Those unfamiliar with the nasty pest colloquially known as bed bugs might wonder, "Can you see bed bugs?" After all, just about the only thing creepier than the thought of your sheets crawling with them is the idea of unknowingly sleeping in those sheets. As of late, bed bug infestations have become a legitimate problem in several cities, including New York. The fact that they can live for quite awhile (up to two years) without a meal complicates the matter. Fortunately, most people can see bed bugs and take steps to exterminate them if they know what to look for. Below are a few factors that affect your ability to notice a bed bug infestation.
At the very least, you’ll have to squint to see bed bugs. In size they range from a measly five to nine millimeters in length. Ones that recently hatched are even worse, measuring at 1.6 millimeters on average. As a result, the best way to detect a new infestation of bed bugs is with the assistance of magnifying equipment.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are much easier to see when they’re full. These insects are parasites that feed on the blood of certain animals, including humans. When they haven’t had a meal in awhile, they are smaller and nearly transparent. Obviously, this makes them much less visible to the naked eye. Full bed bugs, on the other hand, take on the deep red color of blood and have a fuller, rounder shape. In fact, they look almost like a completely different insect. Though full bugs are definitely easier to spot and exterminate, their presence means they’ve already had a chance to feed on you.
The behavior of bed bugs helps in being able to see them. When they invade your sheets, bed bugs almost always come in droves. You’ll never see an infestation of just a few bed bugs. At the very least, there will be dozens present. This behavior, though undoubtedly gross, makes it easier to see a bedbug infestation. They tend to congregate in tightly knit groups that, when observed closely enough, move around constantly. The byproducts of these groups, including small reddish brown colored smears on your sheets, are telltale signs of an infestation.
Though it seems a little counterintuitive, you can see bed bugs more easily when the lights are off. Bed bugs generally tend to hide in waiting during the day and become more active at night. Thus, by turning off the lights and hitting your sheets with a powerful flashlight, your odds of seeing bed bugs on the move are much better. With a flashlight and magnifying equipment combo at your disposal, you’ll be able to spot bed bug infestations like a pro exterminator.