Whether you are a building inspector, business owner, hotel manager or homeowner, you need to know unmistakable signs of a bed bug infestation to ensure the problem can be quickly identified and resolved. Regular bed bug inspection is the best way to identify a bed bug problem at an early stage, before the pests spread into multiple areas of the structure on onto various belongings. This checklist will help you execute an effective bed bug inspection.
The Bed Bug Inspection Checklist
- Step 1: Look for Telltale Signs: These include small black spots, shed bed bug skins and egg shells, live bed bugs, and bloody or rusty stains on sheets, mattresses, bedding, walls, or upholstered furniture. Other signs include a musty odor that can be sweet or somewhat offensive. Bites on skin, especially when little time has been spent outdoors, may also be indicative of bed bugs. If you are not sure what bed bugs look like, be sure to look them up online and use these pictures as tools when checking for the aforementioned signs.
- Step 2: Uncover All Their Potential Hiding Places: Despite wanting to visit with you for your blood, bed bugs really prefer to hide. Use a flashlight and magnifying glass, if necessary, to inspect all the potential hiding spots, including mattresses and box springs, bedding, upholstered furniture, bed frames, window and door frames, cracks and crevices, carpet tack strips, baseboards, behind outlet and switch plates, drapery, smoke detectors, thermostats, loose wallpaper and molding and wall junctions.
- Step 3: Call in the Dogs: Relying on a visual inspection will not get the job done – especially when you’re fairly certain you have a bed bug problem. Before hiring any one bed bug extermination company, first consider using a company that relies on man’s best friend to effectively and more accurately sniff out all of the areas bed bugs are hiding – whether or not they can be seen with the naked eye.
- Step 4: Start the Treatment Process: There is a wide range of home treatments to use, and the best strategy may be to use a combination of solutions, such as a bed bug monitoring device, mattress liners, heat and steam and sprays. Depending on the type of room or amount of space that you must treat, your options will vary.
- Step 5: Don’t Stop Inspecting: Even if it appears that the bed bug treatment worked and you don’t see the signs of the insects doesn’t mean they won’t return - or that there weren’t a few hiding in the walls waiting to make their move. Be sure to check monthly or as regularly as possible to ensure that they have not returned and so it will not become another infestation.
If you suspect there might be a problem or you’ve dealt with bed bugs in the past, don’t assume they will just go away on their own - because they won’t; if anything, the problem will just get worse. So, start immediately on checking and continue to check before, during, and after treatment.
Here is a summary of the checklist options that you should include when inspecting for bed bugs:
- Know what they look like across the entire lifecycle of a bed bug.
- Locate telltale signs like red or black stains.
- Uncover all their hiding places.
- Use a flashlight and magnifying class as these bugs are hard to see even with a trained eye.
- Be proactive in your search.
- Call in the bed bug dog inspection company to sniff out even those areas that cannot be checked visually. Their sniffers are more accurate than our eyes.
- Start the treatment process and consider using a combination of solutions.
- Don’t stop checking and inspecting. There is always the chance that one or more bed bugs escaped, and you don’t want another infestation!