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Are These Bed Bugs In My Ventura County Home?

Bed bug infestations continue to rise all across the country and Ventura County, California has not been spared. It wouldn't be surprising if you do have bed bugs in your Ventura County home. But you should know that, more often than not, a bed bug infestation is detected by the appearance of a bumpy rash, rather than by the appearance of bugs. If you're seeing bugs in your home, it is likely that they're not bed bugs. Here's what you should know about these secretive insects.

bed bug infestation

Bed Bugs Hide

When bed bugs infest a home, they hide in dark voids, compressed spaces, seams, and recesses. These insects are photosensitive and thigmotactic. 

  • A photosensitive insect avoids light. While there are some situations where bed bugs will brave the light in order to get a blood meal, in most cases they won't. They are particularly averse to exposure to sunlight.

  • A thigmotactic insect is drawn to tight spaces. Bed bugs prefer to be squeezed into seams, gaps, and cracks.

If you tear your bed apart and go looking for bed bugs, they can go undetected. We recommend using a debit card or butter knife to drag along mattress and box spring seams. This can dislodge bed bugs, eggs, and shed skins.

Bed Bugs Are Tiny

It is easy to miss an insect that is only between 1mm and 5mm long. It is also difficult to identify an insect that small. A bed bug makes it even more difficult because its appearance changes with certain conditions, such as whether or not it has recently fed. If you uncover bed bugs, here are a few helpful tips to help you with identification.

  • Bed bugs are likely to be congregated together in a group. A dozen or more bed bugs can fit in a spot the size of your thumbnail.

  • You should find black excrement, shed skins, dried brown blood stains, and tiny white eggs in infested areas.

  • Newly hatched bed bugs will be pale.

  • If a newly hatched bed bug has had a blood meal, it will have a red abdomen.

  • If a newly hatched bed bug has not fed, it might have a black abdomen.

  • The abdomen of a bed bug makes up the majority of its size.

  • Bed bugs have six legs when they hatch from their eggs. They don't start life as worms, grubs, or maggots.

  • Developing bed bugs will become tan. They may appear tan and red or tan and black, depending on whether or not they have fed recently.

  • Adult bed bugs are a rusty brown color. They may appear more red or black, depending on whether or not they have fed recently.

  • An unfed bed bug will be oval with a low profile.

  • A fed bed bug will look bloated.

  • Bed bugs are mostly a uniform color. You won't find any bed bugs that are a mottled coloration (like a carpet beetle) or that have markings on the skin.

  • A group of bed bugs may have a mixture of pale, tan, black, red, and rusty brown insects.

Look for bed bugs in tight spaces, such as between your mattress and box spring, under the cushions of your couch, and in the recesses of your beds and furniture.

Bed Bug Bite Analysis

The way most Ventura County residents discover they have a bed bug infestation is by finding a rash. When newly hatched bed bugs start to bite, the bite wounds are usually slight, and the rash is usually not. This can make bed bug bites look like they are "only" a rash, such as an allergic reaction to a food or fabric. Before you go to your physician to have it confirmed that you're being bitten by bed bugs and that your rash is not an allergic reaction to something other than bed bug bites, here are a few things to consider.

  • One bed bug is likely to bite you three times.

  • If five bed bugs bite you, you can expect around fifteen bites. It doesn't take many bed bugs to leave a lot of bumps on your skin.

  • Bed bug bites will typically look like a path across the skin. This is because the bed bugs feed as a group and move across the skin as they feed.

  • Bed bug bites are most often found on skin that is exposed during sleep.

  • Each individual bite can range from a small bump to a large welt.

  • You can wake up with bed bug bites and not know it. The bite wounds on your skin can take hours, or even days, to develop into rashy bumps.

The Next Step

Once you've determined that you have bed bugs in your Ventura County home, the next step should be to contact a licensed pest professional. Bed bugs can be very difficult to exterminate. If you need assistance, remember that the service team here at Ventura Pest Control is always available to assist you.