Bed Bug Signs

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Signs of bed bugs

Many people do not realize they have a bed bug infestation until they start noticing bites. Even then, bites may go unnoticed as people react to bed bug bites in different ways. Due to their elusive nature, professional expertise is necessary to spot the signs of bed bugs.

Bed bugs are notorious travelers. Nearly every part of the planet has some presence of bed bugs. They love to hitchhike in suitcases and on clothing. Once they find a new home, they look for places to hide that has access to a undisturbed blood meal.

Bed bugs can hide in mattresses, headboards, box springs, couches, chairs, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets and other areas.

How do you know if you have bed bugs?

You might think bed bugs have infested, but how do you know for sure? You can look out for a variety of signs of bed bugs, even though it is difficult to detect these pests. Looking for these warning signs is crucial, because catching an infestation sooner means it usually can be removed more easily, but it is harder and more expensive to get rid of a problem if it is not noticed for a while.

Keep in mind that bat bugs and bird bugs also look like bed bugs. Ehrlich experts are skilled in bed bug control and we provide treatment to tackle any issues.

Bed bug infestations: signs to look for

There are several signs that your home or business might have a full on bed bug infestation, including the following:

  • Shed skins - Bed bugs will molt and shed their skin before each new life stage. Often you can find these shedded skins lying around areas of infestation such as in creases in the mattress, around the edges, and in the crevices that serve as hiding places.

  • Fecal matter - Bed bugs leave fecal deposits after they consume a blood meal. They are often black dots as small as the tip of a pen, that you can see on fabrics like a mattress or mattress cover.

  • Blood - Since bed bugs insert an anesthetic and an anti-coagulant into their host’s skin when they feed, a person may bleed a bit. You can also find smears of blood or spots of blood on your mattress, sofa or chair.

  • Eggs - Although very small and hard to see, you can see the small whitish eggs. They are translucent and narrow. They can be found in mattress creases and other places where the insects can be found.

  • Nymphs - Bed bugs go through several life cycle stages. Until they reach adulthood they are known as nymphs. During their first cycle these nymphs are white colored, but they get darker as they grow.

  • Live adult insects - Although they prefer to be active at night when you're sleeping, you can see live bed bugs if you search for them. They can be tough to find, however, which is why it is highly recommended to contact a pest control professional.

  • Odor - In a building that has a heavy bed bug infestation there is often a telltale odor. Although bed bug dogs can detect a small number of them, a heavy infestation leaves an odor that many describe as like coriander.

Where do bed bugs hide?

Bed bugs are flat and can easily hide in almost any crevice or space. They can hide in the creases in  your mattress and within the mattress covers. Other than the bed, there are other hiding places where they rest between blood meals, including:

  • Headboards - They can hide behind them, on the wall, and if the headboard is wood there can be cracks where they squeeze in. Eggs, fecal matter, nymphs and shed skins can also be found there.

  • Behind picture frames - A good quiet place to hide. So check anything that is hanging on the wall, especially above beds, sofas and chairs, where the little insects can gather. Some of the signs listed above might be on the floor beneath the picture.

  • Electrical outlets - Remove the faceplates and check behind them.

  • Sofas and chairs - Just because they are called “bed” bugs doesn’t mean they only hide out in the bedroom. If you spend time in a favorite chair or on the sofa you might find them in the creases and around cushions and beneath the cushions.

  • Piles of clothes - Anywhere that can provide protection and shelter. If you have piles of clothes on the floor, in drawers, on the floor of the closet they can be hidden there. A dirty house does not mean you will automatically get bed bugs, but one that is cluttered may hide them more easily.

  • Dresser drawers - Check all of the nooks and crevices inside dresser drawers.

  • Luggage - Bed bugs are notorious travelers and if you stay in a hotel and put your luggage on the bed, there’s a chance one could hitch a ride and end up at your home.

Check the bed

Bed bugs earned their name for their fondness for infesting beds. The small, brownish insects prefer to hide in close proximity to their hosts so they can sneak out at night and draw a bloodmeal without being noticed. 

Carefully inspect your bed for bed bugs by examining: 

  • The mattress - Whether you're sleeping in your bedroom or hotel room, the first thing you should check is the mattress. In addition to live insects, you may notice red marks from where bed bugs have been accidentally crushed. Bed bugs can often be found along the seam of the mattress. Also, check around the mattress tags. 
  • The bed frame - Bed bugs are found of finding little crevices in between bed frames and mattresses to hide. Be on the lookout for small cracks in the frame that bed bugs could live in. 
  • The bedding - You should also closely check the bedding for signs of bed bugs, including pillows, sheets, duvets, etc.

Check the surroundings

After you've full inspected the bed, it is important to closely examine the area surrounding the bed. Bed bugs are extremely resourceful and will infest just about anything, given the opportunity. The more intense the infestation is, the more likely it is for areas besides the bed to be infested. 

Take the time to check the following areas in your room: 

  • Bedside cabinets -  The items closest to the bed will be the most likely to be infested. 
  • Wardrobes & dressers -  Bed bugs are known to hitch a ride on clothes. 
  • Pictures - Bed bugs haven even been found on picture frames and other wall adornments. 
  • Furniture - All furniture in the room should be inspected, including the seams and cushions of couches, sofas and chairs. When inspecting, remove any furniture covers.

Check your bags

Your luggage is a bed bug's one way ticket to a new home, full of potential human hosts. Bed bugs are most commonly transported into new places via luggage.  Follow the below tips to properly check your bags for bed bugs. 

  • Closely examine the webbing and seams on the exterior of your bags
  • If you're storing your bags on luggage stands, inspect the joints of the stand for bed bugs.
  • If bed bugs are discovered on your luggage, it is important to cover them in a plastic bag until they can be properly laundered.

How to find bed bugs

Are you worried your property is experiencing a bed bug infestation? Bed bugs have been on the rise in last decade in the United States due to increased global travel among other factors.

If you believe your property may be infested with bed bugs, contact pest control professionals straightaway. The sooner you can confirm the pests are bed bugs, the sooner you can take steps to get rid of the parasitic pests.  

Call Ehrlich at 1-877-456-2541 or fill out our online form to schedule a FREE bed bug inspection of your home or business.

While it is not an easy task to identify bed bugs with the naked eye due to their small size, there are some common sense steps you can take to find bed bugs.

Bed bugs rash

If you are bitten by a bed bug, it can have the appearance of a rash - but this is not always the case. Bed bug bites can also look similar to mosquito bites, for example. You may also experience hives. You probably don’t like pondering the prospect that bugs could be feeding on your blood. But as some people do not experience physical manifestations of bites, do not rely on a bed bug rash or other reaction as the only bed bug red flag - you should look for other signs of bed bugs too. Vigilance could help you spot a severe problem and do something about it.

Seeing signs of bed bugs?

If you spot any of these signs of bed bugs, the best thing you can do is call in an Ehrlich bed bug control specialist.

Our technicians will show up to your home or business to conduct an inspection and survey all of the potential bed bug infestation sites. We will recommend the best bed bug elimination method for your home.

The first step is to call us for a FREE bed bug inspection by calling 1-800-837-5520 or contact us online.


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