Reno's Guide To Identifying And Exterminating Bed Bugs

Do you know that you can have a bed bug infestation for months and not know it? When bed bugs first bite, you might not notice. You may have slight bumps on your skin surrounded by a rash and not think anything of it. Many things can cause a bumpy rash. But failing to properly interpret early signs of bed bugs can cause you to spend more money in the long run, possibly a lot more. Bed bugs stick around one feeding location at first but eventually spread. When they spread, they can get into outlets, wall voids, and other places that are hard to treat. We don't want this to happen to you. Join us today as we look at how to identify bed bugs, how to check for bed bugs and their warning signs, how to keep them out of your home, and what works to get control of these frustrating pests. If you need bed bug pest control in Reno, navigate to our contact page for immediate assistance.

Bed Bug Identification Guide For Reno Residents

bed bug crawling on bedroom furniture

The insect we call the bed bug is known scientifically as Cimex lectularius. There are other species, but this is primarily the species we deal with in Reno. When these bugs infiltrate your home, you might see one and not realize it. Step one is learning how to identify bed bugs in every stage of development. We'll explain why this is important as we describe each stage.

Eggs: A bed bug egg is white and about 1mm long. You may see a single bed bug egg or a batch of eggs together in one spot. It is critical to know what bed bug eggs look like because eggs are the earliest warning sign you'll get. A bed bug in an egg hasn't had a chance to bite you yet. If you know to look for these eggs in the tight spaces and pockets of luggage, bags, and clothing, you may catch bed bugs before they bite you. That is definitely a win. 

Immature Nymphs: When bed bugs hatch from their eggs, they are 1mm long and white, but they don't stay white for long. Those little nymphs will search for a blood meal. When an immature nymph draws blood, it no longer looks like a tiny white insect. The abdomen of a bed bug is significantly larger than the head and thorax put together. After a blood meal, this abdomen will appear bright red, making the nymph look like a little red insect. Knowing how to identify bed bug nymphs is critical because these are the bed bugs you're most likely to see. Adult bed bugs tend to come out only at night to feed on sleeping people. Immature nymphs are far more daring and can draw a meal from you while you're fully awake. 

Nymphs: Bed bugs start to look tannish yellow as they grow. A nymph is 1mm to about 4mm long and is seed-shaped. If it has had a blood meal, it will appear red. If it hasn't had a blood meal for a while, you'll see black feces inside the insect's abdomen. Knowing how to identify nymphs is helpful as they can also feed on you while your awake, though this is less common.

Adults: An adult bed bug is about 4.5mm in length. It has a seed shape, reddish-brown coloration, and horizontal crease lines. After a blood meal, an adult will look redder, but not bright red like a nymph. It will also look bloated instead of flat. If it has not had a blood meal, adults can look like black insects in dim lighting. Identifying adults is helpful because they're large enough to see. An immature nymph is only the width of a credit card.

Bed bugs are tiny insects, even as adults. Not only are they tiny, they are experts at hiding. So we commonly get the following question. Let's take a look at it.

Can I See Bed Bugs If They Are On My Furniture?

Now that you know what bed bugs look like, you know that the answer to this is yes. You can see bed bugs if they are on your furniture. The problem is that they are not likely to be out in the open. Bed bugs have an aversion to light, which makes them hide in dark places. They also have a preference for squeezing into tight spaces. A few places you may find them hiding are:

  • In mattress and box spring seams
  • In vents and grommets of mattresses
  • Underneath labels
  • In the recesses of your box spring
  • Inside mattress rips
  • Underneath the feet of your bed frame or nightstand
  • Under carpet edges
  • Inside wall outlets
  • And more.

When you search for bed bugs, you'll need a flashlight and a probing tool. You can use a credit card, butter knife, or something else flat to probe tight spaces. As you search, keep a vacuum nearby. If you uncover bed bugs, you might have the opportunity to suck them up quickly and be done with them. Be sure to dispose of the bag outside.

Often, you won't see bed bugs even when you look for them, so along with knowing how to identify bed bugs, you also need to know the other signs these insects provide.

Feces: Bed bugs leave their black feces in many places. You may detect their waste material by inspecting pillow cases, sheets, bedding, quilt seams, etc.

Blood: Bed bugs often excrete a little blood. You might see black stains mixed with brown stains or just brown stains. While rare, you might also see red stains if the stains are fresh.

Skins: Bed bugs shed their skins several times as they develop. You may find these yellowish skins in tight spaces and clinging to fabrics.

When you discover bed bugs and quickly deal with them by sucking them up with your vacuum or by using some of the other tips we've provided in our other bed bug prevention articles, you must consider one more thing.    

How Did I Get Bed Bugs?

It doesn't make much sense to get rid of bed bugs if you're only going to get more bed bugs, right? You need to not only know how to find them and remove them but you also need to know how to prevent bed bugs from continuing to get into your home. If bed bugs came home with you from a recent vacation, you don't need to worry. You're probably not going to get more bugs. If they came home from work with you, or your kids brought them home from school, you could keep getting bed bugs even as you work to get rid of the ones that are infesting your home. Here are a few more ways you may have gotten a bed bug infestation.

  • You can get them from taxis, buses, and trains.
  • You can get them at the movie theater.
  • Your neighbor, friend, or relative could have brought them over.
  • Your kids could have picked them up at a friend's house or daycare.
  • You could have gotten them when you visited a relative at a nursing home.
  • You may have even gotten them from the public library. It happens.

There are many ways you can get bed bugs. Knowing how to clean bed bugs up in infested areas may not be enough to arrest your infestation. You can take steps to avoid getting more if you track where you may have gotten them.  

Professional Bed Bug Control For Reno Residents

Early detection of bed bugs is critical, even if you don't successfully remove them on your own. Bed bug control can become costly as these insects move from one location to several. You'll save money when you find bed bugs and contact a licensed pest control provider early. You may also save yourself a lot of frustration. These bugs can hitchhike to other homes while you attempt to get rid of them and get carried back into your home after you pay for bed bug control. Early detection and getting help from a professional early may prevent this from happening.

There are a few things you can expect from bed bugs. They're going to bite you because they feed on blood. They're going to grow a population in your home quickly. (A bed bug can lay up to twelve eggs a day.) And most of all, bed bugs are not going to leave. Apart from accidentally being carried out of your home in an item they're hiding inside, bed bugs will remain permanently. These insects don't live outside, they are almost exclusively indoor insects.

Are you in Reno? Have you already found bed bugs in your home? If so, contact Celtic Pest Control for treatment. We offer bed bug inspections and treatments. We'll guide you toward the right solution for your bed bug control needs. Our pest control technicians have the training and experience to get results. Reach out to us today to learn more about our treatment options or to schedule a service visit. We're here to help. 

happy family on a couch

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