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.
- UV Flashlight
- Magnifying Glass
- Old Credit Card
Step 1: 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
- 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
- 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
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.