What are the Most Common Signs of Bed Bugs?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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The signs of bed bugs can be difficult to identify because the bugs themselves are so small, and typically are nocturnal creatures. It is best to look for hints that the bed bugs have been there, such as remnants of waste appearing as tiny dark specks on the sheets. These signs of bed bugs typically consists of small blood stains from any bites, as well as discarded waste from the bugs themselves such as excrement, eggs, shed skin, or dead bugs.

These signs of bed bugs will appear within the sheets of the bed, because bed bugs typically bite humans while they are sleeping. Bed bugs will often live in the folds of the sheets during the day. They may also live within the mattress or the boxspring, in between the two, or in crevices around the bed. This is so they can hide during the day without being disturbed, but in order to eradicate bed bugs from the home, it will be necessary to locate and destroy their daytime hiding place. It is typically somewhere in a bedroom, but bed bugs may also infest carpeting and move throughout the home, as well as move to other locations on clothing.


It is helpful to smooth out the sheets and look closely when looking for the signs of bed bugs mentioned above; a magnifying glass may be helpful because they can be very difficult to see with the naked eye. One of the best ways to tell is to look for stains on the sheets that have a rust-like appearance; this can be indicative of excrement from the bed bugs as well as of blood from any bites. Of course, bites on the skin may also be signs of bed bugs. These are typically itchy and look quite similar to mosquito bites, but they may be more numerous as well as more concentrated in one area. Sometimes the bites can take a few days to show up, however.

Another option is to look for the bugs themselves, by waiting until evening and checking with a flashlight. Unfortunately, bed bugs can be extremely difficult to eradicate, and often require professional pest treatment. It may also be necessary to completely throw out sheets, mattresses, or upholstered furniture that has become infested, because there is always the potential that eggs may not have hatched yet. If a bed bug infestation is not treated, it will continue to spread and worsen over time.


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