Why Early Bed Bug Detection is Important

Do you suspect that bed bugs have invaded your home? Are you waking up with red, inflamed welts that itch so badly you can barely stop from scratching them raw? Unfortunately, you might have bed bugs. You’re likely asking how could you have bed bugs when you have never seen them?  Wouldn’t you see the bugs if they were living alongside you and your family? Well, the answer is not necessarily.


The Importance of Early Detection

The good news is you may have caught them early which is extremely important. Larger colonies are costly and difficult to eradicate, usually requiring a whole house treatment. A few bed bugs can more easily be killed which is likely to save you a lot of money and a lot of hassle.  

Bed Bugs are nocturnal which makes them difficult to detect. They come out under the cover of darkness, scurry from their hiding place, climb up your bedpost, traverse your mattress, and feed on your blood while you sleep. The only clue you might have is an uneasy feeling that something isn’t right, bites, small stains on the bed sheets, or a telltale smell. Bed bugs have a pungent aroma when the colony is big enough, described as a musty sweet odor.


Detecting Bed Bugs

In recent years, monitoring methods have dramatically improved. If you think your home is hiding bed bugs, it’s time for a thorough inspection to detect these pests early on.


Visual Inspection

The best place to start is with a visual inspection. Get out a high-powered flashlight and thoroughly comb through your house, starting at the bed and working outward. Bed bugs can hide in ridiculously small places including inside your alarm clock, in the crevices of your baseboards, behind wallpaper, in the cracks of a picture frame, in the bindings of books, or within the confines of your laptop.

A visual inspection is not always reliable if the infestation is small. You might miss low-level activity if only a few bugs are hiding in which case you’re better off calling an exterminator to inspect your home. Exterminators are trained to find the bugs and well versed in their hiding places.


Bed Bug Traps

Bed bug traps are often referred to as interceptors. The devices are inexpensive and a fantastic way to tell if you have an infestation. Simply place the traps under the legs of the bed. When the bugs try to climb up the legs to get on your bed and feed, they will fall into the trap and are be unable to traverse the smooth surface back out. Check the traps every morning to see if there are any bugs. If so, you can confidently move on to treatment.


Canine Detection

The sensitivity of a dog’s nose is an amazing thing. In many metropolitan areas you can now turn to canine detection companies for a bed bug inspection. Dogs have the capability of sniffing out even a tiny infestation that might be missed through conventional methods. Most canine detection companies claim that they have a 95 percent detection rate or greater, however you should always research the company and look at reviews to make sure they are legitimate. Not all dogs are created equal and some might simply lack the skills of another. One thing to remember is that if the dog does detect a bug infestation you should ask to see proof so you can visually confirm before moving ahead with potentially unnecessary treatments.

Via CBS New York
Via CBS New York

Monitoring Devices

Specially engineered monitoring devices now exist that use carbon dioxide (Co2) to attract bed bugs. The premise behind the devices is that when you sleep at night you exhale Co2, which the bugs are attracted to. There are some monitors that use chemical attractants while others use heat. This draws the bugs in so that you can see if you have an infestation. These devices are new and may be hard to find outside of large metropolitan area.


Sticky Traps

Sticky traps are another method of entrapping bugs. While you might get lucky and stick a few bugs, bed bugs are extremely light and often about to scurry across the glue without becoming ensnared.


Stay Alert

Staying alert of exoskeletons, eggs, and blood spots around your home is also a great way to detect an early bed bug infestation. At the first indication, you should confirm the infestation and start treatment either with DIY methods or by enlisting the help of a professional exterminator. Many people choose to handle matters themselves when the infestation is small and easily controlled. No matter the method, early detection is far more affordable than a widespread invasion. Minimize the spread and spare your belongings by knowing the signs and taking quick action!


Get more information on Bed Bugs:

How to Tell If You Have a Bed Bug Infestation

11 Ways People Bring Bed Bugs Home

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