1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Signs of Bed Bugs

How Can You Tell if You Have Bed Bugs?


Bedbug bites
Joel Carillet/ E+/ Getty Images

Often, people may not realize they have bed bugs until they have a complete infestation. They may attribute a bite on their arm to a mosquito, spider or other less menacing insect. Here are some signs which can help you determine if you have bed bugs.

Look for Signs of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed on mammals, so the first places you will want to inspect are places where you sleep or sit.

  • What You Should Look For:
    • Live bed bugs.
    • Shells of bed bugs as they grow and shed their casing.
    • Bed bug droppings which are about the size of a pen mark.
    • Reddish or reddish brown stains where the bed bugs have been crushed.
  • Where You Should Look:

    Bed bugs love to hide in cracks and crevices, so you must examine every square inch of the object when looking for an infestation. When examining any of these pieces, you should look underneath the piece. Check in any seams or other folds. Search for bed bugs in any holes that may exist in the piece. You can use a credit card and glide it along seams to help unearth the presence of bed bugs or bed bug casings.

    Check for Bed Bugs In:

    • Mattresses

    • Box Springs

    • Headboards

    • Sofas

    • Chairs

    • Areas within 10 to 20 feet of mattresses, sofas and chairs- including furniture, curtains, electrical outlets, picture frames, clusters of objects, door and window casings, moldings, wall cracks, cracks in flooring.

    • You can extend this search from 20 feet to your entire home if you are concerned you may have a serious infestation.

    You Have Bites

    Another way you can tell if you have bed bugs is, you have bites. This can be difficult because bed bug bites resemble bites of other insects such as mosquitos and spiders. In addition, some people have no reaction when they are bitten by a bed bug or it looks more like a rash than a bite, so it can be a difficult way to account for the presence of bed bugs.

    A typical bed bug bite will appear as an itchy red welt on your body. These bites will often occur on your upper body, usually on your arms and shoulders. The bites are often in a straight line.

Next: Tips for Tenants Who Have Bed Bugs
  1. About.com
  2. Money
  3. Landlords & Property Investments
  4. Tenant Issues
  5. How to Tell You Have Bed Bugs in Your Property

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.