Identifying Bed bugs and What to Do About Them

Among common household pests, bedbugs are among the most distressing. These bugs can put a big wrench in our ability to safely rest! Unfortunately, sometimes bedbugs can go unnoticed and cause health issues for the affected people.

What Are Bedbugs?
Bedbugs are blood-sucking insects that inhabit the darker areas of a bed which can make them hard to spot. Although bedbugs are not known to carry infectious diseases to humans, they can leave bites and rashes that are painful and unsightly.

Identifying Bedbugs
Since bedbugs hide in the darker areas of your mattress, it is possible for them to go unnoticed. During a visual inspection for bed bugs, you should look for:

  • Small brown bugs in or near the mattress. A fully grown bedbug is only the size of an apple seed, so a keen eye is needed.
  • Droppings, which are usually tiny brown or red spots on the mattress or sheets.
  • Eggs laid by adult bugs near the seams or ends of the mattress. They may also produce a musty odor.

Due to their small size, bed bugs and their droppings may go unnoticed by the untrained eye. Typically, a bedbug problem is identified when physical manifestations show up on someone’s body. You may be dealing with bedbugs if you wake up with:

  • An itchy rash on the lower legs, feet, or ankles.
  • A line of bites.
  • Clusters of bites.

The bites and rashes are usually red, raised, and itchy.

Getting Rid of Bedbugs
Once you’ve identified a bedbug infestation, the next step is to address it. Resolving a bedbug infestation is two-fold. You must treat any bites or rashes as well as eradicate the pests from the home.

To rid your bedroom of bedbugs, you must:

  • Discard the affected mattress, box spring, and bedding.
  • Wash any clothing exposed with extremely hot or freezing water to kill any bugs.
  • Isolate the affected room.
  • Seal any cracks in the bedroom walls, ceilings, or windows.
  • Put your new mattress in a bug-proof cover.
  • Call in a professional exterminator if needed.

To treat bedbug bites and/or rashes, you can:

  • Take an oral antihistamine.
  • Use corticosteroid cream to soothe swelling and inflammation.
  • Wash the area frequently with mild soap.

It’s never enjoyable to discover bedbugs. However, these creatures rarely pass dangerous diseases to humans. To rid your home of bedbugs, be sure to follow guidance on how to properly clean your bedroom and treat any bites with care.