How to Check for Bedbugs
This page will help you be able to identify signs of a bed bug infestation to help you better check for bedbugs. Knowing what to look for is key!
Keep In Mind: You will most likely see signs of an infestation before actually seeing a bug!
Signs of Bedbug infestations include: Feces, Blood, Casings, Live Bed Bugs, Eggs, Eggshells
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Bedbug feces is usually found around creases along the mattress and or box spring. Droppings can also found along the back of the head board or artwork hanging above the head of the bed. Bedbug droppings are always black and look like the marks of a felt tip pen and tend to bleed into the fabric, carpet, etc…They do not rub off. Click on these photos to see better examples of bed bug fecal matter:
Bedbug fecal matter on a mattress. (Source:libraryoflogic.com)
Bedbug feces on the back of a head board in a hotel
Up close pic of bedbug feces in mattress seams.
Smears of blood on sheets/pillows are also one of the early warning signs that there may be an infestation. Bedbugs do not fully close their mouths around the bite site when feeding, leaving drops of blood and residual marks. Also, bedbugs have an anti-coagulant which keeps the blood flowing. However, there are many other reasons that blood smears could be visible, and blood alone is not evidence of a Bedbug infestation.
Blood left on sheets from a recent bed bug bite. Bedbugs typically drip blood as they take a blood meal. (Source:bedbugger.com)
Another image of blood stains left by bedbugs on sheets (Source:bedbugger.com)
Close up of bed bug blood drips on pillow case
As the bed bug molts into its next life stage, the old skin casings are left behind. Cast skins (casings) look like lighter colored empty bedbug shells – which is basically what they are. They can vary in size and in color. They get lighter in color over time.
Shed bedbugs shells, or casings, left after the bedbugs molt after taking a blood meal.
A group of bedbug shells, or casings, show a bad infestation.
Empty casings show the various sizes and stages of bed bug growth
Live Bed Bugs
Live bedbugs are, of course, the most obvious sign of a bedbug infestation. They can be found in any part of the unit, including the bathroom, because they are hitch-hikers. And they can easily be introduced to any room that a guest has had clothing, linens, luggage, etc…Bedbug refuges contain bedbugs of all sizes.
Male & Femal Adult Bedbugs.
Adult bedbug actual size
Eggs and Eggshells
Bedbug eggs and empty egg shells are certainly symptoms of a growing multi-generational bedbug population. They are very small – about 1 mm in length – but visible to the naked eye – a magnifying glass helps. They are usually white in color, but can be opaque. Also, they are rarely found alone, but usually as part of the refuge site (in between mattress seams, etc..) with other signs of an infestation such as casings, feces and live bugs.
Bedbug eggs and casings and fecal matter. Note, the eggs are whitish in comparison
Bedbug eggs, tiny and white, shown here with bed bug nymphs.