How To Spot If You Have Bed Bugs | Know The Signs

Bed bugs are not prejudiced. They don’t care if you are rich or poor. They don’t care if your house is brand new or 100 years old.

You may not be expecting to have bed bugs because you keep a clean house, but the reality is that they can infect any house at any time. You may have been suspecting that you have bed bugs but aren’t sure. Especially because you don’t seem to be a prime candidate to have them.


Know what it looks like when you have bed bugs so you can get started with removing them from your house and preventing them from coming back.

Here are some of the signs that you have bed bugs and how to get rid of them.

Where They Live

Bed bugs are so small that they are nearly undetectable. That’s why it’s so much easier than you think to get infected by them. They can hide out in your luggage, in your clothes and any used furniture that you have brought into your house.

Once they get into your house, they multiply quickly and like to find places to hide. They don’t create nests, per se, but do like to live in groups. Where you find one you generally will find a whole lot more with it.They tend to like box springs, hence the term bed bug. But they can also be found in other parts of the bedroom.

They tend to congregate in the bedroom because their food source is you. Like mosquitoes they live off of your blood so they need to be near a ready supply. Even if you are moving into a new house, they may be hidden within the walls there while they wait for the new arrivals. You should definitely look into having an exterminator come to your new house before you move in.

When They Bite

They mainly feed at night since you are less likely to feel them bite you then. In fact their bite is barely noticeable unlike some mosquitoes. Each bite takes a few minutes for them to fill up and then move on once they have eaten their fill.

They will bite any part of your body that they are exposed to so you can find them at any spot. They don’t hurt when they bite, but over time they get itchy and uncomfortable giving away the location of the bite.

The bites can easily be confused for mosquito bites since they are so similar.

Signs You Have An Infestation

If you didn’t have what you thought were mosquito bites but find yourself scratching away when you wake up, then that is a sure sign that you are dealing with bed bugs and not mosquitos.

Think of it like this, how would a mosquito bite you on parts that were covered by your sheets or blankets? Here are some other sure signs:

  • Blood spots on your sheets or pillowcase
  • Rust colored spots on your sheets or even your walls from their excrement
  • A rancid, musty odor on your sheets that were otherwise clean

If you see these signs then you need to do a check of your box spring and other areas in your bedroom where they may be hiding.

Bed Bug Treatments

The very first thing you should do is call an exterminator to begin a bed bug treatment of your entire home.

Then you’ll need to take some measures of your own to handle the infestation.

  • Clean all of your bedding, I mean all of it even the bedding in your closet, in the hottest water your washing machine can handle. Then dry them at the hottest setting of your dryer. You should also do the same for any stuffed animals or shoes.
  • Scrub your mattress down to remove any of the eggs that may be there. A stiff bristle brush is best for this.
  • You may want to get rid of your mattress at this point, but if you want to keep it then you’ll need to put a special cover over it. You’ll need it covered for at least a year since they can go at least that long without feeding and survive.
  • Thoroughly vacuum the area and when finished, place the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and throw away outside.


As I said, there is simply no substitute for having an exterminator come to get rid of them. There is only so much you can do. The only true way to be sure the problem is resolved is with chemical bed bug treatments that only an exterminator should be doing.

You should take the steps laid out in the last section while you wait for the exterminator but it isn’t a treatment that will rid yourself of all bed bugs.


Once you’re rid of your bed bug infestation, you’ll want to make sure they don’t come back.

Bringing items into your home from someplace that was infested is the most common way of getting them in the first place. Try to avoid buying second hand furniture that comes from an unknown source.

Only take it from people you know and whose house you’ve been in so you can be sure there are no bed bugs hiding out there.

If you travel somewhere, make sure you inspect your luggage and clothes carefully when you are leaving. Even in the most expensive luxury hotels you can end up with a bed bug hitchhiker.

For those living in a multifamily home, make sure any cracks in the walls are patched well to prevent any from coming into your place if your neighbors have them.

Seal cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets and the insides of your cabinets and closets.

If your neighbor does have bed bugs you should invest in a heating chamber to place your linens and clothes to make sure they don’t have any live bugs that can multiply. And definitely don’t be lending out any of your stuff to them that could come back infested.

Abigail Jones

Hi, I'm Abigail. I like spending time tearing my house apart and putting it together back again. Join me on home improvement tutorials, tips on my blog.

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