Bed bug bites are not always noticeable but can cause itchy red bumps on the skin.
The household pest resides in the cracks in and around beds and mattresses but can be hard to spot for two reasons.
The first is they tend to crawl out at night when a person is sleeping to bite exposed skin.
Another reason is bed bugs are very small, with adult bedbugs only growing up to 5mm long, a similar size to an apple seed.
So how can you tell if you have an infestation and you’re about to be bitten?
There are six signs of a bed bug infestation, according to the NHS.
- Small bugs or tiny white eggs in the crevices and joints of your mattress and furniture
- Bites on your skin
- Tiny black spots on your mattress – this could be their dried poo
- Mottled bedbug shells – bedbugs shed their skin as they grow
- Blood spots on your sheets – these can occur if you squash a bug after is has fed
- An unpleasant, musty scent in your bedroom
The health body adds: “Bedbugs tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic and metal, and often hide near to where you sleep – for example, under the mattress or along the headboard.
“But they can be found any from the bed in other furniture, along the edges of carpets and even behind mirrors or inside smoke alarms.”
But the scent of a bed bug infestation isn’t always unpleasant.
You may also be able to spot an infestation by looking at your bites.
Bed bug bites tend to occur in lines across the skin on exposed areas such as the face, neck, hands and arms.
The bites can also cause a rash or fluid-filled blisters in more severe cases.
What to do if you’re bitten
If you’re bitten by bed bugs, the first step is to wash the affected areas with soap and warm water, according to Rentokil.
They can also be relieved by applying an ice pack to reduce the swelling.
The pest control company also recommends: “If you find the itching extremely uncomfortable then you could also take an antihistamine to fight the irritation.”
You’ll likely need professional help to eliminate an infestation completely, but there are a number of methods you can carry out yourself in the meantime to help the problem.