After waking up several mornings in a row with unexplainable bites on your arms, you may suspect that you have bed bugs. However, if you have not been able to visualize any of the pests, look for the following subtle signs that your home is infested with bed bugs.
Dark Blood Stains Appear on Your Sheets
While making your bed in the morning, examine your sheets carefully. Look for any dark reddish brown spots that have mysteriously appeared. While looking for these spots, also inspect the bottom of your bed's sheets.
If you find any dark reddish brown spots, these are most likely blood stains. However, these blood stains are not only from the bites on your arm. They are also stains caused by the waste products of the bed bugs.
Since the bed bugs' primary diet is your blood, they excrete it. This is why you will see the stains on areas of your sheets where you do not have any bites.
Brown Oval Casings Are Found
If you do find blood stains on your sheets, continue your inspection by pulling up the fitted sheet and looking along the edges of your mattress. If you see any areas that look like small brown dots, examine them with a magnifying glass to get a closer look.
Upon further inspection, you may see small brown oval casings tucked into the edges of your mattress. These casings are what the bed bugs shed as they go through their growth stages.
The longer they infest your bed and feed on your blood, the more these casings will appear. Since bed bugs need a blood meal before they advance to the next stage, each night they feed on your blood helps them grow larger and more voracious.
Closet Smells Like an Old Wet Paper Towel
Although the bugs are most widely known for their infestations of beds, they can infest any part of your home. One section of your home you should check is your closet to see how bad an infestation you have.
Since bed bugs are always searching for their next blood meal, they will try to find it by moving toward where they detect your smell. Since your closet has your clothes and scent in it, they may congregate inside.
If you open your closet door, and the space smells like a wet paper towel, you probably have bed bugs in there. The bugs secrete pheromones that have a musty smell. And, while you could smell this odor anywhere, it will be most noticeable in the enclosed space of your closet.
After finding the above signs and confirming your suspicions that you have a bed bug infestation, do not try to get rid of them yourself, as they can be hard to deal with. Contact a residential pest extermination service, such as Paffy's Pest Control, to have them discover the magnitude of the infestation and discuss your options for eradicating the bed bug population in your home.