Many people incorrectly assume that waking up with itchy bumps on their body automatically means bed bugs, but this is not necessarily the case. Bed bugs do not come into homes at random. Bed bugs are carried into a home by a host, and if you recently returned from vacation or purchased a new piece of furniture from a garage sale or thrift store, then you may have unknowingly carried some unwanted guests into your apartment. If this sounds like you, and you have suspicious bites on your body, look out for these other 4 signs that you have bed bugs in your apartment.
Sign #1: Red and Black Stains
Bed bugs feed on blood and are most likely to feed on you while you are sleeping. It is possible to crush and kill them if you move a lot in your sleep, which will result in small, red or rust-colored stains on your bedding. Look out for these, as well as black stains, as you search your bedding for bugs.
The black stains are the result of waste excretion from bed bugs, and will appear a week or so after you notice any initial bite marks. It takes that long for the bugs to digest their food, and when they do, they will secrete their waste in very specific areas. While the red stains are more sporadic around bed sheets, the black stains from waste will be more condensed around the mattress tag, the wooden baseboards, or even around electrical outlets near the bed.
Sign #2: Molted Skins
Many bed bug infestations involve young bed bugs who must shed their skins a total of five times before they reach their adult stage. They will only grow out of their existing exoskeleton after they feed, so if you’ve noticed stains or bite marks, start searching for molted skins.
They are most likely to be found along mattress seams, behind the headboard, or stuck to any personal belongings you keep in the bed with you, like pillows or stuffed animals. The skins will be the same size as the bug itself but they’ll be translucent and hollow as opposed to the brown, copper color of a healthy bed bug.
Sign #3: Bed Bugs Nymphs and Eggs
Adult bed bugs only reach 3/16”, and the younger ones are even smaller, but there are still ways to notice them and pinpoint their infestation. Bed bug eggs are extremely tiny and hard to see on light bedding, but they have obvious red eyes after 5 days which you can see if you’re looking for them.
The adults can easily be spotted by their coppery brown color, but they scurry quickly and stay out of sight. Infantile bed bugs will be yellow or translucent in color with six legs and two antennae. Regardless of age, once these bugs feed, they will blow up to almost double their size and easily be seen on mattresses or near bedframes. Their colors will darken too, making them more obvious, and even the eggs will turn from clear to red
Sign #4: Sweet-Smelling Aroma
Many people who experience bed bug infestations report a sweet-smelling, almost rotten, aroma around where the bed bugs are congregating. You will notice the smell of rotten raspberries or almonds around the area where the bugs are gathering to digest their food and molt their skins. If you crush the bugs in your sleep you may notice the smell around your own bedding. If you notice a lot of black stains around a corner of your bed frame, this aroma will also accompany it.
Do you have bed bugs in your apartment?
If you notice these 4 signs along with suspicious bite marks, it is likely that you have bed bugs in your apartment. Don’t wait until the bed bug manifestation spreads. If you suspect that you might have bed bugs, contact us now for quick and effective eco-friendly bed bug removal.