Cimex lectularius commonly referred to as bed bugs, are one of the most annoying pests you can have in your house. They are nocturnal insects, which depend on human blood for their survival. Their flat and oval shape gives them an upper hand in terms of survival since they can hide in many places like mattresses, drawers, headboards, and even cracks on the wall. Bed bugs are generally small and can grow up to 7mm. A fully grown bug is easier to spot due to the darker reddish brown colour pigmentation they have as compared to the younger bugs, which have a much lighter shade of brown that your human eye can easily miss if you are not keen.
Bed bugs have perfected the art of hitchhiking and can move from an infested place and you can easily carry them home. They usually cling to your clothes or luggage if you are from a densely populated area like parks, theaters, hotels, resorts, or dormitories. Since bed bugs do not have nests, they will tend to hide in plain sight and your mattress is a perfect place for them. They can easily camouflage and since they love the dark, you might have a hard time trying to spot them, but here are some few pointers that will narrow down the search. Look for the following:
1.Tiny white eggs nearly 1 mm in size and are cylindrical in shape. At times, you might see eggshells nearly the same size.
2. At times, you may encounter the live bed bugs crawling in cases of heavy infestation especially an hour or two before dawn.
3. The presence of very dark spots, which nearly look like spots made by a marker pen. This normally happens after the bed bugs excrete and they may bleed in the process leading to the dark spots or stains. This means that their hiding spot is nearby.
4. Reddish or rusty stains that normally occur when you accidentally crash the bed bugs while you are sleeping are also an indicator that their hiding spot is close.
5. During the process of molting, the nymphs tend to shade off their outer shell in order for them to grow, so you might encounter pale yellow skins on the mattress. If you do check the nearest fold on the mattress.
6. Check where there are folds in the fabric that covers the mattress since these bugs love hiding in folds.
A protective cover should do the trick if you want to make sure that the bugs do not have a place to hide. It is a good thing that bed bugs do not transmit human diseases, but either way they are a nuisance.