Bed Bugs: How Do You Find Bed Bugs?

The key to a successful bed bug inspection is to use the proper identification tools, knowing what to look for and where to look.

What I use:

I use 2 high powered LED flashlights.  A 120 lumen hand help unit and a 90 lumen head lamp.  I like the head lamp because it keeps my hands free.  If you have not performed an inspection before, you may find a 10x microscope helpful.

What I am looking for:

I look for 7 indicators of a bed bug infestation:

1)  Live Bed Bugs:  Live bed bugs will confirm that the infestation is currently active.  Visit Bed Bugs in the ‘Pest’ section of our website for a physical description of a bed bug.

2)  Dead Bed Bugs:  These can often be easier to spot than live bugs.

3)  Exoskeletons (cast skins):  An external covering for the body which is shed when the bed bug molts.

4)  Eggs:  About 1mm in length, cream in colour with a slight end.

5)  Fecal Spotting:  Is digested blood defecated by the bed bugs.  Spotting tends to appear as splotches of dark marks.

6)  Red Blood Coloured Spots:  These may occur as a result of bed bugs passing sera or engorged bugs being squashed by the movements of the sleeping host.

7)  Odor:  Some people describe it as “sickly sweet” or “strawberry like”.  This is usually only noticed in heavy infestations, if close to the bugs or during the treatment process.

Where I look:

The mattress should be the first site inspected, generally, bed bugs are more likely to be present in the darker areas near the wall.  Close attention should be paid to the seams, beading, under buttons, labels and corner protectors.

For a bed frame, the base is more likely to harbour bed bugs than the top mattress.  Wooden slats contain many cracks and crevices for bed bugs to hide and lay their eggs.  If the wooden slats are bolted to the frame, the bolts should be undone and the drilled holes inspected.

The area around the bed should be investigated next, these include:

  • Bedside furniture, tables, etc. should be turned over and examined.
  • Dresser drawers should be removed and examined.
  • If the bed’s head board is attached to the wall, it should be removed and examined.

Still need help?  Call today for a same day on-site inspection by a licensed exterminator.