My Story with Yucky Bed Bugs!
7 Ways to know if you have Bed Bugs
Are you being Hunted by Bed Bugs? Here’s how I found out I was….
Do you remember that saying, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite?” I remember my mom saying that to me when I was a kid and then saying the same thing to my kids at bedtime. In my wildest dreams, I NEVER thought I would be the one actually getting bit by the bed bugs! If you just want to know how I got rid of bed bugs click here.
To this day, I still can’t believe it actually happened to us. I was devastated and completely embarrassed. At first I thought the bites were from fleas. I was so angry because all of our animals were treated for fleas each month, including in the winter.
It did not make any sense, but that is all I could figure out. It was disgusting and all I wanted to do was throw the cats and dog outside. Don’t get me wrong, I really love my animals. They have always been spoiled and they were inside animals; however, I just couldn’t stand being around them thinking they had to be the culprits.
It was not long before I realized my animals were being falsely accused. I started seeing dark spots on our mattresses. This totally freaked me out! What was going on? It was not only me that was being bitten, but my husband and children. I felt so powerless and just didn’t know what to do.
Once I saw the dark spots and realized it was not fleas, I started to do some research. That is when I discovered I had bed bugs. How could this be possible? I assumed people that had bed bugs were poor, lived in dirty homes, or lived in run-down neighborhoods. But, there it was. My family was being hunted by bed bugs regardless of the fact that we lived in a good neighborhood and a nice, clean house. This is not to say my house does not get a little messy here and there, but it is to say that it is clean.
Do you have bed bugs?
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs can be seen from the naked eye. An adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed. Therefore, you can see them. Here are 7 ways to help you determine if you have been invaded:
#1 – Check for Bites
This is what you will most likely notice first. However, don’t do what we did and assume they are bites from fleas. Immediately look for the dark spots on your mattresses so you can start the elimination process much sooner. Read my post on how to get rid of them!
#2 – Check for Dark Spots
Do you see dark spots on your mattress, in the box spring, or in your linens? This totally grossed me out! These dark spots are the waste of bed bugs. They consist of blood, feces, shed skin, eggs, dead bed bugs, etc. Nasty!
#3 – Check for Red Spots
Inspect your bed sheets for blood. This is your blood they are feasting on. Yuck!
#4 – Hunt them before they Hunt you!
They are great at hiding. Make sure to check the mattress seam and the area around the mattress buttons. Use a flashlight to check corners. Check along and behind the headboard. Check where two pieces of wood join. They like to hide here.
#5 – Watch for them at Hunting Time
About an hour before dawn, turn on a flashlight and watch your sheets for movement. This is about the time they like to come out. Don’t get up because they will go back into hiding. The problem is that if you only have a few, they only come out once a week. Therefore, just because you don’t see them does not mean you don’t have them.
#6 – Lay out Double-Sided Carpet Tape
Lay this out in strips around your bed and on the sides of the mattress. Keep it out for a couple of days. Eventually, at least a few will be captured.
#7 – Check Areas around the Bed
Look at nightstands, inside any drawers, alarm clocks, lamps and lampshades, picture frames, and behind hanging pictures. Check the baseboard and electrical sockets, as well as any cracks in the walls. Don’t forget the drapes.
Remember, they are excellent hiders. Trust me on this one. We found them in many different places, but the one that shocked me was finding one behind the frame of my hanging wedding picture. That just made me sick and angry!
We did most of the above. The bites were our first sign; however, we mistook them for fleas. So, I would say the dark spots are what clued us in that something was not right. We tried the double sided tape trick and captured a few. Then we did a thorough search.
I hope these tips help you to determine you DO NOT have bed bugs! Before you start looking, you might want to know what the bed bug looks like and the different types you could come across. My next post will cover this so you know exactly what you are up against!