Introduction: ULTIMATE Guide on How to Detect Bed Bugs | Detecting a Bed Bug Infestation

Picture of ULTIMATE Guide on How to Detect Bed Bugs | Detecting a Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs are not only found in sketchy rooms on the run-down side of town. These parasitic insects can thrive in the fanciest hotel room or in the bedroom of a million dollar home. Learning how to detect bed bugs is very important. You can use the steps below to protect yourself, you family and your home.

Bed bugs have reddish/brown flat bodies and they feed exclusively on blood from other hosts. No one is immune to an infestation. These insects can gain access to your home on luggage, clothes, furniture, children's toys and almost anything else you can imagine. They are tiny in size and can hide in cracks or crevices the width of a credit card edge! Knowing how to Detect bed bugs is the first step in prevention or containing an infestation that already exists.

Tools needed:

  • UV Flashlight
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Old Credit Card

Step 1: What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Picture of What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

The first step in detecting bed bugs is knowing what to look for. They can be as small as the period in this sentence. First off, keep an eye out for signs of the bugs themselves. Second, keep an eye out for blood stains and/or dark brown spots of excrement. If you spot either of these then there is a very good chance that you have detected an infestation. Tip: Identifying the presence of bed bugs based on bite marks can be misleading. Bed bug bites are very similar to spider and other insect bites. To complicate matters even further, some people do not have any reaction at all to the bites. Do not call the exterminator or launch a treatment plan until you have positively detected a problem

Step 2: Know Your Bed Bug Detection Areas

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Next, you need a to know all of the common areas that they like to take refuge. This is the second step in learning how to detect bed bugs. These tiny insects prefer tight dark crevices that offer them safety and protection while they are digesting your blood (or waiting to climb out and bite you again). They tend to prefer fabric and wood surfaces. The areas you should focus on are as follows:

  • Seams, folds and tags of mattresses, box springs, sofas and all other furniture.
  • Bedding, pillows, bed skirts, etc.
  • Cracks in the bed frame, dresser or wooden furniture, plaster and any other surfaces
  • Curtain and other fabric folds
  • Clothing
  • Behind wood molding (if there are cracks)
  • Carpet edges
  • Underneath throw rugs
  • Electrical receptacles
  • Knots in wooden furniture
  • Screw heads
  • Any items hanging on the wall such as mirrors or picture frames
  • Stuffed animals
  • Items in storage under the bed
  • Electrical appliances

Step 3: Process for Detecting Bed Bugs

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Use a UV flashlight and magnifying glass to inspect each area while combing over everything with an old credit card. These bed bug detection tools will make the job much easier. You should also wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. They will be entering some questionable places and we don't want to spread bed bugs to other areas of the house. If you are certain that your house is infested but find no traces during your search, you can also use a bed bug trap. They are not designed to get rid of an infestation but they will certainly help you to detect any insects trying to make their way into your bed.

Useful Tips: When traveling or visiting relatives, it is useful to know how to check your sleeping quarters for bed bugs when you arrive. If you detect bed bugs in a hotel room, get a refund and go to another hotel. If one room is infected then there is a good possibility the others are as well. Encountering the same problem at a friends or relatives may be a little more challenging. I'll leave how to handle that delicate situation up to you (wink).

Step 4: Additional Resources for Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

If you detect bed bugs in your house then you want to launch into action immediately. You should call an exterminator to discuss treatment options or take immediate steps to solve the problem yourself. This decision usually comes down to cost for most people. Hiring a pest control expert can be expensive. Especially if they need to come back a few times to completely get rid of the problem. Whichever you decide, here is a video with some great tips that will help you to contain, control and eliminate a bed bug infestation.

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Bio: Hey, my name is Chipp. I am a jack of all trades and how-to guru. I enjoy blogging about health, fitness, pest control and product ... More »
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