D.C.'s Ultimate Bed Bug Identification Guide

12/4/2019

Are you hearing about bed bug infestations in D.C. and beginning to wonder what you need to do to protect yourself and your family? Or worse, have you found bugs in your home that you think might be bed bugs? You've come to the right place. This is a quick, all-you-need-to-know, guide for bed bug identification in D.C.

bed bug biting the skin of a washington dc resident

What Is A Bed Bug?

Bed bugs are known for their ability to live in man-made structures, and for feeding on the blood of sleeping people. But bed bugs aren't occasional invaders, like many other pests we deal with in the D.C. area. They live almost exclusively with humans. That means they aren't going to get into your home from your yard. They're going to hitchhike in!

How Do People Get Bed Bugs? 

These insects spread passively by doing what comes naturally to them. Bed bugs like tight spaces and dark hiding places, causing them to get into the seams, creases, and cracks and crevices of our clothing and belongings such as pocketbooks, duffel bags, gym bags, and more. When those belongings are moved, the bed bugs move with them. These pests can also hitch rides in beds, couches, chairs, nightstands, and other furniture items. 

How Can I Tell That I Have Bed Bugs? 

If you're not sure if you have a bed bug infestation, here are a few ways that you can detect bed bugs:

  • Look for tiny pale colored eggs. These eggs may be individuals or in small groups

  • Look for shed insect casings. As bed bugs grow, they shed their skins and leave them behind.

  • Look for tiny black speckles, black patches, or black streaks. This is the excrement of bed bugs.

  • Look for red, brown or tan bloodstains on your sheets. This is evidence of bed bugs biting you while you sleep.

  • Look for the presence of adult bed bugs. Check common bed bug hotspots like mattresses, box springs, bed frames, upholstered furniture, and more.

  • Sniff around for a foul odor. Bed bugs emit a pheromone scent that smells like a locker room towel.  

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Eggs — Bed bug eggs are about 1 mm in length and are a pale white color.
 
Immature nymphs — Bed bugs do not have a larval stage. They start life as immature nymphs. These nymphs are pale in coloration and around 1 mm in length. They have six legs and clear skin. If it has had a blood meal, it will have a bright red abdomen.
 
Nymphs — As bed bugs grow they become tan, their skin becomes a little less transparent, and they may be anywhere between 1 to 4.5 mm in length.
 
Adult bed bugs — If you've seen a picture of a bed bug, then you've probably seen an adult bed bug. Adults are oval-shaped, rusty brown-colored insects. They're about 4.5 mm in length and they have crease lines on their abdomens.

What Do I Do When I Find Bed Bugs?

These bugs are very difficult to get rid of. Keep in mind that they've been living with humans since the dawn of recorded history. They're good at avoiding extermination attempts. The best solution for bed bugs is to contact a licensed pest control professional for professional bed bug control. In the D.C. area, you can trust Capitol Pest for all your pest control needs. We use industry-leading pest control strategies to ensure all the bugs are eliminated. For immediate assistance, reach out to us today!

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