Mattress
- 4 How Do Bed Bugs Get on Your Mattress?
- 5 How to Know You Have Bed Bugs in the Bed
- 6 How to Inspect a Bed for Bed Bugs
- 7 Inspect less common hiding places.
- 8 What Kills Bed Bugs in the Mattress Instantly
- 9 How to Prevent Further Bed Bug Infestations of Your Mattress
- 10 Bed Bug Symptoms
- 11 What are They?
- 12 How are They Different?
- 13 How do They Spread?
- 14 What do They Look Like?
- 15 Common Symptoms
- 16 How Difficult is it to Find Them?
- 17 Where to Look for Them
- 18 Other Search Tips
- 19 Do They Leave Marks on the Mattress?
- 20 How Long Does it Take for Bites to Appear?
- 21 How Do the Bites Appear on the Skin?
- 22 Can I Get a Disease From a Bite?
- 23 What are Common Reactions to the Bites?
- 24 Do They Leave a Scent or Odor in the Room?
- 25 How Can I Keep Them Out When I Am Traveling?
- 26 Getting Rid of Them
- 26.1 Vacuum Daily
- 26.2 Stay in the Same Bed, Regardless of Infestation Status
- 26.3 Get a Mattress Cover That is Approved for Treating
- 26.4 Be Careful Who You Visit
- 26.5 Get Rid of All Clutter
- 26.6 Consider a Professional Exterminator
- 26.7 Extreme Cold Will Kill Them
- 26.8 Heat Will Also Do the Trick
- 26.9 Never Cover Your Mattress With Harsh Chemicals
- 27 Steps to Prevention
- 28 Facts
By DoMyOwn staff
How do people get Bed bugs in the first place? To some it seems like they just magically appear, and people are often left scratching their heads (and other areas…), confused and frustrated that they’ve wound up with a bed full of bugs. However, it is no mystery how bed bugs are spread from place to place; humans have helped spread bed bug infestations for hundreds of years.
How Bed Bugs Spread
The incorrect assumption is that dirty locations attract bed bugs and house bed bug populations. Although most dirty locations do attract a host of nasty insects that spread germs and contaminate areas, bed bugs are pleased with clean or dirty.
Bed bugs are able to spread via human travel and movement. The unique flattened and small round shaped of the bed bug allows them to hide just about anywhere they can squeeze.
They hitch rides onto the fabrics of furniture, mattresses, luggage, clothing, etc., where they ride until they find a suitable host area, like your bedroom. This is where bed bugs can establish populations, which they can accomplish fairly quickly.
Where You Can Get Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are most often found in homes, apartment buildings, college dormitories, and hotels, which are all places with consistent hosts at rest for bed bugs to feed. But bed bugs have also been found in daycares, movie theatres, and even city buses; these places generally don’t have large established populations, but bed bugs can be picked up and transferred from people resting in these areas. Since people are constantly rotating in these spaces, bed bugs can be deposited and picked up on clothing, bags, and purses and taken home.
Bed bugs hiding in furniture, mattresses, and other items you might bring into your home is another common way of picking up these little hitchhikers.
Since bed bugs are hitchhikers, they travel commonly by luggage. Hotels and motels, no matter how clean or shining the reputation, can be susceptible to bed bug infestations. This is one of the most common ways people get bed bugs, when the bed bugs hitch a ride back to the traveler’s home.
Steps to Prevent Getting Bed bugs
- Never bring in upholstered furniture, bed frames, mattresses, or box springs found on the street into your home.
- Check all borrowed, rented, or second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring them into your home. Check all cracks and crevices, even in wooden furniture.
- The best way to prevent the spreading of bed bugs when traveling is to check the rooms before you stay in hotels. The nicest and cleanest hotels can be infested. Don’t place luggage on the ground, and inspect mattress, box spring, headboard, etc., for bedbugs before spending a night in your room.
- If you suspect you’ve been around bed bugs, inspect your clothing and any items you had with you before entering your home. If bedbugs are found, launder items immediately or place in plastic bags until further treatment can be carried out with products like Sterifab.
- Even if you don’t have bedbugs, seal cracks and crevices in your bedroom with caulk. Door and window frames, baseboards, floorboards, etc., should all be sealed to eliminate bed bug hiding spots. You can even seal cracks and crevices in bedroom furniture. Consider using a bed bug mattress cover, a box spring encasement, and even bed bug pillow covers to prevent bed bugs from taking residence in these items.
- To do your part in preventing the spread of bed bugs, if you have to throw away any infested items, make sure to cover them in plastic if possible. Always place signs on the items stating that the items are infested in bed bugs. Never donate infested items.
If you already have a Bed bug infestation, read our article: How to Get Rid of Bed bugs
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How to get rid of bed bugs — the signs that say you have them, and how to prevent them
Bites, blood spots on the bed sheets, black spots on the mattress. these are all signs of a bed bug infestation
- 14:15, 20 AUG 2018
- Updated 16:15, 20 AUG 2018
Ugh, the slow-dawning and horrifying realisation that you have bed bugs.
The tiny bloodsucking creatures love to live in the crevices between bed frames and mattresses.
Bedbugs feed exclusively on blood, crawling out from their hiding places at night to bite you. They aren’t thought to transmit diseases, though.
Bedbugs tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic and metal, and often hide near to where you sleep – for example, under the mattress or along the headboard.
They can surprise you though — by hanging out away from the bed in other furniture, along the edges of carpets and even behind mirrors — or inside smoke alarms.
Although difficult to get rid of, it’s not impossible. Here’s a guide to working out if you’ve got bed bugs, and how to treat the problem as soon as possible.
How can I tell if I have bed bugs?
The quicker you can act to treat the problem, the easier it will be, so look out for these seven signs:
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are nocturnal, but they prefer to feed on a deeply sleeping host, which for human beings is in the few hours before sunrise.
These appear as itchy, red welts that can be flat on the skin or raised.
The majority of bites will appear on the chest or back, neck, hands, feet or face. However, bed bugs can bite any area of exposed skin.
The bites tend to appear in clusters as they crawl around testing areas multiple times to find the best source of blood. So the bites can show up in groups, rows or zig-zag lines.
