Are you concerned that you may have bed bugs in your home? We are going to tell you about the 7 early signs of bed bugs that you should be on the lookout for in this article:
New York City is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, so bed bugs are notoriously difficult and even more difficult to get rid of, especially if you live in an area with a high population density.
In spite of the fact that bedbugs are extremely sneaky, it’s not impossible for a diligent homeowner or apartment renter to notice early signs of an infestation just by going about their daily lives.
If you want to keep yourself and your family safe from these tiny blood-sucking pests, you should hunt them down and kill them as soon as possible – before they are able to reproduce and spread.
The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the 7 early signs of bedbugs. In addition, we will discuss where bed bugs hide and how you can do a simple visual inspection of your home in order to detect bed bugs.
In densely populated places such as cities like New York City for example, it is notoriously difficult to find bed bugs, and even more difficult to get rid of them.
The good news is that, despite bed bugs’ sneakiness, a vigilant homeowner or renter will be able to identify early signs of a bed bug infestation if they are vigilant.
You can protect yourself and your family from these tiny, blood-sucking pests by finding them early on and removing them – before they are able to reproduce and spread throughout your home.
As part of the purpose of this article, we would like to present an overview of the 7 early signs of bed bugs, along with insight into where bed bugs hide. We will also teach you how to do a visual inspection of your home, which is an essential part of the deal.
Here are 7 early signs that bedbugs are present:
Bed bugs come in a variety of forms, and to determine the likelihood of their presence, we have ranked them based on the amount of certainty each bed bug warning sign can provide when it comes to establishing whether they are present during the early stages of an infestation.
Our first stop will be the least reliable sign of bed bugs, odors. We will work our way forward to the most reliable sign of bed bugs, live bed bugs. We will explain what each sign means and where they can be found.
- Bed Bug Odors
- Bed Bug Bites
- Bloodstains on Sheets
- Fecal Marks / Spotting
- Shell Casings / Shed Skins
- Bed Bug Eggs
- Live Bed Bugs
Regardless of whether you suspect your house has been infested with bed bugs or not, it would be a wise decision to familiarize yourself with these early warning signs of an infestation.
It is important to note that confirming the presence of bed bugs with these signs may require a professional, but this article will give you a good idea of when to seek professional assistance.
- There is an odd, musty odor in the air that has no apparent cause
- As a rule of thumb, phenomones associated with bed bugs are often compared to scents such as raspberries, cilantro, coriander, or almonds
- It is possible to smell rust, wet towels, and moldy laundry when you have a severe bed bug infestation
In some cases, our sense of smell can give us the first indication of something amiss before we notice anything else. You may discover that in your bedroom there is an unusually musty odor that has no obvious source – for example, a pile of dirty clothes – that could be a sign that bed bugs have already taken hold.
When disturbed or threatened, bedbugs emit alarm pheromones that indicate that they are in danger. In the case of phenomones, they are molecules that are responsible for producing certain scents, such as a slightly sweet smell or a musty smell. First-hand accounts from individuals who have experienced it describe it as somewhat reminiscent of raspberry, coriander, cilantro, or almond smells.
Pheromanes, in their normal state, emit a very faint odor, one that is practically inaudible to the human nose. There is no way you could ever notice the raspberry-like pheromone scent that comes from bed bugs unless you were a trained bed bug detector dog.
In the case of having a large number of bed bugs living together in one place the smell of their pheromones tends to mix with the smell of their dead bodies, shed shell casings, and their excrement. There is an unpleasant, rusty odor present as a result of this infestation, and the stench gets worse as the infestation gets worse.
Bed bug odors are regarded, on average, as the least reliable of early signs of bed bugs compared to other signs. In this situation, there are a few bed bugs nearby, but their odor is so faint that humans fail to notice their presence. Moreover, many people are unaware that bed bugs have a distinctive smell – or that there is an infestation of these creatures – which means that even if you do smell something, it is likely to be mistaken for something else.
- The bites look like small, red, itchy bumps and appear at night
- Generally speaking, bites tend to appear on the arms, hands, and legs at night
- There are many times when you find clusters of three or four bites in a row (what is commonly referred to as the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner pattern”)
As soon as you wake up in the morning, you will feel strange bites on your body, the first sign that there is a problem with bed bugs.
Bed bugs are considered to be nocturnal insects that feed on the blood of humans during the night when they are asleep. In order to avoid this, their bites tend to appear on exposed skin during the night, as this is when they are most active. People are more likely to get bitten on their arms, hands, and legs, because they are the most common places where bites occur.
