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How Can I Tell If I Have Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs in bedBed bugs are mostly nocturnal insects, with their peak time of activity taking place very early in the morning. As a result, it can be hard to catch bed bugs in the act. One trick for detection is to check for an infestation by suddenly turning on the lights in the middle of the night and checking under bedding and pillows as the pests try to scurry out of sight. In general, bed bugs nest close to their feeding ground, preferring mattresses, headboards, and baseboards as their hiding places. Signs of a bed bug infestation include discarded empty exoskeletons, fecal matter, blood smears, and clusters of eggs close to the nesting and feeding area.

Infestation History

Bed bug infestations have been traced back thousands of years, with historical mention of them in ancient Greek and Roman writings. Throughout more recent centuries, bed bugs were mentioned in writings of the German, English and French. Though bed bugs were thought to be eradicated in the United States, and most of the developed world, in the mid-20th century, the pest population has had a resurgence in the last several decades and bed bug infestations have swept across the country.

Check Dark, Hidden Crevices

Because bed bugs are mostly nocturnal insects who are most active in the early morning hours, detection with the naked eye can be difficult. During feeding, bed bug bites are usually not noticed by sleeping victims until bites begin to itch and swell at a later time. Bed bug bites, besides the most common bite symptoms previously mentioned, can cause more serious health effects, including skin rashes, allergic reactions, and psychological effects.

The preferred hiding places of bed bugs include dark and hidden crevices, as well as mattresses, headboards, couches and baseboards. When bed bugs are not feeding and attached to their human hosts, they retreat to a hiding place not far away. By leaving chemical trails to and from the hiding places, they become a congregation and nesting ground for large groups of bed bugs. The most common ways to detect a bed bug infestation include signs of fecal spots, blood smears, empty exoskeletons, and the presence of eggs near the nesting site.

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