Bed Bugs | Posted: April 14, 2022

5 Early Signs of Bed Bugs (With Pictures)

bed bug icon

A bed bug infestation can happen to anyone. Bed bugs are known for feasting on human blood, and they are unsettling to discover. Even though bed bugs tend to be affiliated with unsanitary conditions and stigmas, the truth is, they are hitchhikers, and they don’t discriminate. They’ll travel in suitcases, used furniture, and clothing to get from one destination to another. It can be difficult to spot early signs of bed bugs, but there are certain things you can look for if you suspect these pests may have invaded your home or property.

Bed Bug Hiding Places

If you’re planning to check for bed bugs, there are a few areas that are most likely to house an infestation. They tend to stay hidden in crevices in furniture like mattresses (particularly mattress seams), headboards, bed frames, box springs, and couches until they emerge at night to feed. Some homeowners have even reported seeing bed bugs living in cracks in their baseboards or behind loose wallpaper. Though bed bugs can hide in a variety of places, they won’t want to stray far from their food source. You’ll want to check rooms and areas where people spend a lot of time staying still.

bed bugs on pennyLive Bed Bugs

The most obvious sign of bed bugs is spotting a live bed bug. Bed bugs are tiny reddish-brown insects roughly the size of an apple seed. They are sometimes mistaken for fleas and other tiny pests. Due to their sneaky nature and small size, it’s not particularly common to spot a bed bug. If you see a bed bug, you can attempt to retrieve the insect using a plastic bag. That way, if you need to call a pest control company, you can show them a live sample.

bed bug bitesBed Bug Bites

Bed bugs feed on blood by biting victims while they sleep. When bed bugs bite, they leave behind tiny itchy welts that resemble hives. Because everyone’s body is different, physical appearance and symptoms of bites can vary. If you’ve woken up with skin irritation alongside other signs of bed bugs, you may want to call a pest control company to provide an inspection.

sign of bed bug droppingsBlood Stains & Droppings

Most people don’t notice bed bugs when they’re being bitten–but they will notice aftermath like bloodstains on their sheets. In addition, bed bugs will leave behind fecal matter. If you notice tiny dark spots on your linens, you could be looking at bed bug excrement. Feces may get smudged from movement while sleeping. Smears on sheets could be either droppings or blood, but both may be early indicators of the presence of bed bugs.

signs of bed bug exoskeletonShed Exoskeletons or Eggs

As bed bugs mature and move through their different life stages, they will begin to shed exoskeletons on bedsheets and other surfaces near their food source. This process is called molting. These casings are even smaller than adult bed bugs, but since they are stationary, they can be easier to spot than live bed bugs.

Bed bug eggs may also be present. Once a female bed bug has grown from a nymph to an adult, she will begin to lay eggs. A female can lay anywhere between 3-8 eggs per week. Bed bug eggs are very small and look like tiny creamy-white specks.

Unusual Odors

Experts have mixed opinions on whether or not bed bugs have a smell. That said, if you’re experiencing any of other potential signs of bed bugs, and you’re noticing unexplained musty smells, you may have more reason to believe you’ve got an infestation on your hands. Bed bugs, like most creatures, emit pheromones. These pheromones will smell different from person to person, and some people don’t notice any kind of odor when bed bugs are present. We don’t typically consider this a telltale sign unless it’s coupled with other evidence, but it can certainly be something you pick up on in the early stages of a bed bug problem.

Sign Up for a Free Bed Bug Inspection Today

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to treat. Bed bug problems are best left to the professionals. If you’ve identified any of these early signs of a bed bug infestation, contact us today for a free inspection. Our pest management technicians know common bed bug hiding spots and can let you know if you should consider treatment options.

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