Reports of bed bug occurrences in homes and hotels have been on the rise in recent years. These small critters have developed quite the negative reputation, and for good reason. They feed on human flesh at night, are virtually undetectable during daytime hours (except of course in cases of major infestations), spread urine and feces wherever they go and multiply in number like the plague.
Bed bugs are far more annoying and prevalent than fleas, mosquitoes, spiders and any other household pest you can think of. That being said, many people fail to realize they even have a bed bug problem until it worsens, namely because their bites are often mistaken for other pests. Denial also plays a big role in all of this. No one wants to admit they have bed bugs; for most, it is akin to saying “I am not hygienic and I live in a filthy environment.”
However, letting your pride get in the way of recognizing the problem when it presents itself will only make matters worse. The sooner you are able to identify the bite as one coming from a bed bug, the better off you will be when it comes to getting rid of them. These animals can only be effectively removed with the help of a professional pest control contractor. Over the counter treatments do exist, but have proved to be unreliable in preventing future occurrences.
How to know if you have bed bugs
- The first symptom is red bite marks that are concentrated in a straight line. They will likely itch and are typically located on the arms and shoulders, though the legs are also a popular area. The important thing to look for is a cluster of bites; spiders, mosquitoes and other pests attack randomly.
- The center of the bite site will be dark red (where the blood was extracted) with the outer area being red and swollen. Victims who have allergic reactions to these animals also tend to develop hives and/or blisters in conjunction.
- The symptoms of bed bugs bites are delayed. Whereas you know right away when you have been stung by a bee or bit by a mosquito, it will take a few days to notice that a beg bug has been feeding on you. As well, since these animals rarely feed every night, you may also notice a pattern develop with regards to when the bites occur (e.g. every three days or once a week).
- You never feel the bite, just the effects. Interestingly enough, these stealthy critters inject a small amount of anesthesia with each bite they deliver, which numbs the bite site. It is their way of getting what they want without alerting the host.
- Refrain from scratching the itch. Doing so can cause the bite to bleed, swell more and even cause an infection.
If you have a bed bug problem, contact a pest control business immediately. Resist the urge to save money by opting for cheaper store-bought products; they are simply not enough to quell an infestation. A combined heat and chemical treatment will guarantee removal.