Bed Bugs

What do bed bugs look like?

Adult bed bugs are apple seed-shaped, parasitic insects that feed primarily on human blood. They have no wings and cannot fly, but instead hitch rides into homes and other structures by crawling inside personal belongings. Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices during the day and then emerge at night to feed on the blood of their sleeping victims.

bed bug resting on the arm hair of a richland resident

Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide people produce as they breathe. Before feeding, bed bugs are reddish-brown in color and are about ¼ of an inch in length. After feeding their bodies expand in a balloon-like manner and become more elongated, and their color changes to a deep, reddish-purple.
Bed bug nymphs (young bed bugs) are much smaller than adults but they look similar in appearance. Their coloring is light and they are almost translucent. Once they enjoy their first blood meal they turn bright red in color.
Bed bug eggs are extremely small, whitish in color, and are basically invisible except to highly-trained eyes. They are often found hidden in tiny cracks and crevices around the home and in personal belongings.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Bed bugs are not dangerous in the sense that they been not known as a pest that transmits any serious diseases. However, it is important to note that some research is being done that now possibly links bed bugs with the spread of Chagas disease.
When bed bug feces comes into contact with broken skin (the bite) a person could potentially become infected with the parasite that causes Chagas disease. These parasites live in the heart and digestive muscles of its host. Their presence can lead to severe digestive and neurological problems.

In addition, though many people have no reaction to bed bug bites, some do experience an allergic reaction from them. Their bites can be very itchy, leading to secondary infections. In some cases, medical attention becomes necessary.
Another “danger” associated with bed bugs is the emotional distress they can cause to a person when they invade. Dealing with a bed bug infestation may cause people embarrassment, stress, anxiety, a lack of sleep, and more.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs enter new environments by hitchhiking their way in on luggage, bags, backpacks, clothing, mattresses, furniture, and rugs. Bed bugs do not fly and cannot jump, but they are efficient crawlers. They frequently use this ability to make their way into new spaces.
A bed bug infestation can happen to anyone in any home and is not an indication that there is a lack of cleanliness in a home. Bed bugs are found anywhere people are found, including libraries, movie theaters, dormitories, hotels, motels, airports, apartment buildings, bus stations, hospitals, and shopping centers. Bed bugs are often introduced into a home or new public place by accident after crawling onto someone or into their personal belongings.

What are the signs of a bed bug infestation? 

Bed bugs often stay out of sight of people. They hide in tight cracks and crevices during the day and come out at night to feed. This can make identifying an infestation quite tricky. The good news is, even though you may not spot a bed bug, they do leave behind several clues of their presence. Signs of a bed bug infestation often include:

  • Red spots of blood or small dark streaks of excrement may be observed on linens, mattresses, or box springs. Both of these signs can also be found on the floor, inside closets or drawers, or even on the wall by your bed.

  • Piles of shed bed bug skins may be discovered under mattresses, box springs, or on the floor. As bed bugs grow, they shed their skin, leaving behind a tell-tale sign of their presence.

  • You may notice a sweet, musty odor in a room or home that is otherwise clean. In the case of a large infestation, bed bugs create a noticeable, unpleasant odor.

  • Bed bug bites on your skin or that of a family member are sure signs of the presence of bed bugs. These nocturnal pests typically feast on skin that is exposed while sleeping. Their bites look similar to mosquito bites but are typically grouped together in groups of three or more. Bed bug bites are not a reliable indicator of an infestation since they look so similar to other insect bites. In addition, most people will not have any visible response to their bites.

  • Live or dead bed bugs are definite evidence of a bed bug infestation, but bed bugs are good at hiding and can't always be spotted. If you have the suspicion of a bed bug infestation in your home, use a flashlight to inspect the cracks and crevices of walls, furniture, mattresses, and box springs. If bed bugs are present, you will probably spot a few, but not always.

How do you prevent bed bugs?

Bed bugs can be a difficult pest to keep out of your home. The following tips can reduce the likelihood of bed bugs finding their way into your South Carolina home to feed on you and your family:

  • Inspect any hotel where you're staying for signs of bed bugs before bringing your luggage and other belongings into it.

  • After returning home from a trip, immediately wash and dry all clothing on a high-heat setting.

  • Keep personal items such as bags, coats, luggage, and purses off the floor in hotels and any other public place.

  • Do not purchase used furniture, mattresses, and box springs for use inside your home.

  • Know the signs of a bed bug infestation and contact The Original Bugman Pest Elimination, Inc. immediately if you see an indication that you have a problem.

How do you eliminate problems with bed bugs? 

Bed bugs are a difficult pest to eliminate. It is necessary to find and treat every adult, nymph, and egg present to get rid of the infestation and prevent its return. DIY bed bug solutions purchased from big box stores cannot guarantee complete eradication. To completely eliminate a bed bug infestation from your home, the best option is to contact a bed bug control professional for assistance. Professionals will provide accurate identification and inspection services. They also provide effective treatment solutions, offered as both a residential pest control and commercial pest control service, that completely eliminate the bed bugs invading your property as well as prevent them from returning!
Here at The Original Bugman Pest Elimination, Inc. we offer highly-effective bed bug pest control services in Lexington, Columbia and the Midlands of South Carolina. Our professionals will work diligently with you to solve your bed bug problem. If necessary, we'll also deal with other pest problems during the same visit.
To schedule a free consultation, inspection, and estimate for your South Carolina home, give us a call today. We'd be happy to help!

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