Can you see bed bugs with a flashlight?
Yes, you can see bed bugs with a flashlight. Most times, bed bugs stay in regions that are so dark it’d be hard to pick them out. For example, they could hide within furniture, behind peeling paint, beneath mattresses, etc. Flashlights will help to bring them to your view.
Let’s briefly study what these bed bugs are. They are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of people at night. They use pointers like body heat and carbon dioxide to know if their host is close enough or not.
One peculiar thing about bed bugs is that you wouldn’t feel them biting you. If you’ve had an experience with mosquitoes, you’d feel a stinging sensation at once.
However, bed bugs have modifications that help desensitize the skin temporarily. You’d only wake up to discover that your skin’s covered with tiny red bumps.
In the process of feeding, the bed bug releases it saliva which contains an anticoagulant that helps it feed easily. The human body would usually react to that anticoagulant. That’s why you’d hear of allergies like hives (a severe rash on the skin.)
Where to check for bed bugs
When checking and trying to see bed bugs with your flashlight, ensure that you check through the following areas;
- The seams of your mattress.
- The coverings of your mattress
- Cracked paint
- Loose wallpapers
- Edges of wooden floors
- Carpets (under the carpets especially)
- The seams and crevices of your furniture
You may be lucky to see a real bed bug while doing your inspection. In other cases, you may only get to see signs that bed bugs are within your sleeping area. Below are some of those signs;
Signs of bed bug infestation
- Blood stains from squashed bed bugs
- Fecal droppings of the bed bugs
- Musty smell that comes from their sweat glands.
How to check for bed bugs with flashlight
For tips on how to check your furniture, luggage or house for the presence of bed bugs, you would need specific instruments. They include these;
This one will help you check through the dark corners and surfaces in your room. Once a bed bug senses the light, it releases its stress hormone—pheromone—and then, stops moving for a while. However, in a second or two, it’d continue again, moving quickly in order to get out of the area where the light is.
You would need to ascertain that the crawling insect you are seeing is indeed a bed bug. A magnifying glass would work well for this purpose as it helps you study the shape of the insect properly. A bed bug has the following features;
- A body that’s about 0.5cm long
- A flat and oval body
- Six legs for crawling
- No wings
- Light brown in color (the color turns darker after they feed)
- Large antennae
- Specialized mouth parts for biting and sucking.
- A flat head
A tool with a pointed mouth
This tool will help you pick up the bed bug easily. For example, if you notice an insect moving within the crevices or cracks in your walls, you can easily pick them out with the tool. After that, inspect the insect with the magnifying glass.
Once you pick up the bed bugs, the next thing you want to do is get rid of them. Have a disposable plastic bag beside you where you can dump the bed bugs that you pick up.
Having a paper-like towel is great when you need to squish a bed bug. Sometimes, squishing them can help you ascertain that they are bed bugs. A well fed bed bug would instantly pop out a measure of blood after it has been squished.
A vacuum cleaner
These cleaners have the ability to pick up the tiniest dirt specks. Insects are also not left out of the cleaning process. However, when you make use of this cleaner, ensure that you immediately get rid of the bag that the dust and bed bugs collect into.
The moment you notice the signs that bed bugs leave—blood stains, poop droppings, etc., ensure that you instantly use a cleaning solution and sponge to get rid of them. That way, you can easily tell out signs that new bed bugs have arrived.
How to check for bed bugs in mattress, furniture and room
When inspecting your house for the presence of bed bugs, ensure that you start from your room. Bed bugs are mostly clustered around the area you sleep—your mattress. And that is because they feed on blood. From your mattress, you can move in wider arcs until you confirm that they aren’t there.
Let’s see the areas to check for in the following materials and areas;
- Your mattress
When checking for bed bugs, ensure that you check through the seams of your mattress, the area that lies between the mattress and elastic springs, the bed frame, headboards (both the inner and outer panels), etc.
When checking for bed bugs in your couch, sofas, cupboards, chairs, and other furniture, ensure that you check through the drawers, the various edges and surfaces, as well as the joints of the furniture. A torch would definitely be needed here because of the dark nature of those crevices.
When checking your room, study the walls and doors closely. Check every edge, crevice and surface. Then, move to the items or frames that you hung around the wall. Cracks in the wall, torn wallpapers, etc. should also not be left out.
- Check through the smaller items that clutter the room—your books (check the sleeves), table clocks, etc.
After you must have checked a room, you can then move on to check the other rooms.