The bites may cause a rash or fluid-filled blisters. In more severe cases, they can become infected with bacteria if scratched – signs of infection include pain, increasing redness and swelling
How do I treat bed bug bites?
A mild steroid cream or antihistamine can help relieve itchy bites.
You might need antibiotics for worse reactions — see your GP if you experience pain, redness, swelling or other signs of infection.
Signs and symptoms of bed bugs
1. Blood stains on bedding
You’re not going to like this, but you do need to know about it: when you move in your sleep and squash a blood-filled bed bug that’s just fed, it’ll leave little blood smears on your sheets, duvet covers an pilowcases.
Still, at least you’re getting closer to the truth.
2. Bed bug poo stains
These look like black felt tip marks on fabric. Usually found on the edges of mattresses, or on bedsheets.
These stains are digested blood — the bed bugs’ fecal matter.
Again, sorry. Rest assured, it sounds grim, but it isn’t dangerous.
Wipe the stains with a wet rag — if they smear, you’ve got a positive sighting for bed bug faeces.
3. Bed bug eggs and egg shells
Female bed bugs can deposit one to five eggs a day, and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in a bed bug’s lifetime.
Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days.
This is why taking quick action to treat the problem is best.
Bed bug eggs are translucent to pearly white in color and when first laid, are coated in a shiny film to help them stick to surfaces.
Bed bug eggs are shaped like a grain of rice and very, very tiny – around 1mm. Still visible to the naked eye, but a magnifying glass helps.
Empty shells will be less shiny and look flattened.
They’re more likely to be find where the bed bugs are hiding, especially on rough wood or fabric surfaces.
4. Bed bugs’ shed skin (or shells)
Don’t let this spoil the classic cinema snack for you, but bed bug shells look like tiny, translucent popcorn kernels.
After hatching, the bed bug starts life as a nymph. They look like adult bed bugs, except they’re smaller and lighter in colour.
As they mature, they’ll shed their skin 5 times, once at each new stage of development.
Look for the evidence in the usual bed bug hangout joints – box springs, mattresses, wooden furniture and framing, and so on.
5. What do bed bugs look like?
Spotting an adult bed bug going about its business in your home is one of the last ways you’ll become aware of an infestation, but it’s worth knowing what to look out for.
They’re brown, oval and flat, ranging in size from 4.5mm to as long as 7 or 8 mm when fed – approximately the size of an apple seed. They turn a reddish color after feeding — because they’re then swollen with blood.
6. The musty smell
You’ll know it if you ever sniff it — and your instincts will tell you it’s not good.
Bed bugs have glands that release pheromones when they’re disturbed, to warn the rest of the group.
The odour is musty and repellent.
Bad news: if you can smell them, you’ve got a severe infestation on your hands.
Slightly better news: if only a trained bed bug sniffing dog can find it, might be catching the problem early. Hopefully.
How to get rid of bugs
How to treat or kill bed bugs?
David Cross, Head of Technical Training at Rentokil Pest Control, has the following tips for treating bed bug bites:
“There are many natural remedies and ‘old wives tales’ on what you can use to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with bed bug bites. Below are just a few of these you may want to try after washing your bites with soap and water, and then drying»
- Calamine lotion: This relieves itching and also helps to dry rashes and protect the skin
- Baking soda and water: Make a paste with baking soda and water, and apply it directly to the skin. Let it dry before wiping away with a cotton pad
- Toothpaste: The menthol contained in toothpaste is said to be a good anti-itch remedy. Apply a generous amount to the bite to soothe the burning sensation and relieve the itching
- Witch Hazel: This provides a mild anaesthetic effect that helps to calm the itching caused by bites
- Aloe Vera: Both “fresh” Aloe Vera or gel works well against insect bites. The active substances and amino acids present in Aloe Vera help relieve itching and burning sensations
- Lemon juice: This has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also a natural astringent. Lemon juice can help dry rashes and itchiness while reducing redness and swelling”
Prevention and steps
1. Strip your bed
Apart from possibly leading to unpleasant skin reactions, the bed bug bites are also keeping the pests alive, as they feed on your blood.
If they can’t feed, they can’t breed, keeping the infestation alive.
Strip your bed of all sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding, and seal them in plastic garbage bags to keep bed bugs from escaping and infesting other parts of your home.
Take the bags straight to the washing machine, and wash them using the hot water setting.
Then, dry the bedding on high heat if their tags allow it. This heat treatment will kill any bed bugs or eggs hiding in your bedding.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any bed bugs, shells, fecal droppings, or eggs that might be along the seams of your mattress, pillows, box spring, and along the cracks and crevices in the bed frame, headboard, and footboard.
Follow up the vacuuming with a high-pressure steamer to kill bed bugs and eggs hidden deep within furniture.
While the mattress and box spring are left to dry, spray down the joints of the bed frame, headboard, and footboard with a contact spray and residual spray.
Once the mattress and box spring are dry, encase them in sealed bed bug encasements.
Move your bed away from any other points of contact, like walls, nightstands, and other furniture.
Tuck in or remove any hanging skirts or sheets, and remove any storage under the bed that is touching any part of the frame.
The only thing your bed should be touching is the floor via its legs. Place bed bug interceptors under each leg — they look like cups that the bed bugs fall into when trying to climb up the legs of the bed.
The cups will help you monitor how quickly the bed bug population in your home is dwindling as they lose access to feeding on your blood.
If your bed has a solid base rather than legs, you’re best off throwing it out.
3. Hunt and destroy all bed bugs in your home
Clothes, books, and other personal belongings shouldn’t be left on the floor, as they make treatment more difficult and add hiding places for bed bugs.
Seal them in garbage bags and store them in another room.
Any clothing that was picked up from the floor or removed from dresser drawers should be dried on high heat for at least 45 minutes.
Once treated, clothing that you don’t normally wear should be stored inside garbage bags outside of the infested room.
Then, vacuum and steam along baseboards, window sills, and the edge of the carpet.
Make sure you clean the vacuum and steam cleaners afterwards.
