illustration of the bed bug life cycle by blueringmedia/123rf.com
- Seeing Adult Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are tiny, but can be seen by the naked eye, but spotted easier by using a flashlight and magnifying glass.
Look for: ¼” flat, rusty brown colored bugs that resemble an apple seed. After feeding, engorged bed bugs are more elongated and are a dark-purplish color.
- Fecal Stains
After feeding on a human, bed bugs will defecate and leave behind stains.
Look for: Brown stains on sheets that appear similar to a stain a felt tip marker would leave behind. These stains may also be found on pillow cases or on the mattress itself.
- Blood/Reddish Stains
When bed bugs become engorged after feeding they leave behind blood spots on the sheets or mattresses. Bed bugs can also get crushed when you roll over them while they’re feeding.
Look for: Reddish stains on your sheets. Stains may also be found on pillowcases and your pajamas.
- Case Skins
When juvenile bed bugs grow, they shed their skin a total of 5 times before reaching adulthood.
Look for: Lighter colored empty bed bug shells.
- Eggs and Eggshells
During an active bed bug infestation, eggs and eggshells can be found.
Look for: Pearly white ovals (about 1mm long). Eggshells are similar in size and color but will be less shiny and somewhat flattened.
- The Nose Knows
Bed bugs emit a distinctive buggy smell, which comes from pheromones they emit. This smell may only be noticeable in larger infestations.
Smell for: A strong, musty odor.
- Red, Itchy Bites
Bed bugs feed on humans while sleeping and leave behind red welts. Bed bug bite reactions differ from person to person.
Look for: Bed bug bites can range in look depending on how one reacts from the bite. Look for itchy red bumps or marks on skin. Marks may be in a cluster or line.
*Note: Bites alone are not proof that you have bed bugs. Bites and rashes can be caused by various other reasons.
When Inspecting for Bed Bugs…
Bed bugs can be found in various places. Search around the bed, check seams, tags, box spring and in cracks of the bed frame and headboard.
Bed bugs can also be found in seams of couches and chairs, in curtains, in dressers, under wall hangings and in appliances.
Note: A less-cluttered living space makes for an easier inspection and treatment area if bed bugs are found.
Early detection is important. A professional inspection by a licensed and trained pest specialist can give you immediate answers.
Our staff (and our bed bug dog, Pepper) are trained to inspect for signs of a bed bug infestation. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 or toll free 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.