Bed Bugs Stain Mattresses, Leave Welts on Skin

Pests Move Into Home on Suitcases, Used Furniture, Bedding

Bed Bug(46806)Credit: New York State Department of HealthIn Part 1, I discussed what a bed bug is. Now that you know what bedbugs are, preventing the pests and controlling outbreaks is important.

According to Ohio State University, bedbugs are fast-moving nocturnal feeders. During the daytime hours they prefer to hide in protected sites. Favorite hiding places are inside wood and paper surfaces, which may include your bed headboard. Bedbugs typically like to infest the bed since it is close to their preferred food source, which is you. Heavy infestations may spread from the bed into a room. Bedbugs have been known to infest the cracks of floors, baseboards, inside walls and even in electrical boxes.

One of the first signs that you may suffer from an infestation is that you may have itchy welts on your body. The welts are typically a reaction to being bitten by the bugs. Rows of three welts on exposed skin are characteristic of bedbug bites. Bedbugs may also leave stains in the seams of your mattress. These stains look bloody where the mattress crushed the bugs. When bed bugs molt, they leave behind amber shells as well. These shells are noticeable in large infestations. Brown speckles where the bugs have left excrement may also be an indicator of an infestation. In severe infestations, the bugs leave a musty, sweet odor.

Prior to staying away from your home, inspect the mattress for signs of bedbugs. If you find signs of bedbugs in your room, ask that the hotel give you a different room. If you choose to stay in a room where you suspect bedbugs may thrive, keep your suitcase on a suitcase stand so that the bugs can’t get at it. Wrap all of your dirty clothing in a plastic bag so that bugs can’t escape. Then wash your clothing in hot water when you arrive home.

You should also vacuüm your suitcase before putting it away again. When you vacuüm over your suitcase, pay special attention to the seams of the case. Then put the vacuüm cleaner bag in a plastic bag, seal it and discard it outdoors to get rid of any bugs you may have picked up.

Home owners should inspect any second-hand bedding for telltale signs of bedbugs before bringing the items into their home. Additionally, home owners should close cracks and crevices in the home that could admit bats, birds or rats. These animals can harbor bed bugs as well.

Bed Bugs Part 3: What to Do If You Have Bed Bugs in Your Home