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Can You See Bed Bugs On Your Mattress

Bed Bug Hiding Places

How to Inspect a Bed for Bed Bugs (BBTV #43)

At the beginning of an infestation, beg bugs tend to hide near the place they feed,. They hide onunder the mattress and the bedspring , meaning close to the sleeping person they will bite.

When the infestation grows, the bed bugs can spread and hide elsewhere in the bedroom. They can then move to other rooms.

Here are examples of possible hiding places :

  • Bedsprings, seams and bottoms of mattresses, and hems of bedding
  • Headboards, bedroom furniture and drawers
  • Clothing, backpacks, handbags and suitcases
  • Chairs, wheelchairs, sofas and covers
  • Carpets and curtains
  • Mouldings and window or door frames
  • Back of baseboard heaters and electrical outlets
  • Peeled tapestry, frames and posters
  • Cracks in the plaster, wood or floor
  • Papers, books, telephones, radios and clocks

How To Identify Bed Bugs Outside Of The Bedroom

To sum up, bed bugs, like many other household pests, are large enough to spot with the human eye.

Adult bed bugs will grow to about the size of an apple seed, and will be dark brown in color.

If you dont spot any bed bugs, you may be able to see their shed skin, which is lighter brown and translucent.

Bed bug eggs may also be present, which, although smaller than adult bed bugs, are still visible and resemble grains of rice.

Even if you cant see physical bed bugs..

You can look for the evidence that bed bugs leave behind.

This could include rust-colored fecal smears or spots, or simply their bites on your skin.

Which often cause irritation, and appear in clusters or lines of red bumps.

Bed Bug Stains On Mattress

If you are observant you may notice reddish dark stains of blood spots and Killed bed bugs on mattress. These stains are the blood remains of engorged bed bugs which are accidentally crushed as you get into bed or turn while sleeping. This could be another sign that your mattress is infested with bed bugs.

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Can I Sleep In My Bed After Bed Bug Treatment

You may continue to sleep on your mattress after vacuuming it and putting a bed bug proof encasement on it. Even if there are live bed bugs underneath the encasement, they are trapped inside and cant bite you. Without feeding on your blood, they will die inside the encasement.

If you spray chemical or plant-based insecticides on your mattress, we recommend checking the instructions on the package. Some may require you to stay away from the room for 6 to 8 hours or more after spraying.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

How to Find and Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Home

When not feeding, bed bugs hide in a variety of places. Around the bed, they can be found near the piping, seams and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and headboard.

If the room is heavily infested, you may find bed bugs:

  • In the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains.
  • In drawer joints.
  • In electrical receptacles and appliances.
  • Under loose wall paper and wall hangings.
  • At the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet.
  • Even in the head of a screw.

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Can You Have Bed Bugs And Never See Them

Yes. Bed bugs are notoriously good at hiding and given the fact that they are exceptionally small in size, spotting bed bugs is easier said than done. This is not to say that they arent present in a home or arent capable of doing damage, however. Just because you cant see bed bugs does not mean your living space is insect-free.

As mentioned above, these creatures hide during the day. If you suspect an infestation you can look in the following areas to check for bed bugs.

1. Around your bed: Though this seems obvious you need to be thorough when checking. Peel away all bedding, flip the mattress and box spring, check around the headboard, and under/behind the bed frame.

2. Within furniture: Check within the drawers of your dresser or nightstand and look under any furniture that seems like a good hiding spot for bed bugs.

3. Along walls & baseboards: Bed bugs like to hide in cracks/crevices within the walls so you should run your hand along ALL walls to feel for bed bugs accordingly.

Other areas bed bugs could be hiding are around kitchen appliances, behind wall hangings, within curtains, or along carpets.

for more information about how to check for bed bugs.

Alive Bed Bugs On Mattress

Can you see bed bugs on your mattress? Although it is not easy to see the bed bugs themselves, you might stumble on them trying to hide as you make your bed. Adult bed bugs are rusty-brown in color. They are usually flat unless their abdomens are full of blood that they feed on. They are about 5 millimeters in length.

After feeding on blood, their abdomen bulge and they also become a bit elongated. Their rusty-brown color turns dark purplish red due to the blood in third abdomens. You likely to spot them at the seams and edges of your mattress. It is good to note that this is the only obvious sign of bed bugs.

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Confirm You Have Bedbugs

Bite marks, itchiness, or blood stains on sheets arent definitive proof of bedbugs. And you dont necessarily have them just because you saw a weird bug or spent a night in a sketchy motel, or because your cousins boyfriends neighbor had bedbugs. Instead, look for the bugs characteristic brown-black, dot-like fecal stains on your bedding, mattress, box spring, bed frame, or nearby baseboards. If your mattress isnt already in an encasement, look carefully along the mattresss seams and crevicesespecially the folds of a pillow top. Bedbugs also leave behind cast skins, which look like empty bedbug shells or fragments. This guide has helpful photos of infestation signs.