A portable bed bug heater can be used to clean items that can’t be washed or vacuumed, such as books, shoes or luggage.
You can also use bed bug sprays and powders to kill the pests in hard-to-reach areas.
Powders can be left undisturbed to do their work, but sprays will need to be reapplied every two weeks for a few months.
How do you get bed bugs?
Bed bugs can be transported easily in luggage, clothing and furniture.
Once in your home, they can quickly spread from room to room. They don’t jump or fly, but can crawl long distances.
Top tips to prevent bed bug infestations:
inspect your mattress and bed regularly for signs of an infestation, and get professional advice if you think you have bedbugs
avoid buying second-hand mattresses and carefully inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home
keep your bedroom tidy and remove clutter
Bedbugs aren’t attracted to dirt, so they’re not a sign of an unclean home, but clearing up any clutter will reduce the number of places they can hide.
Once treated, they should be dead within a few weeks, depending on the severity of the infestation.
How to Inspect and How to Treat Bed Bugs on Mattress
If you ever had to face a bed bug infestation in your home, you probably wonder how to save your mattress from the pesky bugs. And rightly so, mattresses can be crazy expensive even without having to change them every couple of years.
The solution, of course, is to treat the bed bugs on the mattress and salvage your investment. The bed is usually the first and most common place that gets attacked by the insects. This guide will give you a deep understanding on how bed bugs enter your home, what attracts them, how to treat a mattress that’s infested by the bed bugs and how to prevent any further bed bug problems.
How Do Bed Bugs Get on Your Mattress?
Bed bugs may infest your mattress by getting to your bed from many different places. They want to be as close to you while remaining hidden and safe, so that’s why they choose the mattress in the first place. The most common sources of bed bugs are related to travelling or bringing home items that have been previously owned by someone else, like second-hand furniture, for example.
Some of the most common sources of bed bugs are:
- Clothing or luggage
- Motels and resorts
- Movie theaters
- Parks and other public places
- Boxes and packaging
- Bedding of any type
- Used Furniture
- Purses and backpacks
There are also other factors that lead to an increased chance of ending up with bed bugs on your mattress such as: poor hygiene; dirty sheets and dirty laundry. This, though, doesn’t mean the insects are attracted only to dirty clothing and covers, it’s absolutely possible to have an infestation even if your home is very clean and tidy. It just means that if your home is a mess it gives additional hiding grounds for the bug.
You should inspect your luggage after every trip or your rooms after guests.
By nature, bed bugs are nocturnal, so they are most active during the nights and are usually attracted by the warmth and carbon dioxide emitted from a person’s body. This is why usually furniture such as beds are infested.
How to Know You Have Bed Bugs in the Bed
It’s not that hard to notice that your mattress has been infested but sometimes there might be confusion if bed bugs are responsible for things such as itchy bite marks. To be sure that bed bugs are in fact the insects that are hiding under your bed, check for any of the following signs of a bed bug infestation:
- Red, itchy bite marks on the body (mind that 70% of the people do not react to the bed bug bites)
- Dark, brown faecal stainings on the mattress
- Coriander smell in the room
- Blood stains on the sheet or pillows
- Small white eggshells under the mattress and the box-spring
- Live bed bugs
How to Inspect a Bed for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a common problem in rented flats because many people rent and vacate them. It is such a common problem that landlords have started putting clauses in their leases to specify who is responsible for a bed bug treatment.
You can inspect your house for bed bugs on your own. See what are the sings of a bed bug infestation to look out for.
Some of the signs are dead or alive bed bugs, egg shells, brown or red spots on your bed sheets.
Where you have to inspect: your bed including the mattress, headboard, box springs; carpet and walls near the bed; nightstands, even power sockets near the bed. But also don’t forget to take a look around your upholstered furniture where you spend a lot of time on. Armchairs and sofas can be infested, too.
This is why if you know how to detect them, you will be able to prevent a potential infestation. This video will show you how to inspect your own bed or a bed at a hotel for bed bugs.
Inspect less common hiding places.
In order to be as thorough as possible, you should check as much of the room as you can. Yes, bed bugs have their favourite hiding spots, and that’s where their name comes from, however, they can be hiding in many more places. Some other places to check would be: curtains, wardrobe, dresser, around lamps, behind wallpaper, in the corners of the room, behind pictures or other decorative items in the room, especially if they are close to the bed.
* You can do this check your own home or at a hotel that you are staying at.
What Kills Bed Bugs in the Mattress Instantly
Home remedies for bed bugs have proven to be efficient only at the early stages of the infestation when their numbers are small. If the insects are already everywhere around the premises of your home, getting rid of the bugs requires a more professional approach to the situation. This means arranging either a heat treatment or comprehensive insecticide treatment for the bed bugs on the mattress and the rooms – both are good but vary in price, effectiveness, methodology and required time.
Heat treatment is a very effective and fast way to get rid of bed bugs on the mattress and in the entire room actually! It usually guarantees 100% eradication of the insects, if it’s done professionally. The good thing about this pest extermination process is that bed bugs, no matter their life stage, are very vulnerable to the temperature of 56°C – it kills them in a short time, usually a couple of hours.
Mind that in order to provide full safety, pets, electronics and soft synthetic fabrics should be removed from the room that is going to be heat treated.
The whole extermination process takes about 4-6 hours per room, based on the size of the property that needs to be treated.
Insecticides have been used for many years as a method of pest control against bed bugs. The substances that are used for bed bugs extermination now are very advanced and will have no impact on your health as long as you follow the instructions of the pest technicians.
Three types of insecticides are most popular and are still being used as the common method of bed bugs control:
Fast-acting, contact insecticide is used primarily for furniture that people touch rarely. Cypermethrin is a fast-acting insecticide.
Residual insecticide is applied deep into furniture that we usually have contact with, such as sofas. Most popular residual insecticides are aerosol sprays.
Dust insecticide is used on surfaces have cracks and crevices where bed bugs will tend to hide. Such surfaces are floors, ceilings, behind cabinets, refrigerators and sinks. The diatomaceous earth is a type of dust insecticide that is widely used but it requires a proper application.
