Bed bugs are back. Thanks to the amount of DDT used in the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, bed bug infestations dwindled almost to nonexistence. Increased travel and immigration combined with changes in pest control have led to a resurgence in bed bugs at hotels, dorms, schools and even movie theatres. Since bed bugs cause anemia and allergic reactions, recognizing the signs of bed bugs in a box spring is important for your health.
A box spring that is infested with bed bugs will typically have bed bug stains. These stains consist of dark, brownish-colored spots or speckles and are made up of dried fecal matter. Other stains from bed bugs that you might find on a box spring are smears of blood. This occurs when engorged bed bugs are crushed.
If a bed bug infestation is heavy, an unpleasant smell may be present. The Harvard School of Public Health describes this smell as "coriander-like." This is one of the less common signs of bed bugs in a box spring and shouldn't be used as a concrete indicator of an infestation.
Like mosquitoes and fleas, bed bugs feed on blood. They are active at night, when they seek out warm-blooded animals--people and pets--to feed. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, when bed bugs bite, they inject their saliva into their host's skin. This can result in allergic reactions that resemble mosquito bites. Unexplained itchy welts and skin irritation may indicate a bed bug infestation.
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