Bedbugs typically harbor in or near the bed, and they come out at night, so youre unlikely to see live ones during the day. Wait until after dark and grab your flashlight. Carefully look around your bedagain, especially in nooks and cranniesand on any nearby furniture, paying close attention to tiny places like screw holes or joints.

Know what youre looking for, as well. There are many bedbug look-alikes, including carpet beetles, spider beetles, roach nymphs, and bat bugs, explained Matt Kelly, a Philadelphia-based pest control operator . And be sure to study guides that show the size and appearance of bedbugs throughout their life cycle. You can use a lint roller or tape to pick up any evidencelike bugs, cast skins, or eggsand place it in a plastic bag to show a PCO.

How Big Is A Bed Bug

How To Find Bed Bugs – How To Know If You Have Bed Bugs

14. An adult bed bug is about 5-7mm long. This up-close photo shows its size in millimeters.

This is an adult and as you can tell they are very small so they are excellent at hiding in the smallest of cracks and crevices in your bedroom, hotel room, workplaces, and anywhere people generally are.

15. This image indicates the size of a bed bug by the scale at the bottom of the picture. Again this is an adult and you can clearly see the segmented parts of the body.

16. This is a picture of a nymph, or bed bug baby after feeding.

Baby bed bugs can be hard to see as they are semi-translucent and as the measurement scale on the image shows, they are tiny.

This baby bed bug has had a blood meal which is the dark area in the abdomen.

Credit: CDC Blaine Mathison

17. The next picture shows the size of bed bugs in comparison to the coin.

The adult bed bug on the left has an elongated body meaning it has recently fed. If you think youve got bed bugs, then just remember this image to see how small they are when searching for them.

Image credit: Patrick Porter, Texas Cooperative Extension,

18. What do bed bugs look like on a mattress? If you look closely at the picture below youll see an adult crawling where the seam of the label joins the mattress.

Read what are bed bugs to learn more about them and how you can them in your home

image adult bed bug under the label

19. The image below is one I took after treating a house for an infestation.

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Take Precautions When Travelling

When you go to a hotel, put your suitcases on luggage racks or in the bathtub. Avoid storing your clothes and personal belongings in drawers or placing them on the floor or bed.

Briefly inspect your bedroom, especially your bed. If you detect the presence of bed bugs in the room, on your clothes or elsewhere, put all your personal effects in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and keep your stuff in it until you have treated them. To treat your personal effects, follow these tips for treating fabrics and objects.

How To Check Mattress For Bed Bugs

If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, it is better to find it as soon as possible, before it spreads even more and becomes expensive and difficult to get rid of.

However, finding and identifying the signs of an early infestation may not be so easy. There are many other bugs that can be easily mistaken for bed bugs which is why you need to be really careful and watch closely to find the right signs.

Bites on the skin cant be such a good indicator of a bed bug infestation as they look pretty much like bites from other insects such as mosquitoes or fleas, rashes, etc. Some people even may not react to bed bug bites at all, which is why you need to look for other signs.

Read our guide to learn more about bed bugs and find out where they tend to hide and how to inspect your mattress.

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Sign : Anemia And Allergic Reactions To Bites

If these pests feed on your blood frequently, you may end up suffering from anemia. Other times, you might show allergic reactions to the bites, resulting in discolored or swollen skin.

These symptoms are a clear sign that you have bed bugs in your home, and you need to address the situation before things get out of hand.

You Smell Something Musty

How to Check for Bed Bugs?

Does your house smell musty and you cant figure out why? It could be the smell of a large nest of bed bugs.

Bed bugs and their exoskeletons release a substance called alarm pheromones when theyre afraid. This substance wont stain your mattress, but it will stink up the room. The bigger the bed bug infestation, the stronger the smell gets.

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How Do Bed Bugs Travel From Room To Room

Its easy for bed bugs to travel from one room to another, or even from one apartment or condo to another , simply by moving through cracks that are present in many homes walls and floors. This is why bed bug infestations have become so common and widespread in urban areas with high-density living situations such as apartment and condominium complexes. Its also the reason why bed bugs can infest hotels so easily.

Serious bed bug problems are on the rise in larger cities like New York, San Francisco and even Houston, simply because there are so many people living closely together in buildings with shared walls between dwellings. This is just another explanation for how you get bed bugs. increasingly in residential areas. Often, these are older buildings with plenty of cracksperfect for bed bugs looking to travel.

Where do bedbugs come from? Your bed bugs may have come from your luggage. Bed bugs travel from one room or home to another inside luggage, bedding or clothing. When these insects stow away in the seams of your suitcase or within your folded clothes, they can cause huge problems when they spread their infestation in a new place with new, fresh hosts to feed on. This is why its so important, when you stay in a hotel or any new bedroom, to do a thorough bed bug check before settling in.