You can read more on how we proceed with the bed bug treatment service we offer. How long it takes and what are all the steps from booking the service to getting rid of the bed bugs. The good thing about professional control is that you don’t have to do any research nor to get your hands “dirty” — everything’s up to the professional exterminator.
Do not underestimate the value and importance of laundering all sheets and beddings when you’re dealing with bed bugs.
How to Prevent Further Bed Bug Infestations of Your Mattress
How to prevent bed bugs from getting into your mattress:
Thankfully, you can get bed bug covers or “encasements”, as they are more commonly referred to. Use them to completely cover a mattress and its box-spring and prevent bed bugs from getting into the seams and folds of the fabric. Buying a bed bug cover when you first grab your mattress can potentially save you a lot of money. Why you may ask? Because in case of an infestation you won’t have to replace your expensive mattress.
When buying a mattress encasement, make sure to look for a couple of key features:
- Strong Stitching: The mattress should be able to withstand wear and tear without ripping over time. If the stitching rips off, that will allow easy access for the bed bugs!
- Tight Zippers: The zipper teeth should be tight and not allow for any potential penetration by a bed bug.
- Waterproof: On top of preventing bed bug infestations, a good cover can also protect your mattress from liquid spills. Keep an eye out for this feature!
- Cotton Material: Having cotton as your top layer can help reduce that “crinkle” noise and keep you a bit cooler at night as an alternative to cheaper polyester fabrics that heat up very quickly.
For more information about picking out a bed bug mattress cover check out this in-depth guide.
Here are a few simple precautions that can help prevent bed bug infestation in your home:
- Don’t leave luggage on the bed. Inspect it outside first;
- Get a protective mattress cover for bed bugs. Encase your mattress and box spring with it to minimize the possible hiding places;
- Don’t bring home used furniture or bedding;
- What cannot be washed on high temperature, vacuum it;
- Declutter your home – this reduces the number of hiding spots for bed bugs;
- Keep pets out of bed bug-infested-rooms. The insects will feed on them when they don’t use humans for sustenance.
Bed bugs hide close to their food source – you.
Bed Bug Symptoms
Bed bugs have made resurgence in the world in recent years. These nasty little bloodsuckers are disgusting and can be troublesome to anyone that comes in contact with them. In fact, this problem is considered a national epidemic. Even fine four-star hotels have found themselves facing infestations. In ancient times only the wealthiest families would find themselves to have them because these people had the warmest homes.
What are They?
This bug is a member of the Hemiptera family. The mouthpieces are made for piercing and sucking. There are at least 92 known species of them in the world today, including those based in tropical locations like Florida. This bug not only feasts on humans; it likes chickens and bats as well.
These bugs are parasites that don’t discriminate. They don’t care if you live in the most expensive house in the most expensive neighborhood in your town or in a cardboard box under a bridge. They are bloodsuckers. You are a human and you have blood therefore you are a candidate for this parasite’s next meal.
They are a bigger nuisance than mosquitoes or flies because they are more difficult to get rid of. If you have ever suffered through a flea infestation in your home, you know how difficult it is to get rid of them and how much work it entails. Getting rid of them is much more difficult.
How are They Different?
They cannot fly or hop. They simply crawl wherever they want to go. They crawl anywhere, including up walls and across ceilings. To get into different homes and hotels these nasty little parasites tend to hitchhike rides on your clothing, in your purse, or other pieces of luggage. Once in their new home they will crawl into your couch or sofa or the mattress on your bed. They can even make a home in that nice pile of blankets you have folded in your closet.
Have Bed Bug Problems?
These little insect vampires do not live on or in humans. They simply feed off of us and then head back to their home to rest and digest our blood. These tiny pests feed about once a week and it takes only five to ten minutes of sucking your blood to fill them up. The female will lay five to ten eggs immediately after feasting.
How do They Spread?
These bugs multiply by what is called traumatic insemination. This means the male bug slices through the female’s abdomen and inserts his semen directly into her body cavity.
The fertilized female will then remove herself from the population to a safer location so she will not run the risk of being further injured. It is in this place that the female will lay her eggs.
What do They Look Like?
They are sort of round or oval and are flat. They have six legs and on their head they have two mouthpieces, which are used to pierce the skin and then suck blood similar to sucking through a straw. Their color ranges from straw colored to dark red or mahogany in color to even dark brown.
The six legs are well developed and allow these critters to climb up vertical surfaces such as a wall or window although they struggle when climbing glass. Their upper body is crinkly like paper and hairy.
They cannot fly but have what are considered “half-wings” They have front wings that are basically scales. They have two eyes with approximately 30 facets in each. A male bug is easy to distinguish from a female because the male has an abdomen that comes to a sharp point and females have a rounded abdomen.
The first thing to do if you suspect you have an infestation is to know what they look like. The adults are brown and sort of round shaped, flat and about a quarter of an inch in length. When they have had your blood for dinner they are a dark-red color and increase in size to about three eighths of an inch.
Usually when a person suspects an infestation it is because they wake up in the morning with a bite mark of some sort on their body. If it is just one mark, chances are you had a sleep encounter with a spider of some sort.
Many bite marks that are itchy could be signs of a stray mosquito in your bedroom. They can be difficult to find in the daytime so you may have to look around for a while.
Many small, red bite marks on your upper body can indicate you are the host of a bug brothel. If you tend to have several small bite marks on your legs and feet this can mean you have a flea infestation instead.
You may not always see them. They can hide under carpeting, between walls, under flooring and other dark places. Their favorite place to call home is soft, cushiony places that are dark. When a home first contracts them they may not be seen until the population grows.
How Difficult is it to Find Them?
It may be very difficult to find them at first. Don’t be fooled though. You can see them…eventually. As the population multiplies they are easier to find. These nasty little bloodsuckers don’t like coming out during the day, just like vampires.
As the infestation grows it is not only easier to see them during the day, they begin leaving their mark on everything. You may notice a dark line, particularly in the crevices of your mattress. If you have light-colored furniture you can also see the dark lines they leave behind during their travels.
If you think you have an infestation you can test your suspicions by sleeping on a white sheet. In the morning, check the sheet for little dots of blood. This is not any blood; it’s your blood. These parasites actually inject a secretion into your skin before feeding and this can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Where to Look for Them
They like to hide in certain places. If you suspect you have an infestation but can’t see the nasty little suckers on your mattress, you should strip all of the sheets and covers from your mattress. Next, flip up your mattress and check the top of the box springs.
If you still don’t see anything, flip up the box spring to check the underside. They like to hang upside down on the bottom of box springs. Once you have removed the mattress and box springs are removed from the bed frame check the frame thoroughly especially in the corners.
Another place to look aside from the bed is your dresser drawers. If you do have an infestation they are likely in your clothing as well as your bedding. Pull out your drawers and look in the crevices of the drawer as well as the crevices inside the shell of the dresser.
No matter how infested your home is, they can be difficult to see. Remember, they are tiny creatures. When an infestation is bad enough you will be able to see clusters of them on top of your mattress.
Other Search Tips
Another way you can see them is to inspect your mattress and other furniture at night with a red light only.
Other places to look are dark areas such as behind wallpaper that has lifted, in curtains or drapes, in stoves and ovens or any other unused appliances throughout the house, behind switch plates for your switches and outlet covers and under the tack strips of carpeting. Basically, these insects can live anywhere in your home.
Because it is possible for them to have a host other than a human host, it is necessary to make sure you caulk and seal all openings or cracks and crevices to your home. You need to ensure no rodents enter your home carrying a hitchhiking bug.
Do They Leave Marks on the Mattress?
Yes. They leave their mark behind. The first, and most obvious sign, is their waste. As gross as it sounds, it’s one of the telltale signs of bed bugs. This waste consists of different things such as blood, fecal matter, skin shed, eggs and other dead bugs.
This type of waste will show up as dark spots on the mattress, especially in the crevices or on the box springs. The waste can also be found in other areas of the bedroom or house where these little nuisances like to live.
In early infestation, are found mostly along the seams of a mattress as well as the tufts. As time goes by and the population increases, they move out and on to bigger and better spaces. They prefer to gather on rough surfaces and harbor on wood or paper surfaces.
How Long Does it Take for Bites to Appear?
These bugs only need to feed once a week so they can be difficult to diagnose. In addition, each person reacts differently to the bites and still others have no response at all.
Most people will show signs of a bite in the morning after getting the bite. The initial bite presents as a red welt similar to a mosquito bite but smaller.
Other people are very allergic to the bites and will have a severe rash-like symptom. Still others may have a delayed reaction and not show welts for several days. It can even take up to ten days for some people to show bite marks.
For some unknown reason it is unlikely for people over the age of 65 to get bitten by one or have a reaction to their bites. A survey conducted found that 42% of people over the age of 65 either did not have any bites or did not have any reaction to the bites despite living in an infested area.
How Do the Bites Appear on the Skin?
The bites tend to appear in rows of three or four and are very itchy. There are a couple of theories on why the bites appear in rows.
First, there is a theory that they feed while you are sleeping and when you move or twitch and the bug will remove its mouthparts from your skin. When you stop moving the bug crawl a short distance and bites again; this can result in one bug leaving several bites in a row.
Another theory is that you lay on a crease in your sheets and there are several bugs in that crease. As you lay there the bugs bite at the same time which leaves a row of bite marks.
Just because you have several bites this does not dictate the number of bugs you have. The theories above just show ways in which you can have rows of bite marks.
Can I Get a Disease From a Bite?
There have been around 30 disease pathogens found in these bugs, but none of these diseases have ever been transmitted to a human from a bite. It is considered highly unlikely that they transmit diseases. The only medical worry is the itching and swelling caused by the bites.
Another report claims that they are capable of spreading blood infesting disease organisms that can affect the nervous system and digestive system. Children who live in an infested household tend to become listless and pale.
Some disease organisms found include anthrax, plague, typhus, tularemia, yellow fever and relapsing fever.
What are Common Reactions to the Bites?
The first, and most annoying, part of a bite is the intense itching. The actual bite itself looks like a small, red, raised welt most commonly found on the upper body although you can get a bite anywhere.
Some people may have no reaction whatsoever to a bite. Other people may have a delayed reaction and not have any signs or symptoms of a bite for several days. There are a few people who are extremely allergic to the bites and will have a severe reaction.
In cases of allergy, the bites can be extremely swollen and itchy. In this case, a person may need to visit his/her personal physician in order to get steroid cream or a steroid injection to decrease the allergic reaction.
Do They Leave a Scent or Odor in the Room?
In a heavily infested room you will notice a sweet, musty smell that is obnoxious. The smell is most often the strongest under the headboard and mattress. People have equated the smell to that of rotten raspberries mixed with moldy shoes. Yuck!
As it is possible to have these insects in other parts of your home, you can have this musty smell anywhere in your house where there is furniture or pictures on the walls. They like to follow their hosts, and they will follow you. Wherever you are, that’s where they will be.
This odor is caused by an oily secretion emitted by the bugs.
How Can I Keep Them Out When I Am Traveling?
There are some simple steps you can take to ensure you don’t take the chance of bringing them into your home when you return from a trip.
First, you should never set your suitcase or any clothing or shoes on the floor of the hotel room. Instead, keep them in the bath tub, on the toilet or on the clean counter top.
Before you lay your head down to rest for the night, be sure to pull the blankets and sheets down and check the mattress for any bug waste (remember the dark lines). If you want to be really thorough you should check in the dresser drawers and under the mattress and box springs.
Spots and stains on the mattress can indicate infestation but will not tell you if it is present or in the past.
If you are in your own vehicle, make sure you put your luggage in large plastic bags. When you get home, immediately take your suitcase and clothing to the washer and place your clothing directly in the washer. Wash your clothing in hot water and dry them on high heat for at least 30 minutes.
After removing your clothing from your suitcase you need to put the suitcase in the garage for a day or two in case you do have any residual hitchhikers. If you do not have a garage you need to keep your suitcase outside for a couple of days.
You should also remove the clothing you are wearing and wash and dry it with the clothing that was in your suitcase. This will ensure you have gotten rid of any unwanted guests before you get an infestation.
If you were in your own vehicle when traveling you need to vacuum the seats and trunk of the car and then immediately throw the vacuum bag away. If you have a bag-less vacuum you should empty the container in the trash and then immediately take the trash bag out to the dumpster.
Getting Rid of Them
There are several things you can do to get rid of them rather than calling the exterminator.
Also vacuum your mattress and furniture at least once a week. This is a good practice because it will also remove dust mites and skin mites.
Stay in the Same Bed, Regardless of Infestation Status
If you move throughout the house, so will these bugs. They use the carbon dioxide you exhale as a sort of honing beacon to tell them where you have gone and how to get to you for their next meal. They have trouble sensing you if you are further than five feet away from them.
They may be small, but they are fast! They can move up to 30 feet in six minutes. Moving to different spots in the house will just make your infestation more widespread.
Get a Mattress Cover That is Approved for Treating
This mattress cover should completely encase both the mattress and the box springs and should zip tightly closed. For added protection you can cover the zipper area with duct tape or masking tape. Mattress covers are not a solution, but they will allow you to sleep without getting bites and will assist you in getting the problem under control.
Be Careful Who You Visit
Never decide just to stay at someone else’s house. You could potentially spread the bugs to your friends or family.
Get Rid of All Clutter
They love to live in dark places. The more clutter you have in your home the more likely you are to have great difficulty getting an infestation under control.
Consider a Professional Exterminator
They are going to charge you a small fortune to get rid of the infestation, but you will get a guarantee with a professional. There are several treatments you can purchase to get rid of the pests yourself but you may find that these products just make them go into hiding for a period of time and then come back out when the coast is clear.
If you do decide to use a professional exterminator, ask him/her if they have a bug sniffing dog. There are an increasing number of K-9s that can sniff out these little pests. Be aware that the cost of using a K-9 to sniff them out can be expensive, but has been shown to be 97% effective.
Today, these bugs are generally resistant to all types of pesticides so getting rid of them can be extremely challenging.
Extreme Cold Will Kill Them
If you are suffering from infestation in one room in your home you can close off that room and open the windows in the winter. The adults will die in a matter of hours while the eggs will take 30 to 50 days to die. During all stages of their lives they have the potential to live for five days in 14°F temperatures.
Heat Will Also Do the Trick
Temperatures of 97°F to 99°F will kill a large amount of infestations although certain thermal death occurs around 111°F to 113°F.
If you have a large infestation you can get the temperature in your home up to 140°F for an hour or 120°F for a couple of hours.
This will normally eliminate almost all infestations. Keep in mind you may have to do this once per week for a period of time in order to eradicate the infestation entirely.
Use a steam cleaner to clean your mattress paying extra attention to the creases and crevices in the mattress itself. You can put your mattress in a sauna at 170°F to kill the bugs.
Never Cover Your Mattress With Harsh Chemicals
Instead, use baby powder or other talcum powder. They have great difficulty surviving in fine powder.
Steps to Prevention
- Keep all wood piles and debris away from your house.
- Make sure to trim the weeds and other growth that are next to the foundation of your home.
- Keep garbage to a minimum to keep rodents away.
- Seal cracks and crevices in your siding and around windows to ensure no rodent can enter.
- Make sure your attic and crawl space is well lit and has air circulation while not being accessible to rodents.
- Vacuum your house daily.
- Wash your bed linens weekly.
- Dust at least once a week.
- Store mattresses in protected areas.
- Fumigate any mattress that has been in storage with carbon dioxide before using them.
- Cover all drawers and outlets as well as all mattresses with a light coating of baby powder or other talcum powder.
- Nymphs feed on their human host for about three minutes.
- Adults feed on their human hosts for 10 to 15 minutes.
- They easily survive six or more months between feedings.
- In cooler climates, they live over one year without feeding.
- They live over 18 months without oxygen.
- They feed on other hosts including household pets, birds, poultry, and bats.
- They travel more than 100 feet to get their next meal.
- A nymph matures to adulthood in four weeks.
- The life cycle of is three to 18 months, depending on the circumstances. For example, heat will shorten their life. In addition, a minimal amount of food will decrease their life span.
- One report showed a female lived for 565 days without food.
- A recent study was conducted in Vancouver, Canada where five bugs were smashed to see if they had diseases.Three of the five were found to be carrying the super bug MRSA, or methicillin resistant staph aureus. This is the bacterium that is resistant to almost all antibiotics.The other two bugs had another type of bacteria known as VRE or vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium. This is another type of antibiotic resistant bacterium but it is less serious than MRSA.
- The center of an infestation is normally the sleeping area for human hosts.
- Once they find a host they normally do not travel far.
Armed with your new information you are better prepared to not only prevent them from entering your home, but you will be able to recognize even the earliest signs.
The most important step is to take action at the first sign of infestation. There are many things you can try to get rid of these pesky little critters as well as things you can do to prevent getting them. Keeping your home bed bug free means you won’t ever experience their bite.
Thanks for all the very useful information. Its disgusting but useful.
Baby powder suffocates them. Wintergreen rubbing alcohol kills them on contact ! Using tea tree oil around the edges of each room and outside edges of building will keep them at bay . I am a neat freak and clean freak and still got them gross lil buggers . I also heard high heat in a room kills them off as well .
Thank You for the info, it has truly been helpful, and it really works. as for me myself I noticed something. Was wrong because I felt so drained and tried to the point that I thought it was due to chronic fatigue because I work so much putting in many hours a day and to add to the problem I’m one of those people who don’t have any reaction to being bitten so it was very hard to discover what was the root of the problem that all changed once I finally saw one and I knew from there exactly what it was”The Cursed Bed Bug” I went away from a vacation and didn’t come back alone the thing is at the hotel I was staying in the buggers didn’t feed on me there they waited until I came home and settled in to begin my life of working long hours a day to enjoy the things I want out of life and that’s when it started on my rest day I work everyday accept on Sundays which I sleep in all day to start a new on Monday or the following week but I could not shake the feeling of being so drained and tried I was not myself anymore and I didn’t know why until I finally saw one… But now with the help of tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol and I used the raid bed bug killer I’m slowly but surely KILLING THEM and getting my life back it is and was a nightmare come true… I thought it was just a saying Good Night Sleep Tight And Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite… From my childhood days… Was I And Many Others Soooo Wrong… Thanks Again and I hope my story can help someone else find a piece of mind and get there life back by killing them slowly… Take Care Rich
my cousin mellisa has bed bugs underneath her skin, i have no idea how to get read of them please reply at my email ([email protected])
scabies live under the skin
My Cousin, Mellisa, has Bed Bugs underneath her skin. I have no idea how to get rid of them. Please reply at my email…etc… There, that’s better!
