Do You Have Bed Bugs or Something Else?

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Michael Perrino

Bed bugs are a major pest that can be very difficult to get rid of, so they are a common concern for homeowners and renters. However, other insects are mistaken for bed bugs such as carpet beetles, spider beetles, and bat bugs. These look similar to bed bugs and cause similar bites, leading to misidentification.

Rashes or skin irritation is a common reason people think they have bed bugs when they do not. Other allergic reactions, skin conditions like eczema, and even new detergents or soaps can cause red bumps or itchy skin that resemble bed bug bites. People see the rash and assume it must be from bed bugs.

In some extreme cases, people become convinced they have a bed bug infestation based on bites or rashes when nothing may be biting them. Anxiety, stress, and paranoia about bed bugs can lead to phantom itches and the feeling that bed bugs must be present even when they are not. This is sometimes called delusional parasitosis.

So when no insects are visible, we might have imaged symptoms or there might actually be nearly invisible insects such as dust mites. Dust mites are hard to see because of their microscopic size. In contrast to their cousins, ticks, and spiders, mites are not noticeable to the naked eye. They are 0.2 to 0.3 mm long at most. So, you probably won’t be able to see dust mites with only a human eye.

Since dust mites are so minuscule, you need a magnifying instrument to see them, such as a microscope. When you put them under the glass, though, you’ll see that these critters look very similar to little multi-legged arachnids, like spiders.

Sometimes dust mites cause allergic reactions and are confused with bedbug infestations even though these mites are not visible.

Pest control companies have to inspect carefully to determine if bed bugs are present. They look for live bugs, fecal staining, eggs, and other signs of infestation. If these are not found, they can conclude bed bugs are not the issue and advise the homeowner on what the rash or bites might be from.

Proper identification is important so that people do not go through the time and expense of bed bug treatments when they do not have an infestation. Ruling out bed bugs can provide peace of mind and help identify the true cause of bites, rashes or allergic reactions.

Should you need help with a bed bug infestation in the Buffalo NY area, call Buffalo Exterminators for a bed bug inspection and service estimate.

Michael Perrino

Pest Researcher and Education Specialist

About Michael Perrino

As a Pest Education Specialist, my role focuses on translating real-world pest control industry knowledge into educational resources and content aimed at empowering customers with valuable information.

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