Signs Of Bed Bug Problems In Your Fort Worth Home

A bed bug stomach up on a mattress

They say, “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite," but the truth is we don’t have much control over the matter. Bed bugs secretly feed on us in the middle of the night, and there’s little we can do about it except for scheduling professional extermination. However, before we arrive at any conclusions, it’s crucial to understand precautionary measures and be able to identify a bed bug in order to know if there’s an infestation to worry about.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like And Where Do They Hide?

These tiny bloodsuckers have an oval-shaped body that flattens from top to bottom. They are usually a reddish-brown color and they have elongated mouths that they use to penetrate the skin of their hosts, allowing them to feed on their blood. After they’re done feeding, their appearance changes a bit. Their bodies become swelled and their coloration becomes more a deep purple-reddish shade. 
When bed bugs get inside our homes, they hide out in dark, secluded areas. Not only are they skilled hiders, but they are minuscule in size, making them extremely hard to detect. While bed bugs are tiny, they’re not invisible to the human eye. A lot of people are frustrated when it comes to bed bugs because we’re seldom able to see them. The reason for this is their nocturnal nature and ability to stay out of sight. 
They hide during the day and only emerge at night to stealthily feed on the blood of their host. Nighttime is the perfect opportunity for uninterrupted, undetected feeding. Bed bugs can also go undetected for long periods of time because they can go without feeding for long periods of time. This means they can be hiding out for up to a year without emerging to feed on human blood.

How Do Bed Bugs Get Inside My Home? 

It is a common misconception that bed bugs prefer untidy, messy spaces. Bed bugs don't spontaneously appear. In fact, they hitchhike on clothing or belongings and stealthily make their way into unsuspecting establishments. 
It can be almost impossible to keep bed bugs from hitching a ride on your clothing or belongings, however, there are some measures you can to avoid bringing an infestation into your home. 

  • When traveling and residing in a hotel, inspect mattresses and box springs for bed bug activity. 
  • Avoid putting your belongings on the floor when visiting other homes, establishments, or using public transportation. 
  • Inspect belongings that travel outside of your home for bed bugs. If you suspect contamination, wash them in hot water as bed bugs will die when they come into contact with extreme heat. 

 How Do I Know If I Have A Bed Bug Infestation? 

In spite of your best efforts, you may find yourself in the throes of an unwanted bed bug infestation. The first sign of an infestation is usually a series of bites. Bed bug bites are small, itchy, and red and they usually appear in a line. If you wake up to a linear formation of bites, it’s safe to assume there may be a larger infestation requiring your attention.
If you suspect any bed bug activity, every inch of your house is susceptible to these tenacious pests. Once inside the house, they’re able to spread from room to room by latching onto people or things that are traveling to other areas of the house. So, even though the infestation may start out in the bed, that’s not the only place you should inspect. 
Begin by looking closely at the bedding, bed frames, mattresses, linens, box springs, and headboards. Then, move throughout your home checking upholstered furniture, curtains, wall voids, molding, outlets, and even electronic devices. Lastly, don't forget to regularly check your clothing for bed bugs. Remember, these creatures are hitchhikers, so be sure to wash items that may come into contact with bed bugs in hot water.   
While inspecting these areas, you’ll want to look out for the following visual signs of bed bug activity:

  • A musty odor emitted through the bed bugs’ scent glands
  • Egg casings and traces of shed skin left behind by bed bugs as they progress through their life cycle
  • Little black spots on bedding and linens; these are fecal matter and excrement left behind by bed bugs
  • Dark red spots on your bedding or clothing; are bloodstains left behind after bed bugs feed

If you detect any of these visual signs and suspect there may be a bed bug infestation in your home, you need to contact the professionals immediately. Lone Star Safe Pest provides quality residential and commercial bed bug control services to Fort Worth and the surrounding areas. We use an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) system to accurately identify and eliminate all bed bug activity from your property. We also return for routine maintenance visits to make sure the bed bugs stay away for good. Call us today for a consultation. Don't stress! We will work with you to make your bed bug infestation disappear.