Bed Bugs Do Not live under your skin. They bite you and suck your blood but Do Not live under your skin! It sounds more like Scabies that do live under your skin. I would go see a Dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis.
I seem to have scabies and bed bugs at the same time.
Can’t understand how that happened.
I found an almost full grown bed bug and eggs when cleaned my butt tonight. Mind you I don’t know if this is possible, I had been itchy in my behind since last autumn, the doctor even looked last spring said didn’t see anything, and have been scratching almost continuously. Is it possible they’ve been there that long, but had no bites until 3 weeks ago and never saw one?
I also saw tons of black hard oval little dots on bed, looks like eggs, but not bedbug eggs.
Maybe the bites are only scabies, but have been looking at everything like crazy and that is why I saw the bed bug?
I am so freaked out.
Maybe the bedbug is feeding on the scabies.
Loaded my bottom with baby powder, thanks for the info… whatever was moving down there isn’t moving anymore….
Never had anything like this…. and I really hate bugs too…. so you can only imagine how freaked out I am.
Thanks all for taking the time to post.
That information was quite helpful I have been bitten by some of them and I swelled up bigger than a mosquito.
When they bite do they leave their nasty smell behind?
I would really like to hear a reply to the comment about bugs under her skin. I have been feeling sick and tired all the time lately ever since my roommate and I had bedbugs. I feel this is getting worse. im so frustrated andstressed out idk where to turn. my dr acted like it was no big deal and said no diseases can be transmitted by bites. Please help me.
actually they do transfer disease its rare but if feces gets into and opening like u wipe your eye or mouth without knowing it is on your hand or skin and it enters your body, due to the overwhelming epidemic spread throughout the us, a lot are denying this fact of infection, as for the bugs under the skin, I have never heard of this nor am I an expert but have experienced 4x of bed bugs which they also deny. They say there is only three species of the bed bug, when at the moment in new york there is actually a new type of looking bed bug not like any other normal ones that are ¼ inch long, oval, reddish-brown, and wingless. Their body is very flat, and they possess long, slender legs and antennae. The new ones in new york which is spreading and multiplying extremely fast has a round butt body and are not flat and dont look like a squashed oval roach, yet new york exterminators who dont know how to rid of them correctly state they are in fact bed bugs even though they dont fit the description. The bites are exact the same and the trauma is exact the same, which is three or four bites in a row usually yet can be less or more. Now after you experience bed bug trauma, not only do you experience it but your skin does too. So after they are long gone and nothing is crawling on you for many months after you will feel as if things are still crawling on you/in you. If you are feeling sick and I hope due to my late response you are in fact ok. Please find a bug specialist doctor who knows what they are talking about. I wish all the best of luck with ridding of these nasty disgusting pests. Twice I dealt with them by moving into other peoples houses. It is about the right exterminator to rid of the problem for good several times and is not cheap. Remember if its free it will not rid of your problem.
My friend has a very bad problem wst I font know nobody knows wst it is we need help w a professional will come in and inspect they want to put her in the physco ward they think she us crazy. No she not. She lost all her clothes she lost all her furniture cause of this bed bug or watever it is that’s going on. Please help us. A friend
yes you can get diseses from bed bug bites :p
i was wondering if these bedbugs bites can causes muscle spasms in adults and what kind of sickness would it be like a flue or some thing else and what kind of nerve damaged could it be in the adults and could it make the skin pigment to be eating on its self or not so i am just wondering and if any one can help me out with this please do so
I am getting bit by something at night.
But I am the only one with bites. My wide doesn’t have any.
This has been happening for about 5 years and only for a couple weeks at the end of June.
They bite for a couple weeks and then they are gone.
Should have said where you live. Where do you live?
Is there clear liquid with a bubble or yellowish liquid ?
My doctor diagnosed me with scabies before we discovered a houseguest gave us a gift of bedbugs. During that time, I was told to buy Nix or other drugstore treatment for lice. The active ingredient starts with “pyr—“…Instead of following the package directions, leave it on your whole body from the neck down, for 12-14 hours, then strip your bed, wash the sheets and clothing in very hot water, and enjoy a long hot shower. I discovered that the exterminator used the same active ingredient on our bedbug problem, and ai also discovered that while I gave myself the treatment, it resulted in dead bedbugs. Good luck…I sincerely hope this works for you.
Jackie, did you rub the contents of the live shampoo all over you!? And only for 12 hours. How did this kill the bug itself! Is it because when feeding it ate the pest!?
I went to my friends house who knows she has bed bugs and stood in there for about 5 mins then we walked to cafe for coffee, i hugged her as we left and walked home. Later that evening about 7 hours since seeing her i itched my arm and found a little bite nark and as i itched more 5 more became noticable. They were skin coloured raised bumps and the skin around was red where i was itching and in the morning they were red! Straight away i took off all my clothes and threw them in the wash and hopped in the shower. Now i am so oaranoid i bought home a bed bug on my clothes and my whoke house is going to get infested as i will never find one bedbug until the problem gets bigger. I was sitting on my sofa and cleaning my whole house inbetween seeing my friend and finding the bites so if one was on my clothes it could be anywhere in my house. I took all the cushions off my sofa and sprayed all over with flea spray but im still so paranoid that there is this one bed bug in my house laying eggs and im not gonna know about it for weeks!
