How do I know if I have bed bugs?
Bed bugs can be particularly difficult to detect. The bed bug's natural instinct is to hide from potential predators. Bed bugs generally prefer to be within 5 feet of a place that a host (you) sleeps or often sits. In established infestations, there will typically be signs of fecal matter of the bed bug on the mattress, with a heavier concentration of fecal matter typically on the corners of the mattress and in folds of the mattress. Fecal matter looks similar to if someone has taken a black ball point pen and made a dot or dots along the effected area.
Fecal matter on wood furniture or bed frame
Fecal matter on a mattress
Another indication to look for is bed bug exoskeletons. Bed Bugs shed their exoskeleton 5 times in their life as they mature and grow. These exoskeletons will likely be found in areas near common bed bug harborages.
Bed Bug Exoskeleton
Examples of bed bugs at different stages of life. These life cycles cause the exoskeleton to bed shed.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites will typically come in a series of 2-4 bites in a close proximity. These bites will typically occur on extremities of the body, such as hands, feet, legs, etc as opposed to on the torso. Different individuals can react much differently to bites. Oddly enough, we find women and children tend to be bit or react to bites more than men. Some people will have little reaction to bed bug bites, while others may have severe rashing and inflamation of the skin.
A Minor Reaction to Bed Bug Bites
A Severe Reaction to Bed Bug Bites
Bed Bug Dogs
Bed bug detection dogs can be an amazing tool when attempting to verify and locate a bed bug infestation. Dog/handler teams are professionally trained to sniff out every part of your home for the scent of bed bugs. These dogs can distinguish between the smell of a live bed bug, dead bed bug, and even bed bug eggs. The typical cost for this service is between $200-$300. Here is a list of our recommended dogs and handlers:
Colorado Bed Bug Dog, Eric Holtschulte, www.cobedbugdog.com, 303-704-4299
Dennis Kassab, 203-545-8205 (Summit County)
Hard at Work!
Ha! Someone trained a tea cup pig to detect bed bugs!