Bed bugs are one of the most common and most feared pests in America. And with good reason. Once you have an infestation on your hands (and feet and everywhere else) it can be extremely difficult to get rid of them. That’s where a pest control expert comes in. But how do you know if you have bed bugs?

Itchy bites in the middle of the night are only a part of the picture. To help you determine if you have bed bugs in your home, we’ve outlined the main signs to watch for. We’ve also included some steps for preventing bed bugs so you hopefully never have to worry about them scuttering across your bedroom. If you do have bed bugs, call Gregory Pest Solutions today at (866) 342-8719

Beg bug shells and stains on a wooden bed frame.

Bed Bug Signs

Do you wake up in the morning with small red dots or welts in a straight line, zig-zag pattern or in clusters? Mysterious bites that appear overnight are almost a sure sign that you have bed bugs. But, 30% of people don’t show any signs after a bite. You could get bitten and not realize it. You’ll need other ways to identify an infestation.

Here are other signs you have bed bugs:

Rust Colored Stains

Bed bugs bite you because they need the protein in your blood to produce their eggs. As a result, their waste has a reddish-brown hue to it. If your bed sheets or mattress have red or rust-colored dots or stains and smears it could be a sign of bed bugs.

Musty Odor

Bed bugs often bring with them an unpleasant smell. This is due to a combination of bed bug pheromones, dead bugs and fecal matter. If you notice an “off” smell like wet laundry, it may not be that your spouse forgot to shower. Check your mattress. 

Bed Bug Shells

Bed bugs go through many stages during their life cycle, including molting. This means that young bed bugs shed their skin as they grow. You can find these discarded skins in areas where bed bugs hide such as:

  • Under your mattress
  • Behind your headboard
  • Under carpet or rugs
  • Behind molding 
  • On linens
  • In curtain folds

Bed Bug Eggs

Bed bugs are tiny, about the size of an apple seed. Their eggs are even smaller and look like miniature grains of rice. They may be difficult to spot, but tiny clusters if white eggs or casings could be another sign to watch for.

Practical Ways to Avoid Bed Bugs

Avoiding bed bugs involves being vigilant both at home and when traveling. Here are ways you can protect yourself:

When Traveling:

Traveling is the most common way to pick up bed bugs. They thrive in hubs like airports, hotels and bus stations where they can hitchhike on luggage and travelers. To prevent your vacation from turning into an entomology experiment, take the following steps. 

Hotel Check: Strip the bed first and check for rust-colored or black dots. Look for small oval-shaped insects around the mattress corners, upholstery, chairs, curtains, and carpet edges.

Inspect Personal Items: Before you leave, inspect your belongings. Keep your clothes off the bed and luggage stands. Some travelers will leave their belongings in the bathroom where bed bugs are less likely to congregate. 

Morning Inspection: Check yourself and the sheets for any telltale signs of bed bugs.

At Home:

Keeping things clean, making regular inspections and taking preventative steps when you travel will help keep bed bugs out of your home. To make sure they don’t slip by, follow these suggestions.

Regular Inspection: Notice any signs of bed bugs around your bed or living areas.

Frequent Vacuuming: Helps in keeping bugs at bay. 

Secondhand Precautions: Inspect secondhand clothing or furniture before bringing them inside.

Seal Cracks and Crevices: Around baseboards, windows, and wall outlets to prevent bugs from coming in or out.

Not Sure If You Have Bed Bugs? We’re Here to Help!

If you’re seeing signs that make you concerned about bed bugs and need professional inspection, give Gregory Pest Solutions a call today at (866) 342-8719. Our licensed professionals have multiple means of identifying and eliminating bed bugs so that they don’t come back. Don’t wait for things to get worse!