When we think of Bed Bugs, we are often reminded of our grandmother telling us wicked tales of being eaten alive, or of happy memories of our parents tucking us in bed, telling us to sleep tight and not to let the Bed Bugs bites.
However it is unlikely that any of us have ever really taken these warnings seriously, certain in our belief that Bed Bugs are just old wives tales and were only ever present in a Dickens novel.
Unfortunately Bed Bugs are still found commonly today and are as present as ever! So don’t be fooled, it is important that everyone be aware of Bed Bugs, and be able to easily identify Bed Bugs on sight.
So to help fight against Bed Bugs, we have written a little article on the signs of a Bed Bug infestation and how their bites can be identified.
Bed bugs are tiny wingless parasitic insects. Adults have small vestiges of wings called wing pads. These wing pads never fully develop into functioning wings.
Adult bed bugs are usually brown though after feeding their bodies are closer to a red color. Fully grown bed bugs are very small ranging from 4-5mm long and 1-3 mm wide. They are roughly the same size as an apple seed.
Bed Bug have 3 legs on each side of their bodies. They also have long extensions called feelers. Check out the below gallery to get a more accurate visual of what Bed Bugs look like.
Luckily, Bed Bugs leave a variety of tale tale signs that they are around. The most obvious signs that you are not sleeping alone, can be rusty or reddish stains from where you have crushed the Bed Bugs in your sleep, dark spots that are a sign of Bed Bug feces and very tiny eggs and eggshells.
The most obvious and relevant signs of Bed Bugs are their bites. Sounds all very gross doesn’t it? However it is impossible to transmit any diseases from the bites, but no one wants to be eaten alive as they are sleeping, as blood being Bed Bugs main food source. We now look at identifying the bites and how they differentiate from the bites of other insects.
Unfortunately due to people reacting differently to the anti-coagulant that is injected into the skin, Bed Bug bites can sometimes be hard to identify. Bed Bug bites sometimes won’t appear for days, and in some cases go completely unnoticed. Various factors should be considered when trying to identify Bed Bug bites.
If visible, the bites should appear as angry red blotches on the skin, that are often itchy or painful. They can appear as flat but raised spots, that can be mistaken for a mosquito bite and they often vary in size from person to person.
Another sign is the spacing and quantity of the bites. A person may just get a few to many different bites, but the bites will often be around the same area, and can be in a zigzag line from where the Bed Bug has lazily moved from one bit of juicy skin to another with his friends. So several bites in one place is a huge sign that the Bed Bugs have had a little feast!
Another sign is where they choose to bite. Bites will often be found on any uncovered area of skin that the bug can get too. So any where such as hands, feet, legs, arms, face, the Bed Bugs will quite happily feed on. Anywhere they can get their grimy blood sucking mouths into, so these areas are essential to check when you think you might not be be alone in your bed.
A piece of quick advice, if someone does have Bed Bug bites the person should absolutely under no circumstances scratch the infected area, as even though the bites do not transmit any diseases, it is possible the bite will get a secondary infection if the bite is not properly looked after.
Sadly, due to the belief that Bed Bugs are merely old wives tales, and due to some stunning similarities between other insect bites, Bed Bug bites are often mistaken for something they’re not. As stated before Bed Bug bites can often look like Mosquito bites. The similarities between them can often lead to some confusion whilst identifying the cause.
They both share the same red blotches, that so often appear, and can both be very itchy and painful, causing discomfort for the victim. They also both tend to attack their victim at night. However the difference between the two is the shape and spacing of the bites.
With Mosquito’s, their bites often don’t have more then one in the same place, as mosquito’s can fly around and pick and choose whatever tasty looking skin they like, where as stated before, Bed Bugs are lazy and like to leave a trail of destruction on their victim’s skin that contains bites that are spaced very close together.
You’re generally outside when you mosquitoes decide to bite you. There isn’t really a way to treat the outdoors of a mosquito infestation so the only thing you can do is try to prevent them from biting you. You can use insect repellant or mosquito repelling torches.
Another insect that might be accused of the Bed Bugs feast, are Fleas. Fleas are very similar to Bed Bugs in the way they work, however again have more flexibility in where they eat, jumping around to wherever they choose. However they do leave similar symptoms as Bed Bugs, such as bites in the same patch of skin, their bites being itchy, and have similar, if a little smaller red blotchy spots.
However the difference is that fleas leave a lovely little ring on their bites, which is a tale tale sign, and tend to only bite around ankles, as you know, they wouldn’t want you to be entirely covered in their itchy painful bites. How considerate!
If you think your house has a flea infestation you can take care of the problem using diatomaceous earth or flea foggers. If you have a pet thats covered in fleas I recommend using flea drops to keep fleas from biting them, and to take out the infestation from the source.
There are so many other types of insect bites that could be blamed for the Bed Bugs work, but it is very important to research and know the difference, as therefore, you will be able to get rid of the infestation and treat the bite properly. So, when considering a bite on yourself or your child, please consider the different factors and signs of Bed Bugs whilst in the process of identifying the bites.
As we have seen from this article, Bed Bugs can be easily mistaken for different insects, due to our own misbelief in their presence, but should be in the list of possibilities. We hope you enjoyed this little nugget of insect information, and will share this article to spread the word with your friends and family, in order to make them more aware of Bed Bugs, so they can treat their bites correctly.
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