Mention bedbugs and most people cringe and start to scratch at some imaginary bite. However, if you wake up in the morning and realize you have a few real bites on your legs or arms, it is time to inspect the room and furniture for bugs. Keep in mind, though, that just because you find evidence of some type of insect does not mean it is bedbugs. Before washing all the clothing in hot water and storing everything in air-tight bags or boxes for a couple of weeks, here are some clues to make sure you have the right bug.
Inspect the Bed, Bedding and Carpet
The first thing you are going to want to do is to take the bedding off your bed and inspect it closely. If you have dark colored bedding, it can be difficult to notice the tiny, pinprick-sized blood or fecal stains from the insects. Even if you do see the marks, it could still be some other insect. However, this is a sign to look at the bed itself more closely. Pull any seams wide, looking for a bug or cluster of bugs. Pull out the box spring, flip it over and check under the lining for bugs. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting in the room, pull a corner piece of it away from the wall and look for the signs of blood or fecal marks. If you do see any bugs, catch a few.
Smell Any Signs
Bedbugs have a very distinctive odor. Many people find the odor to be somewhat similar to coriander. Any time you see a bedbug and try to catch, kill or scare it, it will release the pheromones that cause the odor. There are even dogs that are trained to find bedbug nests.
To be sure you are dealing with bedbugs, take a few of them in to the exterminator. If you cannot find any live bugs, take in something that has the markings. You do not want to have to go through the labor-intensive task of getting ready for the exterminator only to find out that you have a flea or other insect infestation. If you call them out for bedbugs, they come prepared to heat your home to 135° F for a couple of hours. If it is not bedbugs, they would most likely use a chemical treatment instead. A heat treatment is much more expensive than a chemical one, so you do not want to pay for something that was not necessary.
Contact an exterminator, like Ace Walco & Sons Termite & Pest Control, to learn more about the signs of a bedbug infestation.