3 Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation

Posted on: 10 March 2016

Bed bug infestations are notoriously difficult to identify because bed bugs normally remain in hiding throughout the day. However, there are a few ways to determine if you have bed bugs in your home even if you never see one of the insects. Here are three signs of bed bugs that every homeowner should be aware of.

Blood, Fecal Stains, and Sheddings

Bed bugs will often leave two clear indicators of their presence: blood stains, and fecal matter stains. Blood stains occur as the bed bugs' rostrums, or "beaks," come in contact with bedding immediately after a feeding. Bed bugs will often defecate as they eat, which leaves stains that are ruddy brown or black in color.

As a bed bug grows, it will shed its exoskeleton multiple times. If you have bed bugs, you may be able to locate these shed exoskeletons in your bedding. They will appear as clear, oval-shaped husks that are slightly smaller than an apple seed. Sometimes entire insects will get crushed as the sleeper moves in their sleep, leaving behind a full corpse and a larger blood stain.

Bite Marks on Skin

Many people think that bites on the skin are the easiest sign of bed bugs to identify, but this is not always the case. As many as 30 to 60 percent of people may not develop any reaction to bed bug bites. Even in those who do, the appearance of bed bug bites can vary from small red welts to rashes that are spread out across a larger area of skin.

One of the best ways to determine if the marks on your skin are caused by bed bugs is to consider their location. Bed bugs typically feed on people's shoulders, arms, ankles, and other areas that are exposed during a night's sleep. It is less common to see bed bug bites on skin that is normally covered by sleepwear, such as the torso or thighs.

Musty Odor

Bed bugs will sometimes create detectable odors if they are present in large enough numbers. There are two sources of bed bug odor: pheromones, and fecal matter. You should suspect bed bugs if your mattress or bedding has an unusual musty, sweet, or herbal odor, even if you haven't detected any other signs of bed bugs.

Use these tips to identify hidden bed bug infestations so you can contact an exterminator or begin DIY bed bug removal.