How to inspect for bed bugs

picture of bed bug

Though bedbugs can be difficult to find if there are only a few, they leave some pretty telltale signs. A thorough search of the mattress, headboard, and pillows should reveal their presence. Here's how you can inspect for bed bugs.

The first sign:  Rust-colored stains on the mattress/headboard/pillow. Bedbugs are blood feeders (yep, they suck your blood Dracula-style), and if you've ever smashed a mosquito while or after it had just gorged on your blood, I'm sure you noticed a rather gory explosion.  So, looking for small bloodstains from some sleep-crushed feeding bedbugs is a good place to start.

bed bug cast skins and feces photo

Next, we have cast skins.  Bedbugs shed their skin.  Being that they love to hang out around beds in search for a tasty snack (you), you can inspect for bed bugs around mattress seams and crevices for old skins.  These are brownish, semitransparent, and pretty obvious.  Occasionally, you can also find eggs, which are small, cylindrical, and whitish.  The key point though, is that you really check the small, hidden spots in the mattress.  Common sense and experience dictate that most bugs don't just hang out in the middle of your room; they love cracks, and the smaller the better. 

Thirdly, poop.  Yes, poop.  It can be difficult to imagine, but these vampiric nuisances do it just like we do.  Obviously, it's much smaller, so you're looking for black dots about twice the size of the period at the end of this sentence.  We all know that feeding generally leads to pooping, so this can be a pretty common sign of having bedbugs if you know what you're looking for.

Finally, you CAN find the bugs themselves. They are usually nocturnal, but they can be fat and lazy and just hang out in your mattress cracks, smoking a little bedbug-size cigar and celebrating their previous blood meal.  Well, not really.  But a clean sweep of your mattress can also reveal some bugs lodged in the cracks.  So check it out. 

The key is, BEDbugs are usually found in your BED.  Shocking, I know.  They will always end up there, because that's where the source of food is.  It's not like they can eat something else in the meantime.  If there are more than a few, you should be able to thoroughly comb a bed and discover their presence.



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