So, when people hear what I do for a living they tend to ask me all kinds of questions, some common, some weird but always with concerns. But the main question I get is: How do I know if I have bed bugs?!
When talking to customers I usually follow up that question with a question myself. My goal is to get as much information about their insect issue as I can, so that I can give informed answers. Answers that I have gathered from my many years of experience in the pest control business. I try to get all of the information together to provide an educated solution backed by knowledge and experience.
I am not a doctor or dermatologist, so I can’t diagnose skin rashes or sores. And you shouldnt trust any pest control operator that does. You should look at the bites as just one part of a bigger picture.
Everybody’s body is different. Every human’s skin is different, this means that each person can and will have a different reaction to bed bug bites.
A flea bite may look different from a bed bug bite on one person but on another person the flea bite and the bed bug bite can look exactly the same. So you should never trust just the look of a bite alone when it comes to diagnosing bed bugs.
Plenty of times I have walked into a customer’s home preparing to eliminate bed bugs when it was just fleas and the opposite has happened multiple times as well. Asking questions and doing inspections is a must before any pest control treatment can start. The only way to make sure that your technician is treating for the proper infestation is to make sure that they are aware of the correct type of infestation.
Frequently people are stumped as to how the bed bug infestation entered their home. It is a common falsehood that bed bugs only occur in dirty spaces. Even a very cleanspace can become infested with bed bugs. This happens when a family has returned from a trip and brought home bed bugs. They should ask themselves, what changes have been made or where they’ve been in the last few weeks? Did they just come back from a friend’s house or vacation? This could be one sign, or they’ve gotten new furniture, or have recent guests spend the night or even their children’s friends may bring some critters with them. Bed bugs are great travelers.
Another frequently misleading reason to think you have bed bugs is fleas. Fleas usually bite at random times throughout the day, while bed bugs are nocturnal and bite at night, if you’re getting bit during the day or when you go outside you probably don’t have bed bugs.
Finally, another common confusing fact is maybe you just got a certain treatment to your home, or know somebody that has, this usually puts your senses at a heightened state, so sometimes specks of dust, pet dander, beetles or other kinds of bugs can look like a bed bug. Before you panic, just remember to look at the whole picture: are the bugs on or in your bed, are you getting bit at night, have you returned from a recent trip, ect. Then reach out to a professional pest control firm and ask them to inspect your home for bed bugs.