How to Check for Bed Bugs: A Complete Guide
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How to Check for Bed Bugs: A Complete Guide

Millions of homes are regularly infested with bed bugs. And if hearing that scares you, maybe you have been worried that you are one of those homes. Bed bugs can be costly to get rid of, and they can spread quickly to other homes. The sooner you find out whether you have them or not, the sooner you can get rid of them. And if you get rid of them in the early stages of infestation, you can prevent them from growing in numbers.

So, how to check for bed bugs? Live bugs are a major indication, along with rusty or brown stains on your bed sheets and pillowcases. The presence of fresh bites on human beings after waking up is a sign of bed bugs. Tiny dark spots of excrement and tiny eggs are another sign that you have a bed bug infestation. Consider having an exterminator check.

Knowing how to check for bed bugs can be confusing, but it can and should be done. Today, I’m going to give you my top tips for how to check your home for bed bugs. We’ll also talk about the consequences of bed bugs, along with ways you can reduce your chances of getting them in the first place.

And if you end up finding that you have an infestation, I’m also going to give you some product tips of what you can use to get rid of them for good.

Table of Contents

When It Is Time to Check Your Home for Bed Bugs?

Have you heard someone talking about their recent bed bug infestation, and it’s made you start to itch? You have decided that it is time to check your home for bed bugs, but you’re not exactly sure how to do that. For starters, you should know when it is time to begin looking for these unwelcome guests.

Here are some times when you should prioritize checking your home for bed bugs:

Check your home after you have stayed in hotels, motels, or shared houses

If you have stayed in hotels, motels, or shared houses a lot recently, you should consider checking your home for bed bugs.

This is because these places are hot spots for spreading bed bugs. After all, one person staying at a hotel with bed bugs can spread it to hundreds of other people who stay at that same hotel.

Some people work regular jobs that involve sleeping in places other than their home where other people often sleep. If you work at one of these “sleepover” jobs, you should regularly check your home for bed bugs.

If one of your children’s classmates has a home infestation of bed bugs,

Many people have children who go to the same school, and that is the perfect environment for kids to share viruses, other germs, and bed bugs.

If one of your children’s classmates has a home infestation of bed bugs, you should start checking your home. This is true, too, if one of your kid’s close friends has bed bugs in their house.

Check your home if your neighbors have bed bugs

When bed bugs have started to infest your neighbor’s houses, it’s time to start checking to see if they’ve moved in yours.

Check your apartment if you live in a major apartment building

If you live in a major apartment building with a lot of residents, you should regularly check for bed bugs.

Check your home if your family members wake up with red bumps, bites, and scratches

A major sign that it’s time to start checking for bed bugs is when you or your family members wake up with red bumps, bites, and scratches after laying in bed or on the couch all night.

The obvious sight of bugs is another good reason, too. They will usually tend to bite humans, and will generally leave pets alone. If your pet is crawling with bugs, that is most likely fleas instead of bed bugs.

Checking for bed bugs might be scary because you’re worried you will find them. Many people actually live in crippling fear of encountering bed bugs. But if you do end up finding bed bugs in your house, be glad that you found them when you did.

Why You Should Check for Bed Bugs as Soon as Possible?

If you suspect you may have bed bugs, do not put off checking for them! You need to find out about a possible infestation as soon as possible.

Bed bugs reproduce very fast and make a lot of new bed bugs in a small amount of time. The longer you let them go, the more bed bugs you will eventually end up within your home.

This will make it much harder and more expensive for you to get rid of bed bugs, and it is why you need to start pesticide control before they grow in numbers.

How to Check for Bed Bugs?

Something you should know is that checking for bed bugs can be difficult. This is because they are so small that they can hide almost anywhere.

It’s tough to find something that is so tiny that most people might never notice it. However, it is not impossible to find out if you have a bed bug infestation or not.

Now, I’m going to break down a few ways that you can check for bed bugs in your home. These are some methods that I have found to be extremely useful when it comes to finding bed bugs. And after we discuss how to find them, we’ll talk about why you want to get rid of the bed bugs as soon as you find them in your home.

NB! Remember, it is generally believed that there is no one perfect way to detect bed bugs. Instead, most professionals and amateurs can detect bed bugs through a variety of detection methods.

But if you do end up seeing or catching actual bed bugs, that is the best way to know. And if you don’t see any real bugs, you will be surprised to find out that there are many ways to check for a bed bug infestation in your house.

Live Best Bugs: The Best Way to Know

Clearly, the best way to know you have bed bugs is actually to see the live bugs themselves. However, the biggest problem people have is that they don’t recognize bed bugs.

In fact, I very commonly find that people mistake bed bugs for other insects. This delays treating the infestation that is in your home, and allows it to worsen.

Remember that bed bugs are very tiny. In fact, most of them can easily fit into very tiny hiding spaces that most people cannot see.

If you see any suspicious, small bug in your home, try to catch it and keep it in an airtight container. Then, consult an exterminator and show them what the bug is. They will be able to tell you whether it is a bed bug or not.

Look for Brown Stains or Spots

At first, you may not think anything of seeing some very small rusty or brown colored stains on your bed sheets. However, you might not recognize this as one of the early signs of bed bugs.

These “stains” are usually from actual bed bugs being crushed. While this might sound gruesome, it can be a very telling sign of an infestation. You may be most likely to find these stains under your mattress or pillows.

Are You Waking up With Bite Marks or Red Rashes?

Waking up with bed bug bites is often the first sign that people have an infestation. These bites may be both red and itchy. You will often find them on your arms and shoulders.

And with bed bugs biting you, they may keep you up for many sleepless, painful nights. Many people may not recognize these bites or symptoms as a sign of bed bugs.

But if you or any of your family members are experiencing these signs, you need to start checking for other signs bed bugs.

It’s important to note that if anyone you spend a lot of time with who doesn’t live with you starts developing bed bug bites, you should start checking your home. Bed bugs spread fast and through a variety of methods.

Look for the Eggs

When you are searching for bed bugs, finding eggs they have laid in your home is a telling sign that you have an infestation.

These eggs are very small, and yellowish-white in color. If you are unsure whether or not they are bed bug eggs, you can take a picture of the eggs you find and send it to a professional.

They will be able to look at the picture and confirm whether or not they are actual bed bug eggs.

Look for the Tiny, Dark Spots of Excrement

While this may sound incredibly gross, checking for bed bug excrement is a good way to find out if you have them or not.

While finding what you think is bed bug feces may not be a definitive sign that you have an infestation, it may be something that should prompt you to look more thoroughly.

Spots of Blood on Your Bedding

When bed bugs are biting at night, you may end up bleeding. This means you may start to find tiny spots of blood on your bed sheets and pillowcases.

You may even find this sign on your blankets if they are light colored. If you have kids, be on the lookout for if you spot any tiny spots of blood on their bed sheets, pillow cases, blankets, or stuffed animals. Kids may not immediately recognize the signs of bed bugs.

Check Your Bedding First (And Other Soft Furniture Items!)

As the name suggests, bed bugs will be naturally drawn to your bed. You may also be very likely to find them on other soft surfaces such as couches or chairs.

They are especially common underneath couch cushions and mattresses. And if you have bed bugs in your bed, the chances are that they will also eventually move to your carpets and other furniture items.

When you are checking your bed:

  • look under the mattress cover
  • all through your bed sheets
  • inside your pillowcases
  • and on any other soft surfaces

You should also use a flashlight to carefully inspect the seams of your mattress and your bed frame. If you have a box spring under your mattress, you need to check that for bed bugs, too.

Use Bed Bug Traps to Detect Themselves

Seeing the actual bugs themselves is the best way to know if you have an infestation. But since bed bugs are small and love to hide, it can be difficult to see any live bugs scurrying around your home.

Some companies manufacture glue traps and other trapping mechanisms that are made specifically to attract bed bugs.

If you set these traps near your bed and other furniture items, some bed bugs may crawl into the traps and become stuck. When you see the stuck bugs, you will know that you have an infestation.

Read the article “Are Bed Bug Traps Effective? A helpful guide”

Go Online, and Study What to Look For

Remember how I said that some people aren’t sure what bed bugs are, even if they see them with their own two eyes? When you begin your search for bed bugs, you need to have an idea of what you’re looking for.

That means you should be researching pictures of bed bugs, bed bug excrement, and bed bug eggs. That way you will know what these things look like if you come across them, and you will have a better chance of catching an infestation in the early stages.

Some Other Common Places to Find Bed Bugs

Remember, bed bugs are tiny, and they like to hide. Check the crevices of your couch to see if you can find bed bugs hiding in your furniture.

If you believe you have a rather large infestation, you may even be able to find them behind picture frames on your wall.

You should also check:

  • around electrical outlets
  • around window and door frames
  • under rugs.

It is also possible to find live bed bugs in your carpet. If this is the case, then you will also be required to have your carpets treated, as well.

This will require a lot of vacuuming, and having vacuum bags that can easily be disposed of. If you suspect you may have bed bugs in your carpet, start by checking where the carpet edges meet the wall.

Recommended products for Bed Bug Infestations

One of the best ways to get rid of bed bugs is by hiring an experienced professional to deal with them. But if you’d rather deal with a smaller infestation at home by yourself, then I have some product recommendations for you. All of these products can be found on Amazon and therefore easy to purchase.

Bed Bug Killer, Natural Organic Formula

This bed bug killer is a spray made by Pest Solider and this spray is considered extra strong, and it is guaranteed to kill bed bugs upon contact. This spray does not leave any stains, and it is safe for use around both pets and children. Eliminate bed bugs fast and quickly with this effective bed bug killer spray.

Check for price

Ortho 0202510 Home Defense Max Bed Bug, Flea and Tick Killer

Ortho is a trusted name among pest control companies, and they also make this spray that is effective for bed bugs, fleas, and ticks.

This 0.5-gallon jug comes with an easy to use application wand.

This bed bug spray will kill bed bug eggs, kill bed bugs wherever they may hide, and it lasts for up to 2 weeks. This product won’t leave any stains wherever you apply it to.

Check for price

Harris Bed Bug Killer Value Bundle Kit

This bundle kit of bed bug products is made by Harris. In this kit, you will get bed bug spray, powder with an application brush, glue traps, and bed bug bite relief gel.

And not only will you be able to get rid of bed bugs with this bundle kit, but you will be able to detect them in the first place with the included glue traps.

Check for price

Utopia Bedding Zippered Mattress Encasement – Bed Bug Proof, Dust Mite Proof Mattress Cover

Whether you have bed bugs or you want to prevent them, you will benefit from a good mattress cover. And this bed bug proof mattress cover is made by Utopia Bedding to keep you from getting bed bugs or dust mites on your bed.

This mattress cover is waterproof, and it comes in multiple sizes. To make routine maintenance easier, this mattress is machine washable.

Check for price

Hiring a Professional

Sometimes, you may need to hire a professional to check your home for a bed bug infestation. There is absolutely no shame in hiring a professional instead of doing it yourself.

You may choose to do this from the beginning, or even after unsuccessful checks of your own. Or maybe you have found some sign of bed bugs, and you need someone to confirm it for you.

Bed bugs are incredibly challenging to remove from your home. Sometimes, a challenge requires the help of a professional exterminator. Consider hiring one if you are checking or treating your home for bed bugs.

Read the article “How to prepare for an exterminator for bed bugs?”

How Bed Bugs Affect Your Health and Wealth

Every time you say the words “bed bugs,” someone either starts to itch or someone develops anxiety. This is because there are a variety of consequences that come with the presence of bed bugs in your home.

And with as fast as they spread, there’s a reason nobody wants to share their mattress with these biting pests.

