The common bed bug has long been a pest by feeding on blood, causing itchy bites and causing irritation and mental anxiety to their human hosts. While they have not been found to transmit disease, they are an important public health pest.
The best way to determine whether or not you have bed bugs is to look for the physical signs of the bed bugs themselves by examining your bedding.
Bed Bug Signs
You are looking for dark spots 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch in diameter. Some spots appear dark and others look faded as though a magic marker had made the spot and the ink bled a little. Other signs of bed bugs may accompany these fecal spots or they may occur by themselves.
Look for tiny, 1/32nd of an inch long (1 mm) white elongated eggs or eggshells, which had been glued to a surface.
Cast skins that the nymphs shed as they grew through their 5 nymphal sizes.
Live bed bugs themselves.
Red spots (blood droplets) or reddish strains from crushed bed bugs.
Bedding to examine:
Examine the bedding using a strong flashlight. This inspection focuses on the two corners of the head of the bed. Pull back the blanket, sheet, the fitted sheet, and the mattress pad, looking for signs of bed bugs between each of the items of bedding. Examine the rope edges of the mattress and any labels or stickers. Lift the mattress off the box spring at the front corners looking for sign of bed bugs. Examine the inner edges of the bed skirt, especially at the head of the bed.
Other Signs of Bed Bugs
People may report bites but they are a poor indicator because the skin of many people does not respond to bed bug bites and because there are many causes for “bites”.
If the infestation is large, a sickly sweet odor may be noted.
Signs of bed bugs will also be noted beyond the bed and bedding if the infestation is large.
Article by Jim Ballard