How to Check for Bed Bugs

How to Check for Bed Bugs

If you have a bed bug problem, early identification is your best line of defence. The sooner you identify an infestation, the easier it is to treat it. If bed bugs become widespread throughout your home or business, it may require a higher cost and greater effort to get rid of bed bugs. Knowing how to identify an infestation can help you with early detection. You can take some preventive measures to combat bed bugs, for example washing your clothes to kill bed bugs. You might be wondering does washing clothes kill bed bugs? Yes, washing your clothes can kill bed bugs, but you would need to follow certain steps to ensure the success of the process.

Keep in mind that it is easy to misidentify a bed bug infestation. Carpet beetles are often commonly mistaken for a bed bug infestation. If you misidentify bed bugs as carpet beetles and treat the issue incorrectly, you will give bed bugs a chance to further spread throughout your home or business. Make sure you identify the issue properly and work with a professional as soon as you confirm an infestation.

Checking for Bed Bugs

An infestation of bed bugs can quickly spiral out of control. Therefore, it is best to identify an infestation as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are ways you can check for signs of bed bugs in your apartment.

Physical Signs

One of the first steps you need to take is to look for physical signs of an infestation and before calling a bed bug exterminator. Keep your eyes peeled anytime you change and wash your bedding. Signs of an infestation include:

  • Stains that are a reddish brown colour on your mattress or sheets (caused by bed bugs getting crushed as you roll around in your sleep)
  • Dark stains on your mattress or sheets, which is bed bug feces (tends to bleed and cause stains to appear)
  • Eggs found in the crevices of your mattress
  • Yellow coloured skins shed by nymphs as they grow into adulthood (typically 1mm in length)
  • Living bed bugs, typically the size of an apple seed (5-7mm), brown, oval-shaped, and flat
Bed bugs in box spring
Bed bugs in box spring

Where to Look

Just as their name suggests, bed bugs prefer to take up residence within the crevices of your mattress. However, that is not the only place where you would find bed bugs. Knowing where to look will help you identify an infestation quickly so you can stay ahead of the problem. Other places where bed bugs like to hide include:

  • Among carpet fibres (especially thick, shaggier carpet)
  • In couch and chair cushions
  • The joints of dresser drawers
  • Underneath loosened wallpaper
  • In crevices, such as door jambs, and where the wall and ceiling meet
  • In electrical outlets and appliances
  • Within curtain folds
bed bug infestation in wall outlet
bed bug infestation in wall outlet

Make sure you check all of these hiding places thoroughly each time you clean your apartment. If you suspect that you have a problem but you are unsure, make sure you clean each room as very well. Vacuum frequently and empty the vacuum cleaner after each use. Also, make sure you wipe down surfaces and wash bedding often.

Home Inspection

check bed for bed bugs
check bed for bed bugs

Recently, Toronto has ranked as the top city in Canada for bed bug infestations. Regardless of the type of dwelling or income, a bed bug infestation is a potential problem to anyone. It is advised to prevent the bed bug infestation before it spreads or becomes established. Dealing with a minor infestation is easier and far less costly than treating a widespread infestation with bed bug removal solutions. 

While some people may argue that the bed bug infestation or bed bugs themselves are not a health hazard, it is important to understand that all insect bites can cause allergic reactions and secondary skin infections. Extreme cases of infestation may result in stress, loss of sleep, and anxiety as well as psychological trauma.

To find and correctly identify low-level infestation may be a daunting task. Carpet beetles and other insects are easily mistaken for bed bugs. When you misidentify infestation, you create more time for the bed bugs to become established and spread to other areas of your house or neighbour’s house and start a new infestation. It is essential to contact a professionally licensed exterminator to help identify. Early detection is critical to help prevent the widespread outbreak.

Carpet beetles and other insects are easily mistaken for bed bugs
Carpet beetles and other insects are easily mistaken for bed bugs

There are signs such as bites, blood stains, fecal matter, shed skin, eggs, and empty eggshells; however, these may be poor indicators as they are common with some other insects.

Here are some tips on how to find bed bugs in your home – typical hiding spots

1. Bed

Begin by pulling back the bedding and look for signs such as fecal stains and blood spots. Check the mattress thoroughly, paying extra attention to air-holes, edges, and seams. Turn over the mattress and inspect all sides. Although bed bugs are more likely to be closest to the head of the bed, check the foot end of the mattress too. If you find even one dead bed bug this can indicate that you are having a full-blown infestation.

Check the headboard, spring box, and bed frame. Pay close attention to grooves, corners, screw holes, staples, and joints.

2. Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture includes ottomans, easy chairs, love seats, chaise lounges, and sofas.

Remove all pillows and cushions one after another. Examine zippers, seams, piping, and tufts (these are the common places for bed bugs to lay eggs). Lift up any skirting and inspect the underside focusing the seam that attaches the fabric to the furniture and pleats. Remember to pull away from the wall and check the backside as well as underneath.

3. Desks, Tables, Night Stands, and Dressers

Remove all items kept on these types of furniture and put them in a plastic tub with a cover or large garbage bag to reduce the risk of spreading if any bedbugs in these items. Pull drawers out and check thoroughly. Inspect the corners, joints, grooves, and screw heads. Look underneath, inside, and behind every piece of furniture.

According to the report on the City of Toronto website, application of pesticide alone will not kill bed bugs at all stages. Successful treatment of the infestation requires an integrated pest management. It is only a professional bed bug exterminator that can offer bed bug management system which can completely kill all bed bugs and their eggs.

Hotel Inspection

Bed Bug Hotel Inspection
Bed Bug Hotel Inspection

Hundreds to thousands of people pass through the doors of a hotel each year, making it easy for bed bugs to spread. If you are planning a trip that requires a stay in a hotel room, you will need to check for bed bugs. When you first arrive at your hotel, do not take your belongings out of your suitcase. Instead, place the suitcase in the bathtub or on a rack in the closet to keep it off the floor.

You will need a flashlight – the one on your cell phone will work just fine – and a credit card to check your room. Remove all the bedding from the bed and check the seams of the mattress. Use your credit card underneath the folded seams so you can get a good look. Use the flashlight to illuminate the area, making it easier for you to see.

Look for deep brown, black, or red spots. You should also look for bed bugs, whether alive or dead. Bed bugs feed on blood, so their feces may appear red, brown, or black. Bed bugs are approximately 4mm long, so while small, you can easily see them. Make sure you check all corners of the mattress. Spread the sheets back over the bed and check the bedding carefully for spots or bugs, too.

Next, you will want to inspect all upholstered furniture in the room. Bed bugs stick to dark places, so they will likely hold in folds or seams. Inspect the seams of furniture carefully for signs of bed bugs. You will also need to check the curtains in your room. Finally, check headboard, nightstands, and dressers. Search grooves, corners, and cracks carefully using your flashlight. If you find bed bugs, grab your things, exit the room, and report it to hotel staff immediately.

Make sure you check every room in your home, such as the living room. Even if you do not have carpet in certain rooms, it is best to check if the room contains anything upholstered. Make sure you contact a professional immediately at the first sign of an infestation. A professional will have to come in, confirm the presence of bed bugs, and treat the problem using various extermination methods. Call The Exterminators at 647-496-2211 and we will deal with your bed bugs problem and guarantee the complete removal of these awful insects, we also offer bed bug control products in our online store.