How to detect bed bugs

The cases of bed bug infestations have increased over the last decade or so and bed bugs are now found in many parts of the world where they were not found before. So, it is more important than ever that you know how to detect bed bugs and how to find bugs. Providing you look for the tell tale signs of bed bugs it is not too difficult determining whether you have a bed bug problem or not.

How to detect bed bugs - Bed bug bites

In most cases bed bug bites are the first indication there is a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs feed on
blood and like no more than latching on to human beings and feeding from them. A bed bug bite is painless and you are unlikely to notice a bed bug is feeding on you however a bed bug bite is an irritant and usually results in an itchy red blotch or small swelling a day or so after the bed bug has had its fill.

Scratching the bite can lead to skin infections and mild scarring so you must resist the urge to scratch any bed bug bite. There are many different types of over the counter lotions you can use to alleviate the effects of bed bug bites and these are highly recommended to prevent any problems or issues.

Fortunately, bed bugs are no known to carry and pass on any nasty diseases however you may want to see your doctor for a check up if you suffer from any bites.

How to detect bed bugs - Bed bug dung

Bedbug dung or faeces is usually easy to spot and since it will be excreted immediately after feeding
the dung will quite often be on your mattress or bed sheet. Bedbug dung consists of small dark brown or black spots that can be a nightmare to get out of some fabrics. As a rule of thumb the larger the bedbug infestation the more dung you will find.

If you want to know how to find bed bugs’ dung the best way is to get a good flash light and use it to
illuminate the way as you carefully inspect your bed sheets and mattresses all over. As you’d expect bed bug dung is easier to see on a light coloured sheet or mattress so if you have a feeling there may be a bed bug infestation in your house put a clean white sheet on your mattress and monitor it over the next few days.

As well as the sheets you should inspect under the mattress as this is another common place to find dung so thoroughly check the bed slats or base using a strong flash light. Other areas of the bed you should also check are around the edges of the mattress, in the corners of the mattress and on any buttons on the mattress. 


How to detect bed bugs - Spots of blood

Spots of blood are a good indicator there may be an infestation so inspect bed sheets and the mattress
for this. Blood spots are easier to see on a light coloured sheet, so if you think you may have a problem with bed bugs put a clean white sheet on your mattress and closely monitor it.

The blood spots may be a bed bug you managed to crush whilst it was feeding or it could be spillage from the host. The most likely cause of blood spots is when the bed bug has to excrete a small amount of blood and water to make it mobile enough to go back to its lair. Bed bugs gorge themselves almost to the point where they explode so if the blood and water was not excreted it would not be able to move and retreat.

How to detect bed bugs - Bed bug skins

There are five distinct stages a bed bug goes through before it becomes a fully fledged adult. At the
end of each stage the bed bug will have a meal, a bit like a “last supper” and then shed their skin, leaving a cast wherever it may be. Since the bed bug’s last meal was going to be feasting on you there is a strong likelihood the cast skin will be on your mattress.

Skins from the bed bugs in the early stages of its life cycle can be hard to spot, purely because they
are so small. In order to see these skins you are going to need a strong flashlight and a magnifying glass. Once the bug gets towards the latter stages of its life cycle you should be able to see the skins with a naked eye.

How to detect bed bugs - The stench of bugs

Believe it or not bed bugs have a distinct aroma that is distinctly like sweet almonds. The larger the infestation the stronger the smell will be. Like all smells you will get used to it and become accustomed to it through the passage of time.

Those people who don’t live in your house are not going to be used to it so if any of your house guests comments on a sweet, almond like smell take note and consider looking closely for bed bugs. 

How to detect bed bugs - Spying the eggs

Bed bugs’ eggs are very small, about the size of a pin head, and are usually very difficult to detect.
The fact that the eggs are pale/white in colour makes the task even more difficult. The eggs, either hatched or un-hatched, are most easily seen on dark coloured bed sheets, which is a bit of a pain given the blood spots, the dung and the bed bugs themselves are more easily spotted against white and lighter coloured sheets.

Because of the small size of the eggs you are best off searching for bed bugs’ eggs using a strong flashlight and the best magnifying glass you can find.

How to detect bed bugs - Seeing a bed bug

Whilst you are looking for signs of bed bugs you may actually discover some of the little critters
running around. The colour and size of the bed bug will depend on how far it is in the bed bug life cycle and its stage of growth. The bedbug may be a light opaque, pale yellow/white colour for a newly hatched nymph all the way through to a dark brown or reddish brown colour for an adult bug.

How to find bed bugs - Knowing where to look

So you now know how to detect bed bugs and what to look for, the next question is where to look for bed bugs. As you already know, the most obvious place to search for bedbugs is in your bed, however there are other places you need to inspect as well, some of which are obvious and some of which are not so obvious.

So, in your quest for bed bugs you should check;

1) All rooms that get a lot of use, such as the lounge and the bedrooms

2) Around all bed frames and bed bases. Make sure you check the tops, the sides and around the legs and casters.

3) Around the mattress, paying particular attention to the seams and any buttons. Make sure you check both the top and the bottom of the mattress.

4) Around the perimeter of the rooms. Check the telephone sockets, around the skirting boards, around the edges of the carpet, around floor boards, behind pictures, behind paintings, behind mirrors, around books, around curtains and curtain poles. In fact, wherever there is a crack or crevice there may be a bed bug

What next?

Knowing how to detect bed bugs and knowing how to find bed bugs is only have the battle. The next issue you need to consider is the best bed bug killer.