When it comes to household pests, there's nothing quite as upsetting as discovering you have bed bugs in your home.
These tiny insects can leave painful bites behind, and they're notorious for multiplying at a rapid pace.
If you're concerned about these insects, read on for a list of five signs of bed bugs in pillows you need to know.
1. Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs like to feed on a "host," and if they're in your home, that means they've likely chosen to attack you or your family members. Bed bug bites are one of the most common red flags that indicate they've infiltrated your house.
If you wake up with red bumps or swollen, itchy areas on your body, there's a possibility that you have bed bugs. These bites are also called papules or wheels, and they typically appear in a row on your arms, back, or legs.
Many people don't experience any reaction to bed bug bites, but others may experience itching or extreme redness. No matter what, if you notice the sudden appearance of bug bites, you should investigate your home immediately if you're concerned about the presence of bed bugs.
Bites that occur on your face, neck, or shoulders are major signs of bed bugs on pillows. Don't hesitate if you think this is the case and contact a professional bed bug extermination company immediately.
2. You Actually See Bed Bugs in Your Home
Even though they're tiny, you can still see bed bugs with the naked eye. Before you start to panic, examine your bedding, pillow, and areas in between your mattress to look for these pesky insects.
Bed bugs are approximately 1/4 to 1/3 inch long and can have a dark brown or reddish coloring. Most bed bugs are red if they've just had a meal, and they can double in size after a long feeding.
These pests tend to come out and feed at night, so you'll need to check everything thoroughly to find out where they're hiding during the daytime. Look in between furniture cushions, in rugs and carpeting, and even behind picture frames where they may be lurking in tiny crevices.
3. Signs of Bed Bugs on Pillows: Do They Live in Any Type of Pillow?
Whether your pillow is standard, made of memory foam, or filled with feathers, having bed bugs in your bedding can certainly be distressing. If you have a regular pillow, these insects tend to live in the actual pillowcase rather than the stuffing of the pillow. This makes it easier for them to move around without getting crushed.
Memory foam pillows are much denser than a standard pillow, but that won't stop bed bugs from living between the pillow and your pillowcase. As you move around, the bed bugs may not get crushed by your head, so you won't see many other telltale signs, such as insect shells or bloodstains.
Bed bugs will even live in feather pillows, so it really doesn't matter which type of pillow you use. If you suspect there are bed bugs using your pillow as a feeding ground, your best bet is to dispose of the pillow and pillowcase immediately so they don't continue to torment you when you sleep.
4. Bed Bug Eggs and Other Signs
Bed bugs love to lurk in your pillow because it's a perfect place for them to lay their eggs. Be on the lookout for very small oval-shaped eggs that are white in color. Check the pillow and look inside the pillowcase as well as on your mattress and sheets.
Another telltale sign is if you see small black spots on your pillow, which is an indication of bed bug feces. If you come in contact with these feces, it can cause redness, irritation, or even a possible allergic reaction.
If the bed bugs are feeding on you while you sleep, you may notice blood stains on your pillow. Another reason there could be blood stains is that you are crushing the bugs with your head while you sleep. Look for small blood-colored stains on your pillowcase when you wake up if you're concerned.
Any unusual coloring or lots of tiny white eggs is a good indication that you have bed bugs in your pillows. Don't wait until things get out of control - contact an exterminator as soon as you see any of these signs.
5. Strange Scents
When you lay your head down to go to sleep, you might start to notice an unusual scent. If bed bugs infest furniture and bedding, they leave a nasty smell behind.
The scent of bed bugs is described as a little bit sweet and quite musty. Give your pillows a sniff to see if you notice a strong sweet and musty smell.
As you look at your pillows, linens, and mattress, look for dead bed bugs, too. They leave small, curled up shells behind that can also include unsightly stains if they were squashed while still digesting blood in their stomachs.
Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite