There are some pest problems that have straightforward signs and clear solutions to clear the problem up. When you have mice or rats, for example, you may hear them running between the walls, and even see them if they’re feeling particularly bold.
But then there are pests where the presence may not always be obvious, and getting rid of them takes some highly specialized equipment and training. Termites are one example of this, and bedbugs are another. Unlike termites, however, bedbugs don’t feed on the wood in your home, they feed on you, and your family and even your pets.
Bedbugs have come back with a vengeance in the USA, are now a major problem in just about every part of the country, because they can come from any part of the country or even the other side of the world. Bedbugs are parasites, feeding on other larger organisms. They consume blood, but they’re not picky about it.
While animals prefer specific types of blood and thus target only specific organisms, bed bugs are a bit less choosy. They’ll just as happily feed on the family dog or cat as they will on humans. This is why your home is a perfect refuge for them.
Sniffing Them Out
Some insects, like stink bugs, give off a very specific, unpleasant smell that is designed to discourage other potential predators from selecting them as their next meal. Bedbugs do not emit a smell specifically as a defense mechanism, but they do use it as a form of communication. Bedbugs emit pheromones, a type of scent that is designed specifically as an “alert” to other insects in the community. A large group that is disturbed by someone lying down in a bed will emit these pheromones. Conversely, if there are a large number of bedbugs, their feces may be detectable to the human nose.
One of the most interesting things about the bedbug smell is that few people can agree on what it smells like. The same bedbug odor may remind one person of spoiled raspberries, while another person says it’s closer to coriander.
Fortunately, the smell isn’t the only way to detect bedbugs in your home. You should keep an eye out for these other, easier signs of their presence. The most obvious is when you start noticing tiny bites on your skin when you get up in the morning, and they weren’t there the night before.
Beyond that, you can also look at your bed itself for dark markings; these may be bedbug feces, or, in some cases, your bloodstains as you move around at night while they feed. You may also find tiny pieces of dirt that are, in actuality, shed bedbug skins as these organisms molt.
If you have a bedbug problem in your home, this can be challenging to remove, requiring highly specialized training and equipment, but we can help. Contact Habitat Pest Control, and our pesticide team can evaluate your home, locate the problem areas, and then formulate a plan to address your bedbug issues so you can get your home—and a good night’s sleep—back.