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  The experts say...
Although most people don't immediately associate hoarding with pest control or bed bug problems, there are a lot of connections.
 - Dorothy the Organizer

How do I know if I have Bed Bugs?
The clutter collected by many pack rats and hoarders can provide refuge for several different household pests. Bed bugs especially, can be problematic, because many hoarders "rescue" items that have been discarded by others as trash. The only way you can be certain that a home has been invaded by these pesky bugs is:

  • to find an actual bug or egg; or

  • to have a qualified pest management professional conducted an inspection

It is important to note that although bite symptoms are a good indicator they to not provide a 100% certainty of infestation and medical professionals cannot give a positive diagnosis simply by examining bite symptoms. However, if you are experiencing bites, you should consider the circumstances in which the bites are occurring. For example, there is a very good chance that you have bed bugs if you awaken repeatedly with bite symptoms that were not present the night before. Bites like this would be a good reason for a pest management professional to inspect your home. On the other hand, bites that occur at various times of the day in various locations such as at home, in the car, at work, etc. are less likely to be caused by bed bugs.

Obviously if you see bugs in your home on your bedding or other furniture, you should have it examined by a qualified professional. It is also important to realize that just because you have looked for bed bugs and not found them doesn't mean they are not there. These insects lead a very cryptic and secretive lifestyle and will often go undetected.

Occasionally you may see evidence of a bed bug infestation without actually seeing one. Bed bugs leave fecal stains in the areas they inhabit. These stains are actually partially digested blood but remember that it will not be red unless you crush a bed bug that has just recently fed. As the blood is digested it turns black and therefore the bed bug droppings usually consist of several black spots in one area. The fecal spots will not flake off when rubbed and will smear if wiped with a wet rag. Fecal spotting tends to appear dark/black stains or smears from the digested blood that is excreted as opposed to the dark red spotting that will appear after you have squashed a bed bug.

 - Tip provided by Dorothy Breininger - Professional Organizer
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