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How to Identify The Early Signs Of Bed Bugs And How To Avoid Them

Jul 15, 2022

brown 8 legged insect on black surface | How to Identify The Early Signs Of Bed Bugs And How To Avoid Them | Featured

Do you know how to spot the early signs of bed bugs? When an infestation strikes, only professional help can stop it in its tracks.

Here are some warning signs you need to call your local exterminator.

RELATED: 7 Smart Reasons Why A Mattress Protector Should Be Non-negotiable On Your Bedroom

Early Signs of Bed Bugs You Need to Watch Out For

white bed with pillows | early signs of bed bugs

1. Bed Bug Shells

white pillows and bed linen | bed sheets

Bed bugs shed their skin multiple times throughout their lifetime. Spotting a few of them may let you know that bed bugs have found a home in your house.

They look like near-clear, transparent light brown ovals.

You may find them tucked between the crevices or tufts of your bed. For more severe cases, you might also find them in other furniture or cracks on the wall.

Bed bugs may be difficult to spot since they’re most active at night when they feed. However, they do leave many traces and could clue you in as to where they’ve burrowed.

Don’t hesitate to call your local exterminator for a thorough examination.

2. Allergic or Skin Reactions to Bed Bugs

woman touching neck | early signs of bed bugs

You may find an early sign of a bed bug problem in your own person.

A protein in bed bug saliva may cause severe dermatitis.

Inspect your skin for signs of bed bugs, like:

  • itchiness
  • inflamed red spots with a darker center
  • would follow either a rough line or a small cluster
  • likely in the upper part of your body (hands, arms, neck, face)

Bed bugs or not, give your beddings a hot bath weekly if you’re prone to allergies. Despite their clean appearance, mattresses and beddings tend to collect many of our dead skin cells, bacteria, and everything else we may bring in from the outside.

Bed bugs will find home wherever there’s a warm body and a great hiding spot. Regularly sanitizing your bed and upholstered furniture and removing potential hiding spots are great steps to keeping bed bugs away from your home.

3. Splotches of Bloodstains on Your Bed

white pillows on a bed | bed sheets

You may have rolled over some bed bugs and crushed or squeezed some blood out of them. If you did, you may find some rust red or dark brown splotches on the surface of your mattress or wherever they hide.

Scour through the layers of your bed to look for tiny, questionable stains. The moment you spot them, give your beddings a hot wash and call an exterminator.

To remove the stains, soak your sheets overnight and use hydrogen peroxide or a stain remover.

Mattress protectors are a non-negotiable sleeper must-have. Use a mattress protector to help keep your bed safe, hygienic, and sanitary.

4. Musty Odor

open room curtain | warning

Is there an unfamiliar odor lingering in your bedroom? Or spreading throughout your house? You may smell early signs of a bed bug infestation before you can spot it.

Bed bugs emit an odor many would compare to an old closet, unkept locker room, or dirty laundry. And the stronger the smell, the worse the infestation.

Some microbes may also emit a funky scent. Act on the side of caution and ask for an inspection from your local exterminator.

5. Bed Bug Fecal Matter

towel on the bed | bed sheets

These look like black marks that you may confuse with a marker or pen stain.

Bed bugs defecate histamines, a known allergen to humans. Research shows that homes highly infested with bed bugs also have high amounts of histamine.

This shows that when it comes to bed bugs, bites aren’t the only things we should watch out for. The histamines in their fecal matter might also trigger some allergic reactions.

Once you spot them, further inspect other places in your home. They might have other hiding spots beyond your bed.

6. Bed Bug Eggs

person in white dress shirt holding white textile | infestation

Eggs look like small, pale yellow spheres. Because they’re only 1mm small, it may be very difficult to spot them.

Female bugs could produce up to 7 eggs each day. And these eggs could hatch about after a week. They cling on to upholstery or wherever they were laid.

Be sure to call for professional services before they hatch!

RELATED: How To Clean And Disinfect Your Mattress

How to Avoid Bed Bugs

crop unrecognizable person in rubber gloves raising arms | warning

At home:

  1. Clean your room regularly, tidying up clutter and removing potential bed bug hiding spots.
  2. Give your beddings a hot wash regularly.
  3. Vacuum your home thoroughly. Don’t forget to pass through all corners and crevices in your house. Bed bugs can also hide underneath loose floorboards or wallpaper.
  4. Use mattress protectors to prevent bed bugs as well as other potential allergens.

Bed bugs can hitchhike on your clothes, suitcases, or purse to travel from your hotel to your home. Take precautions when traveling. Hotels are high-traffic accommodations that see people come in and out faster than you can call your exterminator.

When traveling:

  1. Closely inspect beddings and mattresses for signs of bed bugs.
  2. Don’t lay your suitcase on the floor. Instead, place them carefully on the luggage rack. And pull the rack away from walls or furniture that may potentially house bed bugs.
  3. Deep cleanse your dirty clothes with hot water as soon as you get home.
  4. Wear pajamas that fully cover your skin to protect yourself from bed bug bites.

These are proactive steps you can take to clear your house of bed bugs or keep them at bay in the first place. Administering pesticides on your own may prove ineffective or even dangerous.

In some cases, seeing a live bed bug isn’t enough to confirm an infestation. There are many bugs that look similar to bed bugs. It’s best to call an exterminator for a thorough inspection. A professional will also be able to guide you regarding the next steps and best ways to avoid an infestation.

Early Signs of Bed Bugs Are an Immediate Call to Action

women fixing the sheets of a bed | early signs of bed bugs

Bed bugs are small, flat, and span only 4-5mm long. It’s easy to mistake them for other creepy crawlies that may be hiding underneath your bed. But there are early signs that could hint of their arrival.

Fortunately, there are also proactive things you can do to make sure they never find a home in your bed. And worse, crawl their way to other nooks and crannies in your home.

Did you recognize early signs of bed bugs in your own home? Have you called your local exterminator yet? Share your experience with us in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.