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What Does A Bed Bug Look Like?

a bed bug up close

According to a study published by the University of Kentucky “More than two-thirds of travelers were unable to distinguish a bed bug from other household insects. More than half said they never worry about bed bugs while traveling ? although about one in three business travelers and one in five leisure travelers either know someone who has gotten bed bugs or had them themselves.”

The experts at Action Pest Control want to help protect you from bed bugs and make sure you are not one of the 2/3 of travelers that don’t know what a bed bug looks. By having a clear picture of what a bed bug looks like in your mind you will be able to better protect yourself and your home from these persistent parasitic pests!

Bed bugs have been in the news for years and are something that no one wants to have invading their business or home, so it is common for people to be in denial about what they are seeing and may brush off a bed bug as a tick, cockroach, beetle, or other common household insect. But, being in denial about bed bugs will only cause more problems; instead you should be confidant about bed bug identification in order to protect yourself and your family.

Bed bugs are tiny, but adults and nymphs can be seen by the human eye and have a distinct appearance. Adult bed bugs are about 3/16th of an inch in length and are reddish-brown in color. The body of the bed bug is similar in shape to an apple seed- oval and flat. They have six legs, and are not winged. After feeding adult bed bugs become swollen in appearance and more reddish in color. Nymphs look very similar to the adults but are smaller and a lighter color. These pests do not fly or jump but can crawl very quickly and efficiently.

While seeing actual adult bed bugs is the most obvious sign that bed bugs have invaded a space, they will leave other signs behind. Knowing these other signs is another piece of the puzzle to prevent yourself from being a bed bugs next meal while traveling. Common signs of bed bugs include: finding black flecks or blood smears on the mattress, box spring, or linens in your hotel room, finding piles of exoskeletons underneath of mattresses, or noticing a sickly sweet smell in the air.

Now that you know what bed bugs look like and signs of their presence, how do you protect yourself while traveling? Well, the good news is that it is pretty easy; being proactive and trusting your instincts will go a long way in preventing yourself from a bed bug infestation. Other Bed bug prevention tips include:

  • Leave your luggage in the car until you thoroughly inspect your hotel room.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect underneath of mattresses and box springs, in the cracks of walls and wooden furniture, and behind picture frames.
  • Inspect the linens, box springs and mattresses for signs of bed bugs.
  • Keep luggage and clothing up off of the ground; and keep items not in use in sealed plastic bags.
  • Immediately wash all outerwear and clothing in hot water upon returning home from traveling.
  • Thoroughly vacuum out and wipe down all suitcases before storing them until the next trip.

Despite everyone’s best intentions and all precautions being taken bed bugs are very good at hiding and hitchhiking their way into a home, it’s kind of what they are known for! So, if you find that you have brought back bed bugs to your home after traveling, don't panic, Action Pest Control can help. We can quickly inspect your home with the help of our K-9 bed bug inspection service. Bed bug detection dogs have a very high accuracy rating (98%) at finding any and all bed bugs, eggs, and nymphs hiding in a home. Our specially trained K-9’s can inspect your home within minutes with minimal disruption. If bed bugs are detected our technicians can very quickly begin heat treatments to eliminate them.

Contact Action Pest Control to speak with one of our trained experts about bed bugs, or to schedule your K-9 bed bug inspection today!