How to tell if you have a bed bug problem
A bed bug infestation can escalate pretty fast. On top of that, bed bug bites hurt, and they leave awful stains on bedsheets. You can get a cluster of itchy spots on your skin which takes about two weeks to heal. If you can’t explain blood stains or have a nasty rash and don’t know why - read more to find out if you have a bed bug infestation on your hands.
Do bloodstains mean a bed bug infestation?
Bed bugs feast on human blood, so the first sign of an infestation are stains on your sheets. When a bed bug bites you, it secretes an anticoagulant, which stops blood from clotting during its meal. Even after the bug finishes sucking your blood - the bite spot might keep bleeding and leave stains on your sheets. Furthermore, the bed bugs’ mouth is called a proboscis
, and it looks like a tube. If you notice a trail of blood on your sheets, that’s probably the result of a leak from the bed bug’s proboscis after it bit you. You can follow the trail to try and find where your bed bugs hide.
Dark or rusty spots on sheets, mattresses, bedclothes, and walls
Bed bug excrements aren’t solid - they are soft, resembling toothpaste. The droppings are usually dark red while fresh, but as time passes and the waste dries out, it slowly turns to a darker brown colour. Bed bug faeces look round and flat, resembling spilt ink. You can usually find them close to their hiding place around the corners of your mattress. A high concentration of stains around the same corner indicates you have a rather severe bed bug infestation.
Bed bug eggshells or shed skins
It takes about a week for a bed bug to hatch in your bedroom. If you notice any eggshells or shed skins, then there’s definitely something sinister going on. A bed bug sheds its skin five times during its growth process. If you ignore a bed bug infestation, you can suffer a lot of different problems like skin rashes or, in rare cases, even severe blood anaemia. Don’t hesitate to call a professional if the situation looks terrible.
Musty bed bug smell
The bed bugs’ scent glands produce a strong, musty odour that kind of resembles coriander. If you sense that your mattress smells like old mouldy shoes - you probably have a large infestation since it takes a lot of bugs for a human to detect the smell. Check your mattress corners and the underside of your bed to see if you can find where their nest is.