If you are a self-described "neat freak," then there may be certain things that upset you when it comes to home cleanliness. Pests in the home are a major concern for people who like to keep their houses as neat and tidy as possible. Some of the most threatening and horrifying pests are bed bugs. Not only are they extremely difficult to get rid of, but they live off human blood. While a bed bug infestation may become apparent as soon as you see the telltale bites on your flesh, you want to be able to identify the bugs as soon as they make their way into your home. To do so, you need to know about all the signs of the pests, including some less common indications.
Red Splotches Around Outlet Covers
If you have completed some preliminary research about bed bugs, then you may understand that the creatures live in small crevices and feed off human blood. The small crevices or hiding spots are typically near the areas where you spend the most time. The seam of your mattress, the cracks around the baseboard of your bedroom walls, and the small openings between the floorboards are a few spots where you might notice them.
In the hiding spaces, you are likely to see some specks of fecal matter. However, the material is not the usual brown-colored debris that you might expect. Since bed bugs feed off blood, there fecal matter contains small bits of blood as well. The blood will commonly stain surfaces and leave a dull red stain behind.
While you may see these stains in the expected areas, you might also see them in unexpected ones as well, like around the socket covers of your bedroom. This is the case because bed bugs will often slip just behind the covers and live there. The sockets provide a perfect dark and quiet space to hide. Also, you should understand that bed bugs can and will migrate from one space to another. They can even move back and forth between apartments to lay eggs and to acquire larger feeding areas.
If you live in an apartment building, then the first sign of an infestation might actually be red specks of fecal matter around a socket where the insects have made their way from an adjacent apartment to your own.
Rashes On Your Skin
If you look for signs of bed bugs, then you may investigate your own body and look for the common three-bite pattern. While the three-bite pattern is commonly noted as a good way to distinguish the bites from a ones made by fleas or other pests, this pattern is not always noted. Bed bugs do tend to bite multiple times because they feed for about 10 minutes. However, the bites do not always come in groups of three. Clusters of bites may be bigger, and you also may see a single bite or multiple ones in a line.
Also, swollen bumps may not be noticed at all. However, you may notice a rash on your skin instead. Rashes indicate a more severe reaction to the bed bug bite. Specifically, you may be allergic to the insect's saliva. The rash is likely to be quite itchy and painful, and the negative sensations will typically go away if you use a hydrocortisone cream or a steroid ointment. Rashes may also appear with blood blisters, so this is something to look out for as well.
If you notice a rash, it may be difficult to determine if it is caused by bed bugs or a contact dermatitis issue. Contact dermatitis is a skin reaction to a certain product or substance that comes into contact with the skin, so consider whether or not you have used a new cosmetic or lotion lately. Also, investigate where the rash is located. Bed bug rashes will appear on exposed areas of the skin like the hands, arms, neck, and feet. However, contact dermatitis rashes may appear on your body where clothes may cover you.
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