Why is there no edit button? This webpage is not zoomable THUS too tiny to read.
my bites are big like a mosquito. All over my body and still itching 2 weeks pass the beginning. Immediately left the house where I receive them after staying there for 2 nights since I have had no new bites just the same first ones are still itching two weeks since it started the doctor said bed bug bites are you sleeping here. I also had videos about the night it happened and the exterminator said it was a baby cockroach but on this website the picture they have of a bug looks like what I had videotaped.
My question seems picky but as you know these little devils ARE in the details…: I read “How Long Does It Take Bites To Appear” with great interest and I really appreciate the information above. But now I need to know: can one person have some bites appear immediately and others appear a week later? Or does each person have a specific reaction? It’s important because I have been home from the hotel for a week and assuming that “new bites” means that I need to treat for an active infestation in my home. (Sob.) I.e., I had a few bites show up right away in the hotel, and a few more the next day, but in the week since then I have had many, many dozen bites show up daily. I assume(d) that that means that I need(ed) to treat for live bugs in my home (exhausting!). But I have yet to see a bug or any other signs (spots on sheets or bed) even though I examined my bed and suitcase with a magnifying glass. And my husband (who was not with me at the hotel) has not had any bites. So: am I treating for an infestation that does not really exist? THANKS for any input.
I wish I could tell you!! I’m experiencing the same thing now. About 8 days after returning home from a camp trip in a cabin and a night in a hotel. First bites didn’t present until 5 days later and now I’m covered/miserable. Hubs doesn’t have any bites since I returned home, but I’m terrified I brought them home because I didn’t wash until a few days later. Any advice. What did you end up doing?
My pest control technician just came to inspect my house since a lot of bites showed up after I stayed at a hotel, and then more kept showing up randomly days later. I’ve had difficulties sleeping because I keep thinking I’m being bitten, but I can’t see anything. She said the bite marks can continue to show up for 2 weeks AFTER being bitten. My house was clean, phew!
I had my place treated for bed bugs as i had bites. I keep a very clean place so i was shocked to find 2 or 3 bed bugs on box spring after i lifted my mattress . The itch is what brought my attention. So i had a person come down and fumigate. 4 days later 1 rash on hand which is clearly a bit developing. can these bites be from before the fumigating and just took this long to show signs or do you think the exterminator did a bad chemical treatment?
I have bed bugs.. I don’t think k it is bad now but what can I do to help it not spread threw the rest of the house I dont have money for exterminator
I had my friend in my car the next day I started iching with bumps she say she got mosquitos in her apartment is it possible she gave me bed bugs I just got my apartment spray for bed bugs now I am getting the same night she get out my car
Do the bedbugs leave their heads inside of you after they bite you? How long do they lay on you after they bite?
Ticks embed their heads inside your body when they bite. When they are removed from a dog or such, if you are not careful you can leave part of them in your body when you remove them.
However, bedbugs do not like heat, so other than feeding on your blood, they prefer to hide elsewhere & are not likely to stick in your hair or stay on your body for extended periods of time.
No idk all I know is my body is tore up now from these horrible bite marks
They keep their heads on and after they feast they usually go to the nearest crease, such as couches, box springs, mattresses, etc.
Hello I’m suffering with bites all over my body they are causing me to bleed and swell up and I’m the only one in the house getting infected what should I do.. also the house was treated 3 time and still I’m getting bitten. What should I do it’s hurting and burning when I scrat
I stayed at a Holiday Inn in Johnson City Friday Night a week ago. I woke Saturday Morning this week itching like crazY. I totally think it’s bedbugs. I took a video with my phone of a tiny red bug running along the white sheets. THEN I smooshed it and there was a blood spot.. that’s all a blood spot. Bedbug came to mind, but not knowing much about them I wasn’t sure.
NOW I am. I read the bites can show up 10 days later. I itch like crazy, tried epsom salts, lemon, aloe.. everything. UGH. Some are swollen really huge, and my hand is covered. It traveled either from my neck down my chest and down my arm to my fingers, or vice versa. GROSS.
I stayed at a hotel in Arkansas feeling just fine. But when I woke up, I was groggy, scratched my lower torso, and felt bumps! They were large, raised, and white (pretty similar to a mosquito bite). Through the day they started to turn into red splotches, in some spots they bruised into a deep purple (they , almost black in some areas. And after the first day, God, do they itch! The first encounter with the bumps happened Saturday morning, it’s now Tuesday morning, and I feel new, smaller bumps are appearing.
It’s frustrating because sometimes, when I’m stressed, I get rashes. Well, I’m definitely stressed and completely paranoid there are bugs following me or are still on me– maybe burrowing in me? I don’t know if I’ll ever feel relaxed again! I immediately bagged my luggage and washed them with boiling hot water once I got home last night. Dried them for two full, high heat settings. But I’m paranoid they’re still around. Is it truly just a rash? Are they still around and biting me? I don’t get large bumps like I had on Saturday, but small, itchy rashes, with little bumps, are forming on my inner forearms. What looks like inflamed cat scratches have appeared in the initial areas on my lower torso, there’s one on my lower back/buttocks as well. I’m not scratching hard enough to break the skin (I scratch with my knuckles), there shouldn’t be scratch marks. Is it scabies? Is it just part of the reaction to the bites, can some of them be delayed? Maybe the scratches are striae from my skin ballooning? Is it something else!?
The American healthcare system is garbage. I’m going to be so angry if it’s something that I can treat at home or with medication that can be bought OTC. I really am annoyed that I’ll be slapped with an $150 medical bill to go to an urgent care for something that could be potentially treated by myself. Hotels should really be held accountable for these matters– it’s disgusting! I’m going to job interviews and it’s really making things even more stressful than they need to be. I’m afraid to even shake people’s hand!
I live in a house with many many people and 2 dogs. I am moving I have noticed there is bedbugs so I have been putting my clothes in trash bags and taking them to the Laundromats and leaving them in a new trash bag at my mothers house till I can move I also put my flatscreen TV in a trash bag at my moms in her garage I am throwing away my bed my tables and plastic dressers away but Im really worried putting all the infested stuff in my car in bags sealed as best as I can get it. Im really worried I could end up getting them in my car.I don’t have alot of money how would I go about treating my car the best way that’s also pretty cheap?