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When bites start to appear, especially overnight, it is easy to wonder, "Are these bed bug bites?" Bed bug infestations are becoming common all across the United States. But, not all bites are bed bugs bites. Here in our South Florida service area, there are a ton of bugs that bite people. So, how can you know if you have a bed bug infestation? We're glad you asked.

The Anatomy Of A Bed Bug Bite

a bed bug on cloth in a lake worth florida home

 First of all, you're going to want to take a closer look at those bites and decide if they have the characteristics of bed bugs bites.

  • Do the bites appear in lines? Bed bugs tend to bite three times in a row. Entomologists joking refer to these bites as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You have to love entomologist humor. But, knowing this can actually help you determine whether or not the bites you're finding are bed bug bites. Bites from these insects aren't always red, painful, itchy welts with a significant rash around them. When immature nymphs bite--and when they bite someone for the first time--those bites may only turn into small red dots on the skin. So, looking to see if those dots look like a pattern of lines is helpful for proper identification.

  • Bed bugs aren't going to bite you in your yard or when you go out for a walk. So, going out into nature (or a lack thereof) can help you figure out what bites you have. If you haven't been out in nature for days and you wake up with lots of little bites on your skin, they may be bed bug bites.

  • Where are you finding the bites? Just like flea bites will usually be on the ankles and chigger bites will usually be on the waist under your belt line, bed bugs have a place they prefer to bite. If you wake up with bites on your upper body, especially bites that are on the neck or face, they are likely to be bed bug bites.

Bed Bug Evidence

If you're unable to conclude for sure that you have bed bug bites, or you haven't gotten bites yet, there are other ways to uncover a bed bug infestation. Look in the following places for black residue, tiny black droppings, black streaks, brown blood stains, shed insect skins, tiny white eggs, and tiny pale, tan, or rusty-brown insects that are smaller than an apple seed.

  • Use a flashlight to check in duffle bags, luggage, book bags, and other items that are brought in and out of the house. Look closely in seams and other hidden places. These bugs love to tuck into tight spaces and lay their eggs.

  • Check mattress seams, mattress corners, and the underside of box springs.

  • Inspect pillowcases, sheets, and bedding for blood stains, black streaks, and the other signs listed above.

  • Inspect crown molding, baseboards, and outlet covers for black streaks, black residue, and the other signs listed above. There is usually a mixture of these present.

  • Check your upholstered furniture, especially on stitching and in seams, for a mixture of signs. Bed bugs don't just live and feed on people in beds. They can get a meal from fully-awake humans.

Even when you know what to look for, it can be hard to find bed bugs. They can live in a wide range of places, including computers, alarm clocks, and other electronic devices. So, the best way to know if you have bed bugs is to contact a certified professional, like Nozzle Nolen. What do we mean by "certified" professional? Bed bugs can be extremely difficult to find, even for a pest control company. For guaranteed success, it is important to follow protocols set forth by experts in the industry. Not only does the team here at Nozzle Nolen use the most advanced and trusted protocols, we have earned 3rd party QualityPro Certification from the National Pest Management Association to ensure the highest level of accountability and training. If you have bugs, we'll find them.

For more information about bed bugs or to schedule an appointment with a certified pest management professional, reach out to us for immediate service. Don't spend one more night getting eaten by these bugs. "Don't let the bed bugs bite," used to be a funny saying. It isn't so funny anymore.  

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