What are the Signs of Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are a common but serious issue for homeowners. These small, brown insects cannot jump or fly. Knowing the signs of bed bugs is the first step in finding and removing these pests.
Bed bugs usually stay close to the feeding areas so look for bed bugs in the areas where they congregate including along mattress seams, in the frames of beds or the headboards, behind baseboards and under carpet edges. Bed bugs can also hide behind pictures, door and window casings, loose wallpaper and any cracks.
Infestations tend to happen quickly and with little warning, so early signs of bed bugs often point to future problems. The insects stay hidden during the day and come out to feed at night. As a result, residents may miss early bed bug problems until pest populations are already hard to manage.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
- Oval shaped and flat
- Six legs
- Two antennae
- Cannot fly
- Short, golden body hair
Where Do They Hide?
Bed bugs can hide just about anywhere; this is what can make detecting bed bugs can be so difficult. Typical hiding places are mattress seams, behind pictures, box springs, in curtains, behind headboards, in sofas, behind baseboards, bed frames, along carpet edges and night stands.
Are Bed Bugs Just in Beds?
Bed bugs are not just in beds although they usually hide within 3 to 6 feet of their feeding area.
Detecting Bed Bugs
You should regularly inspect all sheets and pillowcases for small brown blood stains (fecal spots) and inspect the seams and folds of mattresses for live insects and blood stains.
Bed bugs usually stay close to the feeding areas so look in the areas where they congregate including along mattress seams, in the frames of beds or the headboards, behind baseboards and under carpet edges.
Bed bugs can also hide behind pictures, door and window casings, loose wallpaper and any cracks. Residents should inspect bedding, mattresses, cushions, and furniture after finding early signs of bed bugs.
Bed bugs typically hide during in the daytime, so it can often be very difficult to spot them. If you don’t see the actual bed bugs look for tiny, rust-coloured stains that they leave behind on mattress tags and seams, ceilings, under seat cushions and behind headboards.
Keep an eye out for potential hiding places, such as buckling wallpaper or carpet, and conditions that can attract bed bugs like excessive heat or moisture.
Other Signs of Bed Bugs
Some additional symptoms of bed bug infestations include:
- Bites on the legs, arms, neck, or face
- Blood spots, specks or smears on bed linens
- Hatched egg shells or un-hatched pearl white eggs glued on mattress seams or headboard areas
- Brown or black stains on mattresses, headboards or boxsprings
- Cast skins in bed crevices or fabric folds
Reviewed by Alice Sinia, Ph.D., MSc on November 4 2018.
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