The pest control professionals in the industry agree that a bite alone cannot be an indication that a bed bug infestation is present. Due to the fact that different people are affected differently by bed bug bites, there is no definitive way to tell bed bug bites apart from other types of insect bites. In fact, 30 percent of people who are bitten by bedbugs do not exhibit any symptoms of skin irritation at all.
Bed bug bites cause different reactions in different people; however, the most common symptom is the appearance of small clusters of red, itchy bumps on the skin. According to the Ogden Museum of Natural History, this is also known as the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” pattern which is characterised by clusters of three bites or lines of three bites when it comes to bed bug bites. Even though a bed bug bite may look like a single bite or may appear in a random pattern, it will really look like it is a bite.
In addition to this, bed bug bites are usually harmless and they cannot transmit any known diseases or viruses. Nevertheless, there has been some evidence that certain chemicals found in the saliva of bed bugs have caused allergic reactions in some people. It is very important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after being bitten by a spider if you have symptoms such as severe itching, painful swelling, blisters, fever, or flu-like symptoms.
- That Are Unexplained, Red or Rusty-Colored Bloodstains
- In some cases, small splotches or smears may appear on sheets, clothing, and pillows, and it is best to check before prescribing anything else
In spite of the fact that we don’t notice bed bugs when they feed on us, they don’t always strike out on their own.
The flat, seed-like appearance of a bedbug that is engorged with blood gives way to a round, bloated form similar to a tiny football when it becomes engorged with blood. It is possible that you might inadvertently crush or crush a bed bug that is just finished feeding on you if you suddenly move or shift your body while you are asleep.
In almost all cases, it will not kill them, but it will cause some of the blood they just ate to leak out, leaving a noticeable blood stain or stain of rust color.
Look at your body to see if you can find a cut or scab that could have caused blood to stain your sheets, clothes, or pillow if you see something that appears to be a bloodstain. It is possible that the bloodstain on the wall is the result of a bed bug, especially if there is no other explanation for it.
In addition to the possibility that there could be blood on the wall as a result of bed bug bites, there is also another possibility. In bed bugs, saliva contains an anticoagulant which prevents the blood from clotting during the feeding process. In some cases, it is possible for the bitten areas to continue bleed for a short period of time after they have finished eating their meal.
#4: Fecal Marks
- There are dark brown or black specks as large as the tip of a pen in the area
- Generally speaking, these types of parasites are usually found in harborage areas, but can also be found on clothing and bedding.
- After washing, the fabric developed dark smears that looked like magic marker stains
The difference between bloodstains and bed bug fecal marks (also termed “fecal spotting”) is that bed bug fecal marks (if present) are considerably smaller and darker than bloodstains.
Occasionally, you may notice small, dark spots on your skin that resemble an ink dot on the end of a pen or a marker. This is typically due to the fact that these characters are roughly twice as large as a period at the end of the sentence.
A bed bug has been said to leave fecal marks on human flesh when it excretes its droppings, which is thought to be composed of digested human blood. As a result of the presence of iron in its digested blood, its discolored blood is dark brown or black in color, and as a result, it gives off a faint, rusty odor. Together with the other unpleasant odors associated with bed bug infestations, these odors add to the unpleasant odor of a bed bug infestation.
There are a variety of surfaces on which bed bug feces can be found, such as sheets, pajamas, mattresses, headboards, box springs, walls, curtains, and other surfaces. The majority of them can usually be found in large numbers around hiding places and harborage areas of bed bugs.
It is quite difficult to remove bed bug fecal marks from fabric once they have been adhered. They produce a characteristic smearing effect when exposed to water, resembling magic marker stains on paper.
- Pearly-white ovals measuring about 1 mm in length, about the size of a pinhead
- which were loosely adhered to the surface of various types of materials
- that were usually found in areas where bed bugs breed
Each day, pregnant female bed bugs lay between one and seven eggs, which usually hatch in the next seven to ten days.
The appearance of bed bug eggs is quite different from other insects. They are about 1 millimeter in length, pearly white in color, and are ovular in shape. This is like a tiny, miniature grain of rice that is smaller than a pinhead in size.
In most cases, you can see eggs with your naked eye, but it may be difficult to recognize them unless you know what you are looking for. On both ends of each egg, there is a hinged cap, and this is where the newly hatched beg bugs emerge from their eggs. The darkening of the eye spot is indicative of bed bug eggs older than 5 days. This could only be seen under a magnifying glass if the eggs are older than 5 days old.
