As well as becoming one of the most common household pests, bed bugs are also one of the most difficult to get rid of – so catch an infestation early by looking out for the most common bed bug symptoms.
Bed bug signs
One bed bug alone can produce as much as 300 eggs over a couple of months, meaning you have a full scale infestation on your hands before you know it. So, the sooner you detect a bed bug infestation, the easier it will be to get rid of – here are some of the most common bed bug symptoms:
- Small black faecal spots – this is one of the most obvious bed bug symptoms. Examine your bedding, bed frame and mattress for pinprick sized black dots that almost look like felt-tip pen marks.
- Blood spots on your bedding – as disgusting as it sounds, bed bugs can suck up to four times their body weight in blood in only 15 minutes. Since they attack when you’re asleep you probably won’t notice the bites themselves, but you may find blood spots on your bedding from scratching or even squashing bugs in your sleep.
- The bugs themselves – bed bugs aren’t as easy to spot as you might think because they’re as flat as a piece of paper so can hide in the smallest cracks and crevices. Pull your bed frame apart and look under your mattress to see if you can spot any.
- Bed bug bite – this is probably the most common of bed bug signs. What do bed bug bites look like? Well, they usually appear as a red rash and series of raised bumps, commonly arranged in a triangular formation. Not everyone reacts to bed bug bites though, so not all members of an infected household will experience visible bed bug bites.
How do you get bed bugs?
A staggering three quarters of British homes had bed bugs in the 19th Century; however, with the help of strong chemicals these pests were virtually eradicated after the Second World War. So why are they back again and how do you get them? Here are some the ways you’re most likely to pick up bed bugs:
- Second-hand furniture – this is one of the most common ways bed bugs are spread. If you want to buy second-hand furniture, make sure you check it thoroughly for signs of bed bugs first.
- Hotels, hostels and guesthouses – more frequent, world-wide travel has helped spread bed bugs. Often, travellers pick up bugs in hotels and carry them (or their eggs) back home in their luggage.
- Public transport – it’s possible that you could pick up bed bugs from public transport such as the bus, train or tube; especially if you live in a large city like London.
- Neighbouring properties – bed bugs can spread from other properties into yours, often whole blocks of flats will be infested, which makes it even harder to get rid of them. If you’re moving into a new property it’s always a good idea to check the place for signs of bed bugs first and enquire about the history of the building.