Knowing If You Have Bedbugs

by April Reinhardt
(last updated June 26, 2009)

1

Bedbugs are nest parasites that, like other parasites, feed from a warm-blooded host. Hosts of bedbugs are typically humans and their pets, and they feed mainly at night and are considered a nocturnal insect. The insect is named bedbug because its preferred habitat is upholstered furniture and mattresses, although they can also take up residence in carpeting, wallpaper, drapes and curtain folds, and sleeping areas of household pets.

Here are some of the signs that you may have bedbugs:

  • Itchy welts. If you suspect that you have bedbugs, it may be because you're waking up in the morning to find small, itchy welts on your face or neck, where none had been when you laid down to sleep the night before. Bedbugs feed on sleeping hosts, injecting saliva into the skin with one hollow tube, while simultaneously withdrawing blood with the other. As with a mosquito bite, the victim does not feel the bite and it is not until hours later that the allergic reaction to the insect's saliva occurs, leaving a raised welt or lump.
  • Stained bedding. If you ignore the welts and caulk them up to a rash instead of an insect bite, you may begin to see small, brown spots on your pillowcases and sheets. While the host tosses and turns in his sleep, the feeding bedbug bursts when squashed by the sleeping person, leaving bloodstains on the bedding.
  • Streaked mattress. In addition to the skin welts and spotted sheets, a larger sign of a bedbug infestation is a stained mattress. If you see dark, streaking stains and heavy spotting on your mattress, then your mattress is infested with bedbugs. The dark streaking and spotting are combined blood stains and bug feces. Bedbugs prefer to travel and live in groups, and they can stain a mattress quickly over only a few weeks.
  • Identifying bedbugs—actually seeing one—may prove difficult, since they are so tiny, and they usually only feed at night. Consider laying a trap to catch them. Using super strength packaging tape, lay a strip on the floor, sticky side up, beneath drapes, curtains, furniture, and mattresses. The bedbugs are so tiny that when they venture onto the tape, they will become trapped. The next morning, examine the tape for bugs. Once you have proof that your house has bedbugs, then you can proceed with eradicating them.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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What is 6 + 3?

2014-05-16 17:50:51

roger

interesting to say the least
thank you