For homeowners everywhere, bed bugs are one pest most hope to never encounter.

Bed bugs can enter any home and go undetected for months until the infestation has become severe. Once bed bugs make themselves at home, they are also notoriously difficult to get rid of, and most cases require the help of a pest control expert to completely eliminate the problem.

Knowing some of the early signs to look out for is important in protecting you and your loved ones from being bitten by bed bugs. Here are some of the most common signs of a bed bug infestation and what to do if you spot these pests in your home.

1. Bites on Skin

One of the most telltale signs of a bed bug infestation is noticing bite marks on your skin. Bed bug bites are small, swollen red spots that often appear in a zigzag pattern on the skin and are typically itchy.

2. Blood Stains on Sheets

Another common sign of a bed bug infestation is blood stains on your bed sheets or mattress. These blood stains are typically caused by bed bugs getting crushed by the weight of humans or pets sitting on the bed. You may also find tiny blood stains on your couch or armchairs, so be on the lookout for these reddish stains on surfaces you often sit on in your home.

3. Fecal Marks on Furniture

Bed bug excrement can often be overlooked and disregarded as dirt, so it is important to know how to identify fecal marks if you suspect a bed bug infestation. Bed bug excrement resembles tiny black spots and can often be found on mattresses, couches, and other pieces of furniture around the home.

signs of a bed bug infestation is noticing bite marks on your skin

4. Shells and Casings

As bed bugs go through their different life stages, they will shed their exoskeleton several times, leaving behind a shell. Bed bug shells are translucent or light in color and can vary in size, so you must be able to identify these shells if you see them around your home.

5. Musty Odors

Bed bugs often give off a musty or sweet odor, though it may be difficult to smell if an infestation is on the smaller side. If you or your family members notice any strange smells in the home, it may be a good idea to check for bed bugs.

6. Abnormal Sleeping Patterns

If you notice your usual sleeping patterns have changed, bed bugs may be to blame. For example, if bed bugs are biting you, you may wake up in the middle of the night or notice itchy bites all over your body that are preventing you from sleeping.

7. Spotting Bed Bugs

An undeniable sign of a bed bug infestation is seeing bed bugs in your home. If you spot bed bugs anywhere in your home, whether they are alive or dead, you must contact a pest control professional immediately to take care of the problem.

How Do Bed Bugs Enter Your House?

Part of bed bug prevention is understanding how bed bugs enter your home.

Bed bugs are nomads that typically enter the home by hitching a ride on an infested piece of furniture or luggage. They can also enter your home if a visitor unknowingly has bed bugs hiding in their clothing or purse.

Because of how easily bed bugs can move from one place to the next, it is important to do your research before booking a hotel or Airbnb and avoid staying in places where bed bugs have been spotted. Furthermore, always inspect any luggage or materials you purchase from second-hand stores or that you transport on public transit.

Can You Handle Bed Bugs on Your Own?

Bed bugs are notoriously hard to eliminate, so it is always best to contact a professional to take care of an active infestation. Your local bed bug control expert will be able to inspect your home to determine the severity of the infestation and recommend a targeted treatment plan to kill the bed bugs in your home and prevent them from returning.

Pest Czar offers emergency bed bug removal services that are safe for pets and children and eliminate infestations entirely. They also offer monthly protection services, including inspections to ensure your home is pest-free. Contact us today for a quote or to schedule a service.

FAQs: Early Signs of Bed Bugs

What should I do if I find bed bugs while traveling?

If you spot bed bugs in your hotel room or Airbnb, promptly notify the hotel or host if they aren’t aware of the problem. If you can, you should look into finding another place to stay for the rest of your trip and carefully inspect your luggage before bringing it inside after you arrive home.

Are DIY bed bug treatments effective?

Certain DIY solutions may effectively kill bed bugs, such as washing your clothes and bed linens at a high temperature and vacuuming them up. However, it is important to note that these methods are not entirely foolproof, and you should always consult with a pest control professional for the best chance of getting rid of bed bugs for good.

Read More: How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs.

How long does it take for a bed bug infestation to grow?

A bed bug infestation can grow pretty quickly, and without proper treatment, a small infestation could become much larger in only a few short months. On average, it takes about 10-15 days for a bed bug egg to hatch, and bed bugs can reproduce only six weeks after hatching.

Can bed bugs infest a clean home?

Contrary to what you may have heard, bed bugs are not a “dirty home” problem. In fact, bed bugs can find their way into even the cleanest of homes by clinging to furniture, luggage, and even home decor items like picture frames and wall hangings.

Can I get rid of bed bugs without using chemicals?

Washing your garments and sheets at a high temperature for 90 minutes or more can effectively kill bed bugs without using any harsh chemicals. However, it is always best to follow up with an exterminator to ensure all of the bed bugs in your home are gone for good.