Symptoms of a bed bug infestation

Do I have bed bugs? How do I recognise bed bugs? These questions have come to us more and more frequently from our customers in recent years. If you notice a sting or bite on your body, many people nowadays usually immediately think of a bed bug infestation but need the help of an expert for more clarity.

A thorough inspection of the bedroom with a flashlight and magnifying glass can help find hiding spots for bed bugs, knowing the most common hiding places and breeding grounds for the blood-sucking parasites.

We will help you and explain the most frequently asked questions about bed bugs:

  1. How do I know if I have bed bugs and if I have been bitten?
  2. Where are bed bugs hiding?
  3. What can I do to control bed bugs?

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1. How do I recognise bed bugs?

Bites, traces of blood, faeces or even a sweet smell: There are several signs or symptoms that you can use to recognise bed bug infestation. A professional pest controller will help you with clear identification, but these tips may be an initial assessment.

Live and dead bed bugs

Bed bugs can grow up to 6 millimetres in size when fully grown and visible to the naked eye. After a blood meal, they can even become slightly more prominent again. They hide during the day and go in search of hosts at night where they can draw blood.

This is what bed bugs look like:

  • 4 to 6 millimetres in length
  • red-brownish colour
  • six hairy legs
  • flat body shape

Bed bug eggs are white, cream-coloured, barely a millimetre in size, and are therefore difficult to spot.

Do bed bugs “go away on their own”? Unfortunately, the parasites don’t make it that easy. As a rule, bed bugs live between half a year and a year but can survive months without food.

Bed bug bites or stings

Usually, you wake up with noticeable stings, bites or small swellings on the body and only deal with the subject of bed bugs in more detail by researching the Internet. If you have found us this way, don’t worry, there is a professional and carefree solution to your problem.

First of all: the bed bug doesn’t bite; it bites. But only rarely does it hit a blood vessel directly with the first stab. Since bed bugs avoid longer migrations on the human body, the bed bug bites are almost always in a row-like arrangement (bed bug street). Therefore, the bed bug bite is very characteristic and differs significantly from the punctual sting of a cat or dog flea or a louse.

Mainly uncovered areas of the body such as:

  • poor
  • legs
  • Feet
  • Neck and shoulder
  • Neck and face.

The effect of a bed bug bite varies and depends on the sensitivity of the person. While the edge causes extreme swelling in one person, another victim shows hardly any reaction, and 20% of people even show no reaction at all. A bed bug bite is usually painless. Otherwise, the person would wake up. However, if you have been bitten by bed bugs and experience pain, contact a doctor as soon as possible.

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Bloodstains from bed bugs

As already described above, the bed bug hits a human blood vessel when it bites. The result: blood leaks. This is absorbed by the bed bugs. Due to delayed blood clotting, minor bloodstains appear on sheets, covers and nightwear.

Note: Bloodstains can, of course, also have other causes and do not necessarily have to be caused by a bed bug bite. However, multiple symptoms may indicate bed bug infestation. In addition, rapid bed bug control can prevent the bed bug infestation from spreading further.

Traces of droppings from bed bugs

Another indication of a bed bug infestation is minimal, black dots of poop left on people’s skin on walkways, hiding places and during the suction process. The excrement particles are approximately 0.5-1.0 millimetres in size.

In particular, in the vicinity of bed bugs hiding places, e.g. on mattresses, bed frames or behind wallpaper, there are often significant accumulations of these residues.

Molecular remnants of bed bugs (nymph skins)

Bed bugs go through a total of five larval stages in their development, from a few nymph stages to the adult bed bug, with each phase beginning with a moult. The moulting residues left behind are mostly found near bed bug nests. The skins or skin remnants are very light, almost entirely transparent, and are reminiscent of bed bugs with their rounded shape.

The smell of bed bugs

Bed bugs stink. One of the most typical signs of bed bug infestation is a recognisable, repulsive, sweet smell characteristic of a heavy bed bug infestation. In addition, they have so-called stink glands from which an oily secretion emerges. On the one hand, this serves to ward off enemies, but on the other hand also an attractant odour for reproduction.

If this smell is noticeable, you should urgently have a professional bed bug control carried out.

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2. Find typical hiding spots for bed bugs

To identify a possible infestation, it is essential to know the typical hiding places of bed bugs. Detective skills are required here to find the main hiding spots and breeding sites. Bed bugs prefer to stay in occupied, closed rooms near human sleeping and resting places. Typical places are, therefore:

  • bedroom
  • living room
  • Pieces of furniture

People often stay relatively motionless for long periods and represent “found food” for the bed bugs. Bed bugs love warmth and darkness. They hide in crevices, cracks and joints, preferring materials such as wood, paper and textiles. They tend to avoid cool and humid places.

The usual hiding spots for bed bugs are:

  • Bed boxes, as well as storage and storage areas under the bed
  • Bed frame frames, bed posts, slatted frames, mattresses (in particular folds, seams, zippers)
  • Bedding, blankets, pillows, blankets
  • Bedside tables or chests of drawers (in drawers and screw holes)
  • Books, alarm clocks, bedside lamps, picture frames
  • Sockets and light switches
  • Ceiling lamps
  • Venetian blind boxes
  • Joints in floorboards, decorative strips, light guide rails, nail and drill holes
  • In cracks in ceiling or wall stucco, as well as behind loose pieces of wallpaper
  • In the carpet fabric and behind baseboards near sleeping, sitting and lounge areas.
  • Behind wall panelling, wall mirrors, door and window frames
  • In cracks and joints in sofas, sofa sets, armchairs or other seating
  • In the sleeping places of pets such as dogs and cats, in cages etc.

3. How can I fight bed bugs?

Bed bugs are persistent and are masters at the game of hiding and seek. Home remedies, such as freezing objects or suction, are usually not sufficient for sustainable control. Often only pest experts can find all hiding places and nests. Because where do you start as a layman? Do you have to dispose of the mattress or bed frame? And what if they are already nesting in bedside cabinets and sockets?

For private individuals, the awful feeling of lying down in an infested bed often outweighs the problem. However, for companies, especially the hotel industry, a bed bug infestation can quickly take on critical proportions, from an angry guest with a possible negative Internet rating to the spread of bed bugs to other hotel rooms.

We, therefore, recommend contacting the pest expert directly if bed bugs are suspected. They quickly create clarity and solutions to the insect problem.

How to get rid of bed bugs in a targeted manner: