Bed bugs—every home owner and business owner dreads hearing those words. These nasty, parasitic, and uncomfortable little bugs are a force to be reckoned with—and certainly not something you should deal with on your own. The problem is, it can be difficult to know you have bed bugs. To an untrained eye, bed bugs leave bites behind that look painfully similar to other insects. As pest control experts at Mitchell Pest Services, we know precisely how to identify bed bug bites and their habitats, whether you live in VA Beach, make your home in Arlington, reside in Richmond, or elsewhere in Virginia. To help you do the same, we’ve listed out a few common signs and symptoms of bed bugs. Tossing and Turning at Night More than an insomnia problem, bed bugs are more active at night and in beds (hence their name). If you notice itchy welts on your body while you’re in bed or sleeping, it could be bed bugs causing the problem. Itchy Red Bites Most homeowners don’t notice bed bugs until they start getting bit by them. Bed bugs leave a distinct bite mark on your body. They are flat, red welts that have zigzag lines in small groupings. Their bites can also be in straight rows. The bites are irritating to the skin and cause secondary bleeding and infection due to itching. Unique Markings On Your Shoulders Bed bugs are drawn to exposed areas of the body. At night, this tends to be our shoulders and arms. As a contrast, fleas and ticks typically isolate your ankles and lower legs. If you notice bites on your shoulders and arms after sleeping, you could have bed bugs. Stains Once they’ve had their fill of your tasty blood, bed bugs will leave behind a stain of blood on your bed that looks like small rust spots. You’ll more often than not see these stains on the corners and edges of your bed. Bed bugs are also creatures that shed their skin, so you might also notice exoskeletons on your bed. A Distinct Smell Bed bugs also leave behind a very unpleasant and strong odor, similar to a wet towel. The smell is caused by the pheromones that bed bugs release as a group. If your bedroom smells unusually smelly, it could be time for an inspection. How to Spot Them Now that you know what a few signs and symptoms are of bed bugs, the next step is to determine how to identify them before you crawl into bed with them. They can be found wherever you sleep, not just at home, so it’s a good idea to check your bedding wile on the road too. Tip #1. Always inspect your bed. Before you pull back the sheets and climb into bed, strip your mattress and box spring inspecting the corners and seams. Use a flashlight and magnifying glass. If you see any reddish-brown or rust colored stains it could very well be bed bugs. Tip #2. Dissect the Bedroom Once you’ve thoroughly inspected the bed, next inspect the room. Check any furniture that is upholstered such as curtains, furniture, and headboard. Keep an eye out for those reddish-brown spots. Tip #3. Inspect the Closet If you plan on setting up the hotel closet, check the corners and your clothing thoroughly. Knowing the signs and symptoms of bed bugs is half the battle. We hope these tips help keep you and your family bed bug bite free. Keep reading to learn about ways to reduce pest invasions around your home.