Bed bugs: The three major warning signs you may have an infestation on your hands

Bed bug bites occur at night which can make spotting an infestation extremely difficult. The small insects live in the cracks and crevices in and around mattresses and beds and feast on exposed skin or blood. These blood-sucking critters are not always obvious until its too late. What are the three main signs you have a bed bug infestation?

Unusual smell

Smelling a certain odour emanating from the bedroom could mean you’re at risk.

Terminix said on their website: “Like many species of bugs, bed bugs release odours called alarm pheromones.

“When a group of bed bugs gets disturbed, you may be able to smell that odour. Odours may result from bed bug faecal material.

“Other smells could be a coriander smell, or a sweet, musty odour.”

New marks on skin

The skin may begin to have unusual bites or marks anywhere on the body.

The sores tend to be red and raised, appearing suddenly.

Other characteristics include:

  • Itchy
  • Arranged in a rough line or in a cluster
  • Located on the face, neck, arms and hands

“Some people have no reaction to bedbug bites, while others experience an allergic reaction that can include severe itching, blisters or hives,” adds Mayo Clinic.

A severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) is also possible but rare, says the NHS.

Evidence on the bed sheets

If you can’t see any actual bugs, you may find evidence of them on your bed sheets and mattress.

Evidence can include tiny brown or black spots, which could be their dried poo.

You may also notice blood spots, which can occur if you squash a bug while sleeping after it has fed.

Bed bugs shed their skin as they grow, so you might also notice mottled bed bug shells on and around the bed.

How to get rid of them

If a person suspects they may have an infestation, they must remove all bedding and check very carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement.

Remove dust covers over the bottoms of box springs and examine the seams in wood framing.

Peel back the fabric where it might be stapled to the wood frame.

The bed needs to be checked too, including the edge of the carpet, around the tables and even in electrical outlets.

It’s important to be patient when trying to get rid of bed bugs as it often takes some time and effort.

A person may have to try a few different chemical and non-chemical approaches, especially if it’s a large infestation.

Certain factors can make bedbugs harder to remove, however; ridding the home of a lot of clutter can help.

If a person can’t get rid of bed bugs on their own, they should call in a professional exterminator.

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