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How To Check For Bed Bugs

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: May 25, 2023
5 min read

Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
Early Signs Of Bedbugs

Bed bugs are microscopic insects that feed on human blood and stay hidden in household furniture. Even though these bugs are relatively harmless, some people are allergic to them. Having a bed bug infestation can be extremely frustrating. Sadly most people do not know how to check for bed bugs. This is because these bugs are hard to find and even harder to get rid of.

Bed bugs can gain entry into your home through dirty laundry, luggage, and even used furniture. It is important to look out for the early signs of bed bugs to prevent their infestation from growing. Sleep Guides India provides information about detecting the early signs of these pests besides helping you learn where they hide, how to get rid on bed begs, and how to prevent further infestation.

Early Signs of Bed Bugs

Whether or not you are allergic to bed bugs, it is advisable to be vigilant about their presence in your home. To start with, you should check for the early signs of bed bug pictures to identify the pests easily and take the necessary preventive measures to avoid their multiplication. Some early signs that are indicative of the presence of bed bugs in your home include the following.

Bed Bug Bites

The early signs of bed bugs bites on the skin appear in the form of small and itchy red welts on any exposed parts of the skin, such as arms, legs, neck, and hands. In most cases, the welts are in the form of a cluster of 4 -5 bites in a zigzag or random pattern. However, since there is no definite way to distinguish bed bug bites from insect bites, they alone are not enough to diagnose the infestation of these pests.

Blood Stains on Your Sheets

The appearance of blood stains on your sheets without any explainable source of the blood can be another indication of the presence of bugs. These stains are the early signs of bed bugs on sheets which may have been crushed due to your sudden movement during the night. 

Dark Spots on Your Sheets

The sudden appearance of small dark spots on your sheets can also indicate the early signs of bed bugs on mattress. The spots are generally the size of a pen tip and start resembling the magic marker stains after the sheets are washed. They are caused by the faecal droppings of bugs.

Musty Smell Around Mattress

The sudden development of a strange musty smell with no apparent source can also indicate the presence of bed bugs. Different people experience different types of smells caused by bugs emitting pheromones. The smell increases with an increase in infestation and becomes quite unpleasant. However, it is important to fully investigate the source of the smell before taking it as early signs of bed bugs smell.

Bed Bug Eggs

Given their microscopic size, the eggs are rarely visible to the naked eye, making it extremely difficult to identify the early signs of bed bug eggs. They often look like specks of white dust in the nooks and corners of the bed. The bed bug eggs have the shape of miniaturized rice grains that are the size of a pinhead. These ovular-shaped eggs are pearly white and have a length of around 1 milimeter. A pregnant female bed bug can lay between 1 to 7 eggs per day, which then hatch within the next 7 to 10 days.

Bed Bugs or Their Casings In Bedding

The appearance of a live bed bug confirms that there is a problem with these pests in your home. If you have ignored any early signs of bed bugs on your skin or your bed, finding a live pest or casing is enough to rest your doubts. While the bugs are small brownish insects with oval-shaped bodies that look like apple seeds, their casings are translucent and have a yellowish tint.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide

The tiny flat bodies of bed bugs make it extremely easy to fit in any little space. They live in small groups in cracks, crevices, or other dark places. So, if you want to know where do bed bugs hide, start by looking in small spaces which are more than 2 millimetres wide. Some familiar hiding places of bed bugs include the following.

Your Bed

Your bed, including your mattress seams, pillows, the headboard, and joints in the bed frame, provides an ideal hiding place for bed bugs to hide. 

Next To The Bed

The nightstands placed near the bed, any electrical outlets on adjoining walls, and even curtain folds and dressers are suitable hiding places for these pests.

Walls And Furniture

It is common to find bed bugs in couches and sofa cushions, rugs, windows, door and picture frames, pet beds, smoke alarms, or other such devices embedded in the walls.

What To Do If You Have Bed Bugs

It is normal to feel concerned about what to do if you have bed bugs. Once the problem has been confirmed, you should take the following steps to contain and get rid of the infestation.

Clean All The Bedding

Remove all the bed linen and wash it in a strong detergent at a high temperature. Remove any live bugs and their eggs from the mattress by scrubbing it, vacuum it and put it out in the sun.

Vacuum The Bed And Surrounding Area

Thoroughly vacuum the bed frame and the surrounding areas, including curtains, windows, any upholstery, or other small and dark places.

Call In The Experts

If the bug infestation has spread into various parts of your home, it is advisable to immediately contact the local pest control facility to get the infestation removed completely.

How To Prevent Bed Bugs

Even after you rid your house of the bed bug infestation, it is important to be aware of how to prevent bed bugs in the future. Some ways to ensure the same include the following.

Regularly Clean Your Bed

An effective way to avoid bed bug infestation is to clean your bed regularly. This includes washing the bed linen regularly and vacuuming the mattress and the bed frame periodically.

Remove Any Clutter

Keeping the bed and its surrounding area clutter-free can also help to avoid the problem of bed bugs.  

Repair Cracks And Crevices

Repairing any cracks or crevices that might appear in the walls or bed frames and ensuring that the furniture joins are tight-fitted can help prevent bed bug infestation.

Use Mattress Covers

Encasing the mattress in tightly woven covers with zippers can prevent the bugs from making a home in its seams or getting out and spreading the infestation.


The bed bugs infestation is not to be taken lightly. You should constantly look for signs that may indicate the presence of bed bugs. You also need to be aware of their likely hiding places in your home and the early signs of bed bugs treatment to prevent the problem from escalating. This is essential to provide a safe and healthy living environment for your loved ones.


How do bed bugs suddenly appear?

They can be found in secondhand furniture or other infected areas. They can travel in bags, backpacks, purses, and other goods placed on padded or soft surfaces. In multi-unit structures like hotels and apartment buildings, they can move across rooms.

How long does it take to see signs of bed bugs?

Most people are unaware they have been bitten until one to several days after the first bite, when bite marks start to develop. Like flea or mosquito bites, the bite marks are a slightly swollen, red region that may itch and be uncomfortable. The bite marks could appear at random or in a straight line.

How do I check for bed bugs?

You might notice bed linens or mattresses with rusty or reddish stains from crushed bed bugs. Bed bug excrement appears as dark patches (around this size: •), which could bleed like ink on the fabric. Small (approximately 1mm) eggs and eggshells, as well as the light yellow skins that nymphs shed as they mature, can be yet another sign.

Can you have bed bugs and not see them?

Bedbugs consume blood to stay alive, just like fleas do. They have an oval form, are tiny, and are reddish brown. They may hide in dark areas during the day, so you won’t spot them. When individuals are sleeping, they often bite them.


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Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
Bachelor's in English Literature and Health Sciences Previously wrote blog articles for various Doctors for their websites Familiarity with various content management systems and SEO best practices

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