As we know bed bugs are able to adapt to any environment, it is very difficult to find out the hiding places of bed bugs and its presence as they are very small enough to view for the naked eye. It is better to take a professional pest control assistance for detecting the bed bugs in your home, offices or in hotels – if you are on a travel.
How to Detect Bed Bugs?
Fecal stains, egg cases and shed skins of bed bugs in crevices and cracks or near beds and blood stains after biting are the suggestive information that shows the signs of bed bug presence. You can take the help of a professional assistance from a pest control company to determine the presence of bed bugs.
Though it is critical to detect bed bugs; there are some detection tools and methods namely:
- Visual inspections
- Mattress and box spring encasements
- Canine scent detection
- Carbon dioxide monitors
- Passive interception devices
It is to be observed that even though many monitoring tools and devices have been developed, no tool or method is reliable in detecting bed bugs.
Visual Inspections: This is the most common method that anyone can undertake to detect bed bugs. There is no need to purchase specialized devices. All that is required is a good flashlight and a magnifying lens to clearly observe their small eggs and nymphs that are hided inside the sofas sets, beneath the floor boards and under the baseboards and frames. This method is not reliable due to secretive nature and very sensitive behavior of bed bugs. Moreover, this method is time consuming, labor expensive and also least reliable to detect low level infestations of bed bugs.
Mattress and Box Spring Encasements: were the first early detection tools available. Encasements have helped to protect the mattresses and box springs and also expose many bed bug infestations.
Canine Scent Detection: Though this is effective method of detecting bed bugs but they are not 100% efficient. This is a popular inspection method to detect low level infestations. The quality and effectiveness of this detection services varies from one place to other. The existence of poorly run programs of this detection method may discredit the valuable well run inspection program. The advantage of using trained dogs is that they detect bed bugs with their sense of smell but sometimes they fail to indicate. If inspection fails, it does not mean that there are no bed bugs. So therefore, some type of verification system is required to confirm the validity of the inspection by implementing the double blind verification system after producing the evidence.
Passive Interception Devices: This is one of the simple, inexpensive trap devices kept under the legs of cot frames and furniture. They help in capturing bed bugs that migrates towards the bed and furniture and to the resting places as well as to personal belongings. This device works on a concept to trap bed bugs that climb up the device and falling into the well which has slippery sides. This works at all the time in a week. Occasionally, the trapped bed bugs should be emptied and the walls of the well must be periodically lubricated with talcum powder using the cotton. This type of device is called passive monitoring device as there is no use of carbon dioxide, heat or other attractants by an instrument to trap bed bugs. This is very effective to detect low level infestations.
Another passive bed bug monitor that is designed is BBAlert passive. It is designed to be attached to various types of beds and serves as an attractive harborage for bed bugs.
Active Monitoring Devices: These devices are the ones that use carbon dioxide as the primary attractant for trapping the bed bugs. Some of these devices also use other attractants like heat and chemical lures to detect bed bugs. These devices actively attract bed bugs. There are two commercially manufactured products namely Night watch bed bug monitor and CDC 3000 bed bug monitor.
Do it yourself (DIY) monitors: This is a simple, effective monitoring device that shows the easy concept to detect the low level infestations of bed bugs. The materials used are a pet food bowl, masking tape, an insulated container and dry ice. As there are some hazards in handling dry ice, people should be careful when operating this monitor. You need certain level of knowledge in handling dry ice. Dry ice can be costly and difficult to obtain. This device is neither a control tool nor it is a solution for bed bugs.
A brand new active bed bug monitor, the Bed Bug Beacon that uses refillable carbon dioxide pellets instead of dry ice is much easier to assemble and run. Another active bed bug monitor is BBAlert Active monitor. This product uses heat to attract bed bug.
About the bed bug
The word bed bugs refer to any insect in the Cimex species. They are the wingless bloodsucking hemipterous bugs sometimes infesting houses and especially beds and feeding on human blood. They are odorous insect with flat reddish body.
An adult bed bug can grow to about half an inch long. They do not have wings and they are nocturnal insects. They are very strong bugs capable of living in wide range of temperatures from 14 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They are known not to transmit any diseases when they bite an individual. But the biting of bed bug causes itching and may become infected. There will be red itchy bumps on your skin.
Infestation of bed bugs does not depend on any hygienic or dirty conditions. They are about to adapt to any environment. They are about to live in the crack and crevices of walls, folds of mattresses, within the furniture, sofas and also on clothes, papers, luggage, behind a wall socket and also behind a baseboard and are very difficult to locate. Infestations are more common in places with high rates of turnover in the human population. The more cluttered in your home gives the hiding places for bed bugs and it is very harder to get rid of these insects. When bed bugs bite you, a chemical is injected that causes allergies in some people. But if it is infected very severely, then you have to consult doctor immediately.