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Are you concerned that your property may be infested with bed bugs?
If you've discovered small crawling insects in your property or insect bites on your body, it is important to not immediately assume you are faced with a bed bug infestation. There are various insects that bed bugs are often confused with and many insect species are known to bite humans.
While we encourage property owners to contact Rentokil straightaway at the first sign of concern, there are a few common sense steps you can take to help determine if you have bed bugs.
Bites are one of the most common bed bug infestation signs that property owners will notice. Bed bug bites will often go unnoticed as the parasitic insects inject chemicals into their host while feeding so that the host does not feel the bite.
Bed bug bites often appear as red marks that can either be raised or flat and in a line unlike mosquito bites which often appear randomly.
However, bed bug bites are not a clear indicator of a bed bug infestation by themselves. Bed bug bites cannot be 100% distinguished from other types of insect bites.
Check areas on your body near blood vessels, including arms, legs, torso, neck, face, neck and hands.
People's sensitivity to insect bites can vary with some individuals developing itchy welts.
It is impossible to identify a bed bug infestation solely by bites. Looking for other signs of bed bugs along with identifying any bites will help you to confirm the presence of bed bugs.
The best way to confirm if you have bed bugs is finding live or dead bed bugs on your property. However, accurately identifying bed bugs versus other types of insects can prove difficult without professional training.
Bed bugs are roughly the size of an apple seed making them hard to spot. Featuring a flattened, oval body and a reddish-brown color, bed bugs are 5 mm in length and have no wings.
The nocturnal creatures are rarely active during the day which is why it is recommended to request a pest control professional to carry out a bed bug inspection.
Common insects that are often confused with bed bugs include:
While the confirmation of live and dead bed bugs is the most accurate way of determining if a property is infested with bed bugs, there are other signs of bed bugs one can look for.
Fecal spotting - The fecal stains left behind bed bugs is one of the most commonly encountered signs of bed bugs. On fabric, the stains will look like black sharpie marks while on hard surfaces fecal stains will look more like small bubbles.
Cast skins - You may encounter bed bug exoskeletons from previous molts when inspecting for bed bugs. Bed bug nymphs will molt and shed their exoskeletons five times before reaching full adulthood.
Blood smears - When bed bugs are crushed they can leave behind blood stains on a surface. However, it is difficult to determine if blood smears are caused by bed bugs or not.
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