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With so much news about the spread of bed bugs, you might not be sure if you’ve actually seen tell-tale signs of bed bugs or if you are just being paranoid. Knowing what to look for can not only help reassure you, but also alert you when and if bed bugs have indeed arrived. With this knowledge, you can properly address the problem before it gets bad, or worse.

bed bug

Bed Bug

5 Signs of Bed Bugs You Should Be Aware Of

Here are five signs of bed bugs that you should look out for not only at home, but also at the office, school, gym, the movie theater and other shared public spaces:

1. Stains

Be on the lookout for stains from blood or feces left behind by bed bugs. These usually appear on sheets and bedding as a rust color. Unfortunately, these stains are often difficult to remove from the bedding when washed. This is different from human blood stains, which many cleaners are designed to actually remove from bedding and other fabrics. These telling stains are sure-fire signs of bed bugs, and might also appear on other upholstered or cloth-like items such as sofas, carpets, pillows, clothing and chairs.

stains on a mattress during a bed bug inspection

Bed Bug Stains

2. Shedding

Bed bugs often leave dried-up skin behind in their travels as well as dried up eggs or larvae. These appear as dried-out bug shells often on beds, but also other places bed bugs would typically hide or travel, including bedding, shoes, bags, furniture, and cracks in a building’s foundation.

bed bug nest with adult bed bugs

Bed bug nest with adult bed bugs, baby bed bugs and shed skin

3. Eggs

While bed bug eggs may be difficult to see with the naked eye since they are about the size of a grain of sand, you can use a magnifying class to spot them. Look for these rice grain-size eggs that are a milky color in the same bed bug haunts like beds, bedding and enclosed dark spaces.

4. Bed Bugs

Of course, an obvious sign of bed bugs would be the bugs themselves, which, like the eggs, may be difficult to spot immediately. They are shaped like an apple or lentil seed and have a flat body. They are slow-moving and crawl from spot to spot. Again, finding these dark spots in beds and bedding or shoes, upholstered furniture, and bags. If you see one, rest assured there are many more that are dutifully hiding.

5. Bed Bug Bites

Another key sign of bed bugs would be found on you in the form of bite marks on human skin. While it can be difficult to determine if a bite might be from a bed bug or perhaps a mosquito or spider, there are a few ways to tell the difference. Look for large, raised, and welt-like red bumps on the skin clustered in an area that might be left uncovered like hands, arms, and the neck. The itching is intense, and the actual bites may not appear for a few days. If you haven’t been outside recently, you can likely rule out mosquitoes and start considering the fact that these bites are signs of bed bugs.

5 Signs of Bed Bugs [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 signs of bed bugs infographic

In Summary – 5 Signs of Bed Bugs

In summarizing the signs to look for if you are concerned about a bed bug infestation, remember these points:

  • Start looking in the typical places bed bugs like to live and breed, including beds, bedding, clothing, shoes and upholstered furniture.
  • While many signs are hard to see, it helps to use a flashlight and magnifying glass to search for rusty stains, shedding, eggs and bugs that appear as dark spots and small rice-like remains.
  • Inspect any bites that appear on your arms, hands, and necks within a few days of having stayed in a hotel or even within your own home, paying close consideration to large, red welts and intense itching.

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