Updated: February 3, 2021

Whether at home or staying in a hotel, it’s important to identify the signs of a bed bug infestation to prevent their spread and any bites. There are several key ways to spot bed bugs and prevent infestations from affecting you and your loved ones, along with any future guests.

1. Search for Signs of Bed Bugs

Putting on latex or vinyl gloves, you can protect your hands while looking for signs of bed bugs in your bed and other nearby furniture. Adult bed bugs will appear red or brown and normally reach the size of about ¼ of an inch. They also have six legs like other insects. Bed bugs that have ingested a fresh blood meal will be round and bright red, while bugs that have digested the blood will be darker brown and bugs that haven’t consumed any blood will be pale brown.

If bed bugs aren’t present, you can also look for red stains from crushed bugs, shedded skins, brown excrement, or eggs.

2. Examine Common Infestation Areas

One of the first steps to take when looking for bed bug infestations is to check the bedsheets and linens. This will entail removing the bedspread, duvet, or comforter and shaking them out prior to looking for bed bug signs. Once you’ve done this, you can remove the sheets and mattress protector. Carefully inspect mattress seams and the bed frame, where bed bugs and indications of their presence are often found.

You should also check between couch and seat cushions and underneath the furniture, as bed bugs like to hide in these locations. Bed bugs also often squeeze between walls and baseboards, so it’s important to check these spaces too by moving furniture away from the walls during inspection.

3. Look in Areas That Are Less Common Hiding Places

In addition to bedding, baseboards, and cushions, check beneath desks and bedside tables, inside drawers, inside table legs, in and around electrical items such as outlets behind covers and wall-mounted lamps, beneath rugs, and behind damaged walls or wallpaper. Piles of clothing on the floor can also appeal to bed bugs as potential hiding spots.

Taking each of these steps when at home or visiting a hotel can help you identify bed bugs and avoid an infestation and resulting bites. Once spotted, you’ll want to either hire exterminators to treat the home, dispose of or thoroughly clean infested furniture and linens, or let the hotel staff know of a potential infestation.


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Date Published: 2019-09-11

Written By Robert Brown

I'm a seasoned pest control veteran. I focus my time on writing educational content about the industry and helping people learn about indoor insects. When I'm not thinking about bed bugs I am spending time with my daughters or walking the dog.

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