Bed Bug Information Of Interest To Hospitality And Housing Professionals

89. We dont have or have never had a bed bug problem at our location. Isn’t the bed bug problem just a lot of hype being promoted by the media and the pest management industry? Not at all. The incidence of bed bugs is certainly on the rise across the country, and even as an independent pest management consultant that does not advertise, I find that bed bugs take up as much as 85 percent of my time with an increased frequency of calls coming in.

90. It is wise to train your entire housekeeping and maintenance service staff about bed bugs such that signs of infestation can be discovered early on before a bed bug infestation can grow to a significant and broad scale problem at your hotel.

91. Hospitality locations should adopt an adequately scheduled inspection process to assist in early detection and prevention of significant bed bug infestations.

92. Bed bugs are an equal opportunity infester. They do not discriminate between properties based upon location, type, or quality as might the discerning vacation or business traveler. Due simply to their nature, logistics, and other factors, every lodging location and multi-family property is subject to bed bug infestation.

93. That a guest picks up bed bugs from a hotel room may be largely dependent upon who may have stayed in that room or adjoining room prior to that guest. And, it is likely that your location getting bed bugs is largely due to a guest or resident bringing them in.

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Bed Bug Size And Appearance

As bed bugs are quite often confused with other more innocuous insects, its important to be able to tell them apart from pests that may not pose any significant threat to the home.

A typical adult bed bug will be reddish-brown in color, with a long, oval body resembling the shape of a pumpkin seed. Depending upon whether they have fed recently, they may either be flat or balloon shaped.

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs cannot be identified simply from the type of bite they deliver, as bites from bed bugs can resemble similar insects such as fleas, chiggers, and other bugs.

Here is a quick breakdown.

Adult bed bugs: Brown, flat, and about ¼ inch in size

Nymphs : White/cream color, flat, about a third of the size of adult bed bugs.

Bed bug eggs: extremely small and almost translucent. Theyre round and can stick to the surface theyre laid on.

for our complete guide on the bed bug life cycle.

What Does Bed Bug Poop Look Like

How Do I Know if Bed Bugs Are Gone?

Bed bug poop is digested blood and as it dries and soaks into fabric, it looks like rusty brown/black streaks or dots, similar to an ink stain.

The first place to look for bed bug droppings is in the corners and seams of your mattress as they hide close to a host.

You might also find bed bug feces in clusters on your pillowcases, duvet, sheets, behind switch plates, on curtains, the couch, and anywhere else they hide

37. Bed bugs are hiding under the mattress piping in this picture.

The mattress is the first place to inspect if you think you have bed bugs.

The dark spots are fecal matter.

38. The image below shows a bed bug infestation that has been left to grow for some time. The tell-tale signs are the dark blood spots on the mattress.

Image credit: Lou bugs pixCC Licenses/by-nd/2.0/

39. This is a photo I took while treating a bad infestation. This mattress was very heavily infested which is evident by the number of blood spots and smears on it.

If your mattress has got to this stage, dont try and treat it yourself as it will be impossible to get rid of the infestation. Only a pest control company will be able to eradicate it at this point.

If the infestation is really bad then the pest control technician will most likely recommend you get rid of your mattress.

But before you do, check out these guidelines so you know how to dispose of the mattress and box spring properly.

Image Credit: CC Licenses/by/2.0/

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Eggs Excrement And Exoskeletons

Equally as unpleasant as the previous sign, seeing brown, rust-coloured bed bug stains on your bedframe could be a sign that you have a bed bug problem. These brown specks are likely bed bugs droppings and you rub them with a little water. Contrary to an old ink stain, bed bug spots made of blood will smear.

Alternatively, it could be bed bug skin. Bed bugs, like all insects, have exoskeletons instead of bones. As they age and outgrow their current exoskeleton, bed bugs shed skin and develop a new one. If you have a bed bug infestation you can sometimes find discarded exoskeletons around your bed. Finding bed bug skin would be as conclusive as finding dead bed bugs.

You may also notice the eggs of bed bugs, which are white and usually in clusters. Bed bug eggs are not easy to describe. They are incredibly small and may go unnoticed, but in combination with the aforementioned, these are sure signs of bed bug activity.

Are Bed Bugs Visible In All Stages Of Their Development

Technically speaking, yes, however, they do a pretty good job at hiding. This makes it difficult to spot the insects, especially during the day when they arent that active. Why aren’t they active, you ask? Because bed bugs attempt to stay out of sight in order not to be squashed by you.

Instead of looking for a specimen, focus your efforts on pinpointing the different tell-tale signs of an infestation.

Finding any of these is a sure sign of an advanced bed bug problem.

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