However, there may be some consequences about sharing your home with bed bugs that you are completely unaware of. Some of these consequences include the following:

Bed bugs bite cause skin irritation

Quite simply, bed bugs bite and cause skin irritation. When you are laying in bed being bitten night after night, you will end up itching a lot of red bumps.

And after all of the scratching, you will have even more skin irritation. This ultimately means that you and your family will go without safe beds to sleep in at night.

Some people can be allergic to bed bugs and their bites

If you are allergic to bed bugs, you may not be able to safely live in a place where there is an infestation. This may result in costly medical bills, and even emergency room visits.

Friends may avoid you

Some friends and family members may not want to visit you if you have an active bed bug infestation. After all, nobody wants to have an infestation spread to their own homes.

A small infestation will lead to a large one

Bed bugs reproduce quickly, and a small infestation will lead to a large one. Before you know it, you may see bed bugs everywhere in your home. And this may cause even bigger health issues.

Bed Bugs may cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Believe it or not, but a lot of people end up getting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from dealing with a bed bug infestation. The struggle and feelings of helplessness that come from dealing with a massive infestation can be incredibly traumatic.

Bed bugs can transmit harmful bacteria

Bed bugs can transmit harmful bacteria with their bites, and this bacteria can actually make you very sick.

Bed bug infestation may cost you a lot of money

A severe bed bug infestation may cost you a lot of money, and may even cause you to go into serious debt.

These are only a few of the various consequences of having a bed bug infestation in your home. And if you are one of the many people fighting an active infestation, I’m going to give you some product recommendations that will be able to help.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs in the First Place?

If you have done various checks and do not seem to see any signs of bed bugs in your home, congratulations! But at this point, you are also wondering what sort of things you can do to prevent ever getting these nasty pests.

Here are some ways to lower your chances of getting bed bugs: 

Check your luggage

After you’ve gone on vacation or stayed overnight at a friend’s home, do not bring your luggage into the house until you have checked it for signs of bugs.

Keep your mattress covered in a plastic cover

Keep your mattress covered in a plastic cover that is made primarily to prevent bed bugs from infesting your sleeping place.

Try using essential oils that repel bed bugs

Some essential oils that bed bugs cannot stand include:

Many of these oils have the added benefit of repelling other sorts of pests, as well.

Reduce the clutter in your home

Reducing the clutter in your home will eliminate places where tiny bed bugs can hide out of sight.

While none of these methods are completely full-proof, they will still be useful for preventing bed bugs from setting up shop in your home.

However, if your checks reveal that you do have bed bugs, let’s move on to some products you can use at home to get rid of the infestation.

Final thoughts: How to Check for Bed Bugs?

Today, we have talked about the task of checking for bed bugs in your home. I have given you some solid methods about how you should check for bed bugs, why it is good to find them early on, and the consequences of having bed bugs in your home.

At Pest Control FAQ, you will learn everything you need to know pests and how to get rid of them. Don’t live with pests such as bed bugs, lizards, rodents, spiders, and lice taking over your life. Take control of pests, and show them that they are not welcome in your house!

Related Questions

What is the best way for someone to get rid of bed bugs? Bed bugs are hard to get rid of since they are so small and can fit into many hiding places. An experienced exterminator is one of the best ways to rid your home of bed bugs. If you cannot find an exterminator, you can try purchasing products such as plastic mattress covers, ultrasonic pest repellents, and pesticide sprays that effectively kill bed bugs.

How do I know if I have pests? If you see bugs scurrying around your home, this may not be the only sign you need to know if you have pests. Chewed plastic, cardboard, and wood can be a sign of many types of pests. Droppings, eggs, and remains of pests can be another sign. Some pests may be less subtle and may be causing a lot of grief with their noise and overall presence.

Why do so many people end up getting bed bugs? It is estimated that millions of people have ended up getting bed bugs. Unfortunately, bed bugs spread, and they reproduce very fast. You can reduce your risk of getting a bed bug infestation by taking precautions, especially when you travel and stay at a hotel.

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