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Although harder to see than live bugs, it is possible to see dead bed bugs. You only need to know how to positively identify the pest. Adult bed bugs are reddish or brownish in colour and typically measure anywhere from 3/16 to ¼ inch long. The dead bed bug might be missing its legs and antennas which is a common report. Note that the dead bed bug may actually be a cast exoskeleton. Bed bugs shed their exoskeleton or skin at least five times before reaching maturity in a process known as moulting. It is easy to mistake this cast-off skin for a dead bed bug since it can have all the features including antenna and legs except that the skin is hollow and empty upon closer inspection.
What it means to find a Dead Bed Bug
How to interpret finding a dead bed bug depends on the situation. If you have recently had a professional treatment for bed bugs in Toronto, then dead bed bugs is a very good sign. You can expect to find bodies of dead bed bugs if the treatment is successful. This could go on for a few more days and even up to a month even as you vacuum the dead pests on sight.
Exterminators use residual treatments which continue to be active for a long time. This ensures that bed bugs tucked away in their hiding places also consume the poison once they come out of their hiding spaces.
Finding dead bead bugs if you have not had any treatment for pests is a very bad sign and you should call an exterminator immediately. A single female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime so seeing one corpse isn’t a good enough reason to neglect the evidence.
It might be no problem and a single, errant bed bug found its way into your house and died. A more likely event is that there are many more bed bugs hiding away in your house. These critters are the size of an apple seed which gives them endless options of where to hide. They are also nocturnal which increases the possibility that you might have a pest problem that you are unaware of.
Look out for other signs of bed bugs including reddish-brown droppings, blood stains on your bed sheets and bedding, unexplained bite marks or welts and cast skins.
Inspect your mattress and favourite couches, office chair and other furniture thoroughly for more signs of bed bugs. Do not apply any chemicals or pesticides on your mattress or other surfaces that you come into regular or prolonged contact with unless specifically indicated on the packaging that the chemical is safe to use in this way.
Finally, look up pictures and descriptions of bed bugs to make sure that you don’t miss-identify the pest. Other common pests that are often confused with bed bugs include newly hatched cockroaches, wood ticks and carpet beetles among others.
Call an Exterminator after Spotting Dead Bed Bugs
Once you become aware of a possible bed bug problem, it is prudent that you call an exterminator. Bed bugs are among the most difficult pests to exterminate and this is a view held in professional circles. The chance that you might be able to eliminate the infestation yourself is almost nil. These pests are expert at hiding and have become resistant to most over-the-counter chemicals and pesticides.
An exterminator uses a combination of methods including dust and liquid formulations and has the equipment to get into deep cracks and crevices where the bed bugs might be hiding. An exterminator can also figure out how the bed bugs are getting in and seal these entry points. You must resolve the underlying issue if you have any hope of avoiding this problem in the future.