How To Know If You Have Bed Bugs

Picture identification of an adult bed bug

If you are looking for tips and tricks on how to identify bed bugs, figure out how they got into your how, learn how the bed bug infestation started, and how you can get rid of bed bugs—you are in the right place! Our bed bug exterminators have put together this blog to address some of the most common questions we get about these insections.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs are small, wingless insects (rarely larger than an apple seed) that are light brown in color. Females and males are similar in size though females have a more rounded abdomen. While adult specimens have flat, round bodies and can be mistaken for baby roaches at first glance, juvenile bugs, however, are a translucent shade of white, making them harder to see. 

How Can I Tell If We Have Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs aren’t exactly subtle and often leave behind a few telltale signs of their activity. A few that we always tell our customers to be on the lookout for are:

  • An unpleasant odor in an affected room, often described as being similar to wet linen or mildew. 
  • Small, rust-colored stains on bedding or furniture upholstery. 
  • Itchy, red bites where bare skin contacts affected surfaces for sustained periods of time. 
  • Shed bed bug skins or hatched eggshells, which can often be found in drawers.
  • Live adult bugs anywhere in your home. 

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Bed bug bites often manifest in itchy, red welts with a small dark center. Bites are typically raised and swollen and can sometimes contain clear fluid. While they can often be confused with mosquito bites, bed bug bites typically occur over a much larger area on your body and of course, occur indoors. 

What Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like?

While adult bed bugs are easy to spot, their eggs can be easily missed if you don’t know exactly what to look for. Bed bug eggs are very small, oblong in shape, roughly the size of a pinhead, opaque white in color, and will develop a small black dot in the center if they’re more than about 5 days old. Some say that they look like tiny grains of rice.

Rather than signifying that an infestation is about to start, eggs are a sure sign that one is already underway! 

Where To Look For Bed Bugs

Bed bugs live up to their name. In addition to targeting your bed though, bed bugs can stow away just about anywhere in your home. 

Some of the most common hiding places of bed bugs include:

  • The piping, seams, and underneath the tags of mattresses.
  • Cracks and crevices in headboards and bed frames.
  • Drawers. 
  • Carpeting.

On top of that, it’s not uncommon to find bed bugs on furniture or even behind the coverings of electrical sockets. If you are having trouble finding the spots bed bugs are hiding, a comprehensive home inspection from an experienced exterminator will be a critical first step to combating an infestation!

How Do Bed Bugs Get In My House?

Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers. As opportunistic parasites, they usually sneak into your home in your luggage after staying in a hotel or short-term rental that wasn’t properly cleaned. They’re not picky though and can just as easily hitch a ride in on used furniture or clothing, making only acquiring such items from trusted sources and thoroughly cleaning them before use critical. 

What To Do If You Have Bed Bugs

The first thing to do when you discover that you have a bed bug infestation in your home is to not panic. We understand the stress and anxiety that they bring indoors with them, but keeping a clear head is essential if you want to get rid of them as quickly as you can. 

Next, you should try to get rid of bed bugs by:

  • Removing and closely inspecting all bedding and furniture coverings. 
  • Cleaning affected sheets, comforters, pillowcases, slipcovers, or other surfaces in hot water and a high-quality detergent. 
  • Vacuuming all mattresses, box springs, furniture, and carpeting, as well as the inside of drawers and nightstands, disposing of the contents outside of your home. 

While following these steps may help keep an infestation from getting worse, DIY bed bug removal treatment methods are rarely effective and often prolong the issue. Instead, we highly recommend contacting our team of local bed bug exterminators at Suburban Pest Control for the fast and lasting relief that you and your loved ones deserve!  

FAQ About Bed Bugs

If you’ve still got some questions about bed bugs, we understand. So let's take a minute to do a rapid-fire round and answer a few of the bed bug-related questions that we get the most!

Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?

Bed bugs are generally not considered dangerous as they are not known to transmit diseases to humans. However, their bites can be irritating and can cause discomfort, itching, and in some cases, allergic reactions.

In rare cases, people can develop anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, to bed bug bites. Additionally, constant exposure to bed bugs and their bites can cause anxiety, insomnia, and other mental health issues

Can You See Bed Bugs With The Naked Eye?

Yes, adult bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, particularly against lightly-colored surfaces. While immature specimens are more difficult to see, they can still be found if you know what you’re looking for.

Do Bed Bugs Jump?

No, bed bugs cannot jump. Instead, they crawl quickly and with surprising agility across more or less any surface they encounter and can move with deceptive speed when allowed to.

Can Bed Bugs Fly?

No, bed bugs cannot fly. Adults appear to have the vestiges of what may have been winging at some point, but these have long since ceased to be of any use.

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