It is also important to note that bed bug eggs are more common around harborage areas, just as fecal spotting is. When pregnant, female bed bugs tend to wander around the house, potentially spreading the infestation to the rest of the house as well as neighboring apartments.
A glue-like substance is used by them to adhere their eggs to surfaces when they are laying them. Therefore, you are most likely to see these small, white eggs loosely attached to crevices between fabric layers or wooden surfaces – although they can really be anywhere.
#2: Shell Casings
- Juvenile bedbug exoskeletons that are yellowish-brown, translucent in nature
- During a bedbug’s molting process, they are available in a variety of sizes
- that can function as reliable indicators of bed bug infestations,
It is highly likely that you have bed bugs if you find shell casings, which are also known as skin sheds or husks, all of which indicate the presence of bed bugs in your home. A growing bed bug infestation can often be detected by the presence of abandoned shell casings.
A juvenile bed bug’s shell casing is a translucent, hollow outline of the insect, and it is often easier to locate a juvenile bed bug than the actual insect itself. Generally speaking, you can find them in any place where bed bugs hatch and breed, such as the seams of mattresses, the embroidered furniture, the holes and cracks within wood furniture, and all cracks in plywood.
In order for bed bugs to reach adulthood, they will have to shed their exoskeleton more than once as they go through 5 stages of their lifecycle. In the lifecycle of a butterfly, there are four stages of maturation – the 1st instar nymph, the 2nd instar nymph, the 3rd instar nymph, the 4th instar nymph, then the 5th instar nymph, and finally the final adult form.
This process results in what is called the shell casing or what we call shed skins, depending on the size. As a result, identifying shell casings can be difficult because most people do not know what the nymphs look like and what their sizes are.
Nevertheless, if you suspect bed bugs are present in your room and you notice yellow, translucent shells in the typical hiding places of bed bugs, then you may want to consider contacting your local pest control company for an inspection.
#1: Live Bed Bugs
- An insect around the size of a flaxseed, that is small and reddish-brown in colour
- and tends to hide in tight cracks and crevices
- There is often a confusion between this insect and spider beetles, carpet beetles, and other small insects
The most obvious sign of which is when you see live bed bugs.
Usually bed bugs will not wander around unless they have to feed or unless they are pregnant females avoiding overzealous males, which is the case more often. Generally, bed bugs have a place where they hide and use this place to stay hidden.
It is for this reason that many people are unaware that they even have bed bugs until they become severely infested. It is only this type of disturbance that leads to the discovery of live bed bugs, such as when you’re packing up for a move, in which their hiding places are disturbed.
There are times when one sees a live bed bug in one’s home and one would think it would be a smoking gun, but it is not always that straightforward.
There are many insects that can easily be mistaken for bed bugs. Most bed bugs may be mistaken for another insect outside of bed bugs, namely spider beetles, carpet beetles, and cockroach nymphs, according to our experience.
Bed bugs are another misconception that has been perpetuated in society, where people think that they are the size of apple seeds. However, this is not exactly the case – bed bugs are actually quite a bit smaller than apple seeds.
I think it’s really fascinating to consider that the length of an average apple seed is around 8 millimeters (although, after becoming engorged with blood, they can temporarily reach 7 millimeters in length) while the length of an adult bed bug is usually only 4-5 millimeters. The bed bug nymph is smaller than the nymphs of the bed bug. They reach a length of just one millimeter when their smallest.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?
Bed bugs have tiny, flat bodies, which enables them to fit into any crack or crevice as long as it is larger than two millimeters in diameter.
There is a large percentage of them that either hide in the seams of mattresses, in the joints of furniture, within cracks and crevices in floors and walls, as well as within electrical outlets or along the folds of curtains. The rooms mentioned above are all places that you will want to check thoroughly for the early signs of bed bugs mentioned above.
As an example of a few areas that turn out to be bed bug harborage sites in New York City based on our experience as professional bed bug exterminators
- There are a lot of important parts of your bed, such as pillows, bedsheets, mattress seams, headboards, bed frames, and box springs
- Bedside tables, dressers, rugs, and boxes of storage are often positioned next to the bed
- There are a lot of items available for purchase at our store including sofas and cushions, dining tables, desks, chairs, rugs, and pet beds
- In order to fully decorate your walls you will need to purchase or install many items, including wallpaper, baseboards, window and door frames, curtains, pictures, and smoke detectors.