How to Check for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are parasitic nocturnal insects that prey on sleeping humans. Notorious for their hitchhiker tendencies, they latch onto people’s clothing and luggage, getting a free ride…right into your home or business.
If you’ve been waking up with unexpected bites, you could be the victim of a bed bug infestation.
If you suspect that your home is a host for bed bugs, it’s best to check as soon as possible before the invasion gets even more out of control. Read on to learn how to check for bed bugs.
Table of Contents
- Can You See Bed Bugs
- What Do Bed Bugs Look Like
- Checking Your Hotel For Bed Bugs
- Checking Your Mattresses For Bed Bugs
- Checking For Bed Bugs Around The House
- How To Check For Bed Bug Bites
Can You See Bed Bugs?
We get many phone calls from our customers about bed bugs. Some wonder if they will be able to see an infestation or just have to look for the signs, like bites. Yes, you can see bed bugs, but it’s not always easy.
Like other pests, their size varies based on their stage in life. Bed bugs start as eggs, molt to nymphs, and molt again into adulthood.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
The first step you’ll want to take before checking for bed bugs is learning more about their appearance.
Bed bugs are small, wingless, oval-shaped insects, and although they are brownish in color, their bodies tend to redden during and after feeding.
It’s also important to understand the size of bed bugs or lack thereof. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed or about 1/4” to 3/8” long, and their tiny eggs are barrel-shaped and white.
Size of Bed Bugs by Lifecycle Stage
Eggs: Bedbugs are an astonishing 0.09 inches, which is 2.5 millimeters. Good luck seeing them with the naked eye! And if you want to get rid of a bedbug infestation, these tiny, tiny eggs are what you need to attack.
Nymphs: It’s challenging to give an exact size for nymphs because they are anywhere between egg size and adult size because they molt multiple times, eventually doubling in size.
Adult bed bugs: Adult bed bugs are twice as big as eggs, making them up to 0.18 inches, or 4.5 millimeters. If you’re trying to wrap your head around that size, consider that 0.1 inch is just a little thicker than a quarter. Basically, they are the size of an apple seed, so you can see them if you know where to look.
Checking Your Hotel for Bed Bugs
If you’re genuinely concerned about bed bugs (as you should be during summer travel months), you should inspect the room before you bring your luggage inside. Bed bugs hitchhike quickly, and can get onto your luggage while you’re searching the hotel.
Also, you’re not just looking for bugs. Bed bugs – especially those that have been in a room for a long time – tend to leave trails.
- Droppings – Tiny dark pellets that look like dried brown blood.
- Dead Bugs – Bed bugs have a fairly long lifespan, but dead bedbugs are still a common sight.
- Cast Skins – Bed bugs shed their skin while they grow.
- Nymphs and Eggs – The babies and eggs of bedbugs are very small, but tiny rice-shaped eggs and very tiny white/clear baby bedbugs can still be visible when in bigger numbers.
If you’re not sure, play it safe.
Ask for a different room, and make sure you get a room that is nowhere near the initial room to ensure that you’re not anywhere near the initial source.
- Mattress Crevices – Start with the mattress, but keep in mind that it’s not the mattress itself but the crevices in the seam where bed bugs hide.
- Chair Crevices – Hotel workers often do such a good job cleaning mattresses that bed bug markings may not be visible, or the bugs may have dispersed. But rarely do cleaners pay as close attention to chairs, so check the chair crevices as well for signs of bugs.
- Edges of Room – Make sure you also check the edges of the room, especially where the carpet connects to the wall. These are often forgotten corners that are difficult to hit by vacuum, and thus less likely to be free of bed bug signs in an infested room.
Checking Your Mattresses For Bed Bugs
Examine your bed and bedding to determine whether bed bugs are present in your home. Strip your bedding from the mattress and box spring. Then use a flashlight to check both sides of the mattress and box spring. Look for bed bug feces, shed skins (clusters of dark dots), eggs, and blood stains. It’s helpful to run a credit card in these crevices too, to oust bugs from their hiding spots.
Checking For Bed Bugs Around the House
Before you move on from the bedroom, use your flashlight to check the floor behind and under the bed, as well. Then go on to inspect furniture like nightstands, chairs, and upholstered furniture throughout the house.
Thoroughly scan moldings, baseboards, furniture legs, upholstery crevices, cracks in the wall, and other nooks and crannies that are harboring bed bugs. Swipe these areas with a credit card to uncover hiding bugs.
How To Check For Bed Bug Bites
Do a full-body scan to check for unexplained bumps, welts, and blisters for bites that showed up overnight. Pay special attention to your arms, face, neck, hands, and shoulders.
Bed bug bites are usually raised, discolored skin with red dots in the center. They slightly resemble mosquito bites in look and feel, only they usually appear in pairs or groups of three.
Green Pest Solutions Won’t Let Bed Bugs Bite You
The expert exterminators at Green Pest Solutions are skilled at successfully fighting bed bug infestations. Our three-pronged approach involves locating the source of the problem, resolving the issue, and applying preventative treatment to keep bed bugs away.
Give us a call at 877-636-9469 today and schedule a free quote for bed bugs and pest control.
Bed Bugs Facts and Checklist
Remember how to identify common bed bugs that might have invaded your home and how to get rid of them.