Unfortunately, bed bugs aren’t as rare as we’d like to think. You may never have seen one, but that adage “don’t let the bed bugs bite!” is still one to keep in mind, especially if you or someone in your household travels often.
But once you’ve got a pest in your home, how do you know which it is so you can best treat them? Bed bugs aren’t the only tiny vampires that are waiting around to suck our blood, so how do you tell the difference? Read on to find out!
What does a bed bug look like?
Bed bugs are tiny, typically reddish-brown creatures that are usually no bigger than an apple seed (about 1/4” or 5-7mm) when fully grown. They are “true” insects, which means that they have 3 body segments; a head, abdomen, and thorax. They have 6 legs and antennae.
You generally won’t see them (even if your home becomes infested with them) because they come out at night, typically when we’re lying still. They live off our blood and usually won’t bite pets unless they find their way onto them at an easy-to-bite part, since they aren’t good at climbing through hair.
Bed bugs are, unfortunately, fairly common. For years, people have used chemical treatments which aren’t 100% effective, and the survivors have developed a resistance to many of the chemicals. They also don’t care whether transportation, a hotel, or home is clean or dirty – they only want to follow where humans go. Since we all love to travel, they can get around fairly easily.
What’s the difference between bed bugs and fleas?
If you’re dealing with a horrible, biting insect under your covers, that usually means you’ve got bed bugs or fleas. Fleas are smaller than bed bugs in most cases, at around 2-5mm. They appear more black than brown, at least until you get them in the light.
The biggest difference is they have long rear legs and a powerful jump. If you see something dark in your bed one moment only for it to disappear or be over the other side of the bed the next, it’s a flea. You can sometimes even feel them jumping on your skin – yuck!
Unlike bed bugs, you’re unlikely to pick them up when you’re traveling (though it is possible). If you find fleas, the most likely culprit is your furry friend. Treat them first and then treat your home. You’ll usually find that your pet is fairly distressed about playing host.
What’s the difference between bed bugs and lice?
The other bug you’re most likely to confuse with bed bugs is lice. Lice are usually much smaller than bed bugs and semi-translucent in color. They live in hair and are easily spread through school classrooms. If you find these in your bed, they are likely to have come from your hair, so check in a mirror. Lice lay eggs on your hair, so you may find tiny white dots on your hair close to your scalp. If you or someone in your household has lice, don’t panic. You can buy treatments from pharmacists or online which can kill them and the eggs quickly.
Think you have bed bugs or fleas?
If you think you have bed bugs or fleas, we’re here to help. AZEX Pest Solution performs heat treatments that are harmless to your home but wipe out any unwelcome visitors or hitchhikers. Most homes can be treated in just a few hours and are inhabitable again that evening. For more information or a free inspection, click here.