What often first alerts people to the presence of bed bugs is that they have been bitten. Though 30% of the population does not react to bed bug bites, the 70% who do will suffer to varying degrees ranging from minor irritation to severe itchiness and inflammation. Here is an example of someone who has been bitten by bed bugs. Though bites like these are not a guarantee that you have bed bugs, they do alert you to the possibilities and means it is probably a good idea to check. Not sure how? Below are some of the things that you should be looking for.
Staining(markings)- Often the first sign of the presence of bed bugs is their fecal matter (yes, it’s poop). The fecal spots are black in colour and are easily seen on mattresses, wood and baseboards. Here are a few examples:
If I am ever in doubt as to whether it is a fecal marking or a small pen mark, I will wet my finger and run it across the marking. If it smears it is fecal matter, if not, it may be ink or something else. Please, if you do try this, wash your hands after.
Molted Skins- Another sign that you may have a bed bug problem is molted skins on your floor or elsewhere. As bed bugs grow, they shed their outer skin which ends up somewhere in your home. Most often I have seen these skins under beds and around baseboards. The skins generally look like dried out, semi-transparent bed bugs. Below is an example of what the skins look like.
Bed Bugs- Finding a bed bug on your clothes, bed or couch does not automatically mean that you have an infestation. It is quite often a single bug that you have picked up on a bus or at a movie theater but it’s presence does require you to conduct a further inspection. The first place I always look is on the mattress and box spring. From there, check the baseboards around the bed and any furniture that may be near by. If you are unsure, it is always a good idea to contact a qualified person to conduct a check for you. For people in the Spence, Daniel McIntyre or West Broadway neighbourhoods, I am available to come to your home for a free inspection. Below is an example of what you may find if you have bed bugs.