7 Easy-to-Miss Signs You Have Bedbugs, Experts Say
These are the less obvious indicators you need to look for.
A widespread bedbug invasion is wreaking havoc on the City of Lights right now. And many are panicked that the infestation in Paris will spread globally as travelers leave the city and head to other places, including the U.S. Fortunately, when it comes to bedbugs, if you catch this pest early enough, you can prevent a major takeover. But that may require noticing some of the more hidden indicators experts recently shared with Best Life. Read on to discover the seven easy-to-miss signs you have bedbugs, according to those who know those signs best.
You notice dark spots around your home.
Droppings are one of the easiest ways to determine there is a pest inside your home. But bedbugs don't leave behind feces that look similar to that of other creatures, because they have a liquid diet of blood, according to Emma Grace Crumbley, an entomologist with Mosquito Squad.
"So instead, they secrete liquid droppings that look like dark brown or black spots–almost like mold colonies," she explains. "You may notice these spots before seeing the pests themselves."
Your pets are scratching more.
You're not the only one who may suffer from a bedbug infestation in your home. If you have a pet, this pest can also affect them and their stuff, Crumbley says. "Pet bedding, such as dog and cat beds, hamster bedding, and even bird nesting material can provide harborage for bedbugs," she explains.
So Crumbley suggests homeowners watch out for their pet's behavior as well. "If your pets are scratching and showing signs of discomfort and distress, check to see if they are dealing with bedbugs," she advises.
Your sleeping patterns have changed.
It's not just your pet's behavior that may switch up if you have bedbugs, however. Angelo Albertini, a leading sleep expert and founder of MyBespokeMattress, says that you may start noticing new, erratic sleeping patterns if you're dealing with this pest. "The presence of bedbugs can disrupt sleep," Albertini warns, adding that you might start dealing with "unexplained awakenings or insomnia" as a result.
There is an unusual smell in your space.
You might smell bedbugs before you actually see them. A.H. David, pest expert and founder of Pest Control Weekly, tells Best Life that this pest "releases pheromones that can produce a distinct, sometimes unpleasant odor."
According to David, the smell of a bedbug infestation is often described as unusual, slightly sweet, or musty. "Investigate the source of the smell, focusing on your mattress, bed frame, and nearby furniture," he advises.
Bites appear on your skin.
There should also be cause for caution if you're "waking up with multiple unexplained insect bites, rashes, or skin irritations," David says. That's because bedbugs can bite you in your sleep without you feeling it, leaving behind easy-to-miss signs of their presence.
"Bedbug bites can cause red, itchy welts on the skin, often in a linear or clustered pattern," he explains. "Consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of the bites."
There are molts being left behind.
Like other insects, bedbugs will molt as they grow bigger—and they will leave behind their shed skin for you to find, Crumbley warns. "Any signs of papery, see-through molts is a red flag that a serious infestation is occurring," she says.
Bedbugs will typically discard their translucent shells around your sleep area, David adds. "You need to thoroughly inspect your mattress seams, headboard, and nearby furniture," he says.
Or you see small white eggs.
Bedbugs will also leave behind eggs. But they tend to be so tiny that they're fairly easy to miss, according to Abe Nyayapathi, manager at Bio Recovery, which specializes in pest-related cleanings. "You may find small, translucent eggs in the seams of your mattress, along baseboards, or in the cracks and crevices of furniture," Nyayapathi says.
A female bedbug can lay anywhere between one to seven eggs every single day, according to Terminix. And while they are quite small, they can still be seen by the naked eye. "What also may make it easier to see bedbug eggs is that female bedbugs will often lay their eggs in clusters," the experts at Terminix further explain.
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