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Cockroaches, flies, spiders and rodents are just a few of the most reviled house pests, but according to many surveys of both pest control professionals and homeowners, no indoor pest is as dreaded as bed bugs. Pest control professionals frequently receive calls from residents who are sure that bed bugs have established an infestation in their home. In many of these cases, residents often point only to mysterious bug bites as evidence that their home contains bed bugs. More often than not, mosquitoes, other insects, or even skin rashes turn out to be the actual cause of what some residents assume are bed bug bites. While waking up in the morning with fresh bug bites may warrant a pest inspection, most victims of bed bug infestations often see the insect pests in their home in addition to sustaining bites. It is very rare for pest control professionals to overlook bed bugs within infested homes, even when infestations have not yet become extensive. This is because bed bugs inhabit a relatively small area within infested homes, and they are not as small in size as many people believe.

Bed bugs maintain harborages in dark crevices near their human hosts, such as within bedding, between furniture cushions, and around headboards. Bed bugs rarely maintain harborages outside of an eight foot radius of sleeping and sitting areas, but when infestations become extensive, bed bugs may establish harborages in wall cracks, especially behind wall outlets. Under the right environmental conditions, and in homes inhabited by multiple people, bed bugs can proliferate into the thousands rather quickly. According to one study, researchers found that homes containing only two male and three female bed bugs living in 72 degree conditions with access to regular blood meals can produce hundreds of adult offspring in less than two months, and thousands in less than four months. In addition to spotting individual bed bugs, the presence of shed skins and small fecal dots on bedding and upholstery indicate that an infestation has been established. Adult bed bugs are comparable to apple seeds in size.

Have you ever discovered a bed bug infestation after finding only their fecal spots or shed skins?