As pesky as they are, bed bugs have been a part of human life for over 100 million years. Unfortunately, they continue to stick around, finding their way into bedrooms and causing itching.

bed bug or flea


If you're concerned about bed bugs, you might be wondering how to identify them, treat bed bug bites and what to do when you have bed bugs. It helps to know the tips and tricks for figuring out if you have bed bugs in your home.

How to find and identify bed bugs

Can you see bed bugs?

Adult bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye during the day — no equipment is required. If you're trying to detect bed bugs, start in the bedroom. Bed bugs have many hiding places, but they tend to congregate near where their host (human) sleeps, which is often how the aggregations will start to form. Keep in mind that bed bugs are nocturnal. Identifying bed bugs during the day requires a bit of luck (good or bad, depending on your view) and some persistence.

Checking a bed for bed bugs

As their name suggests, bed bugs prefer to make their homes in mattresses and box springs. That's because their source for food is humans and they congregate where people typically lie or sit idle for long periods of time.

To check for signs of bed bugs, take the sheets off your bed and look at the edges, crevices and piping of your mattress. By their appearance, bed bugs are flat, almond-shaped, reddish-brown and very tiny. Look in the box spring and check for various sizes and stages, from bed bug eggs to adults.

Mature bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed (approximately five millimeters). They are reddish-brown, wingless and flat, although they may swell up like balloons after a blood feeding. When that happens, they change to a bright red color, taking days to return to reddish-brown.

How to identify bed bugs in your room

Bed bugs are smart enough to hide, but not smart enough to clean up after themselves.

These clues are usually the best indicator your room is overrun with bed bugs since secondary signs of bed bug infestation are visible both night and day. To find bed bugs during the day, look for:

  1. Cast/shed bed bug skins, exoskeletons, bed bug shells
  2. Bed bug eggs
  3. Fecal spots on your mattress and bedding
  4. Bloodstains on your sheets and pajamas

But this begs yet another question- what might these look like? Read on to find out more about identifying these tell-tale signs.

Blood stains

Bed bugs are ectoparasites, meaning they live on the outside of their host and feed on its blood. They feed between five to seven days whenever a host is present, so if you see signs of bloodstains on your sheets or pajamas, it may be another sign of bed bugs.

How to detect a bed bug bite

Unfortunately, the most telltale sign of a bed bug problem isn't the bed bug's bite. However, bites on the skin can be a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites can look like bites from other insects (such as mosquitoes or chiggers), rashes (such as eczema or fungal infections) or even hives. Not to mention, some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.

However, it still helps to look for these signs or symptoms of a bed bug bite, and make a connection based on other findings as well:

  1. Raised, red welts
  2. Burning and itching
  3. Bed bug bite rash across a localized area
  4. Straight lines of multiple bites

How to treat bed bug bites

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends you see a dermatologist if you have multiple bites, blisters, oozing, pus or any other signs of a severe allergic reaction or infection. Otherwise, their recommended bed bug bite treatment is to wash the bites with soap and water. This will help prevent a skin infection and help reduce itchiness. If the bites itch, ask your doctor about applying a corticosteroid cream to the bites. Terminix® has the experts you need. Reach out today for a quote to eliminate the bed bugs in your home.

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