Mosquitoes flying around

Four Signs Your Home May Have A Bed Bug Problem

October 15, 2020

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Bed bugs are small flat pests that are round in appearance and look similar to an apple seed. While they can be difficult to detect, they aren’t invisible.

Most homeowners feel like they come out of nowhere, but that’s not the case. Instead of crawling in like other pests, bed bugs make it inside by hiding on your clothes, luggage, or any other material they can latch onto, which is part of why they can be anywhere, including your home.

A brown bed bug crawls over a medium grey twill fabric.

Recognizing the signs of a bed bug infestation

If you want to get ahead of a potential bed bug infestation, you must recognize the signs of an infestation

  1. Bites: This is often one of the early signs of bed bugs. Unfortunately, it’s the most misunderstood one because their bites resemble those of other insects, like mosquitoes. If there are multiple red welts in straight rows or clusters, it’s likely bed bug bites. They will often appear on shoulders and arms due to the more readily available skin. Seeing bites that look like bed bug bites should lead you to check more thoroughly for the other signs of these particular insects.
  2. Blood stains: Thanks to their feeding habits, you’ll likely notice bloodstains on your bed or other surfaces they live on. Bed bugs release an anticoagulant with their bite, which means it takes longer for bites to close. This, in turn, leaves behind blood stains the following day.
  3. Bed Bug Evidence: Bed bugs will leave fecal spots, eggshells, and molt. If you find translucent, hollow shapes of tiny bed bugs in places where the insects typically hide, this is an early sign of an infestation. These critters molt or shed their skin during each stage of their life cycle before reaching adulthood. If you see one or all of these signs, you likely have an infestation. The excrement from bed bugs has a dark, ruddy appearance left behind on sheets, mattresses, and even your pajamas. 
  4. Smells: Bed bugs also leave a strong and musty odor that resembles raspberries, cilantro, or almonds. As an infestation becomes more severe, the odor will become stronger and more foul-smelling. This odor comes from pheromones the bed bugs emit when they feel threatened. 

bed bug infestation on a mattress


Can bed bug bites make you itch?

Bed bug bites usually cause itchy welts that appear in rows or in a zig-zag pattern on your body. Because the bugs are hard to see, people often mistake the bites for some other kind of irritation. If you have bites like these, it’s important to look for other signs of bed bugs.

Signs of bed bugs on sheets

If bed bugs have infested your bedroom, it’s not unusual to find reddish bloodstains on your sheets and pillowcases. The same signs of bed bugs on a mattress can be seen when you change your sheets or look underneath them to search for signs of these insects. 

How to see if you have bed bugs

You can perform an initial check on your own if you notice any signs of bed bugs. Use a bright flashlight to look for them. The light often startles them and makes them move away from the brightness, making it easier to spot them. A magnifying glass also helps you confirm that what you see is a bed bug, not a different insect type.

  • Examine your sheets, pillowcases, and pillows for bloodstains or excrement marks. 
  • Take off all the bed sheets and look closely along your mattress edges and seams with a flashlight for signs of bed bugs, shell casings, and eggs.
  • Turn over the mattress and search the crevices, seams, and corners.
  • Look carefully on your headboard and footboard for bed bug signs.
  • If your headboard is attached to the wall, remove it to search for the insects hiding there. 
  • Look beneath the bed for signs of bed bugs.
  • Check all furniture in the room.

bed bugs with shells, casing, and feces in the bottom of a wooden dresser draw

Pest control services

The best solution for bed bugs is to use trained professionals. At Hawx Pest Control, our team addresses your pest problems quickly so your family feels safe and can sleep well without worrying about bed bugs. 

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