Mosquitoes Or Bed Bugs: What Are These Bites?
This isn't news you probably want to hear, but mosquitoes are not the only warm weather pest that will leave red welts on your skin. According to a survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), pest control operators are seeing an increase in bed bug activity during summer months. That means those welts on your ankles might not be mosquito bites. You might have bed bugs.
A 2013 survey conducted by the NPMA, states that bed bug infestations are on the rise. Nearly 99.6 percent of pest control respondents encountered bed bug infestations in the past year! With an increase in summer activity, and a rise in bed bug infestations, it is best to be alert and be informed. Bed bugs are not something you want to have in your house, and they are hard to get rid of.
So, how can you tell the difference between a mosquito bite and a bed bug bite?
Figuring out if you have bed bug bites isn't as easy as looking at the bite. They both produce a red and itchy welt, because they both put an anti-coagulant into your skin that causes an allergic reaction in most people. This creates a swollen bump, with red irritation around it. If you have a mosquito bite, the red rashy area sometimes feels warm, but that isn't enough to diagnose the bite. You'll need to take some initial precautions, and pay attention to where and when you get bit.
When you go outside, use DEET or another effective form of insect repellent on clothing and exposed skin.
Keep as much skin covered as possible.
Avoid peak mosquito activity while you diagnose the problem.
Look for dark brown or reddish blood spots on bed linen. If bed bugs are taking your blood, they'll sometimes leave evidence.
Take note if you have recently stayed in a hotel, or if you have been in a public area recently, like a movie theater or public bus.
When you wake up in the morning, flip the covers back and examine the area near your feet. Bed bugs are usually around 3/16 of an inch, and will scurry away quickly.
If you see or suspect you have bed bugs, call a professional. Bed bugs cannot be eradicated easily. A pest professional can walk you through all the steps necessary to fully rid your home of the infestation, and teach you how to protect from further infestations.