How to Look for Bed Bugs
It can be difficult to tell if your home has bed bugs; many families live with an infestation without even knowing the bugs are there. If you suspect that you may have bed bugs, you should know how to look for bed bugs, and should do a thorough inspection as soon as possible. As soon as you find signs, you can begin treatment using our simple 4-step solution.
What to Look for:
Waking up in the morning with a row of red welts that burn and itch could be a sign of bedbugs. The burning and itching sensation can be reduced by running hot water over the infected area, using hydrocortisone or taking an antihistamine.
Bed bugs often leave blood stains on sheets, pillows, and furniture. These small red spots, often left in trails, are from bed bugs spitting up some of the blood they were drinking, or from them being crushed by people rolling over in their sleep.
Feces, usually thin black spots or streaks, are made up of digested blood that was excreted by the bedbugs as they returned to their hideout. To confirm that the mark is from a bed bug, try dabbing it with a wet paper towel; it should leave a red smudge.
Bed bugs shed their skin as they move through the 5 stages of their development. This clear skin with a tint of brown or amber can be easily spotted. This is a great indicator that bedbugs may be present.
Where to Look:
Start by removing the sheets from your bed and inspecting them on both sides. Then, check the seams that run along the side of the mattress. Be sure to lift the seams and check under where they tend to fold over. Remove the mattress from the box spring, check the ribbed seams on the box spring, then flip it over to look underneath.
Begin your floor inspection by removing any excessive clutter, to eliminate easy nesting places. Then, check along the baseboards connecting the floors and the walls. Look under dressers, nightstands, and other low-standing furniture. If your room has any wood with cracks or crevices, shine a flashlight into them. If a credit card can fit in a crack, so can a bed bug.
Remove picture frames from the walls and check both the frame (on the back and around the edges) and the mount. Shine a flashlight into any holes, cracks, or crevices in the walls, as bed bugs may be nesting in them. Bed bugs like cramped spaces, so pay special attention to where the furniture meets the walls, and where the walls meet the floor and ceiling.
While bed bugs generally stay within 15 feet of your bed, they may still seek to hide in other parts of your home. Any upholstered furniture can be a nesting ground, so pull the cushions off of your sofa and love seats, and check the seams for warning signs. Remove the drawers from cupboards and dressers and look inside the cabinets with a flashlight.