What Are the First Signs of Bed Bugs?

If your home has bed bugs, you need to know as early as possible. This guide explains the first signs of bed bugs to watch out for.

Bed bugs are an infestation that no one wants to have to deal with. However, knowing the signs of bed bugs can help you stop the problem in its tracks. Bed bugs are nocturnal pests that tend to be less noticeable during the day, so they can be tricky to find.

You may notice some subtle signs that lead you to believe bed bugs are present. If you’re wondering if you have bed bugs or you want to know how to recognize them for future reference, take a look at these first signs of bed bugs.

How Do Bed Bugs Get in?

Bed bugs can enter your home in several different ways. For example, if you’ve recently been on vacation, they may have crept into your luggage and entered your home from there. Similarly, bed bugs can live in the furniture so be careful about buying second-hand furniture and not thoroughly cleaning it before it enters your home.

Once bed bugs have made themselves at home, the problem can escalate quickly. It’s important to deal with these pests as soon as you notice signs of them:

Small Stains

The first thing you may notice are small stains on your mattress. They often look like small dark marks and can sometimes smear to look like ink stains. These stains are left by bed bugs after they drink your blood, digest it and then excrete it.

Bed Bug Bites

One of your family members may start to develop small red marks that resemble swollen spots. They usually appear on the face, arms, neck, hands, or anywhere else that is exposed during sleep.

What people don’t often realize is that bed bugs may only bite one person even when two people share a bed. This can lead people to believe that the problem isn’t bed bugs at all.

Bed bug bites can become itchy and inflamed but there’s no definitive way to diagnose them. They can often resemble the same kind of reaction as many other skin conditions.


You may notice tiny blood stains on your clothes or your bedsheets. This could be one of two things. Either you have rolled over a bug during your sleep and crushed it or a stain has been left where the bed bugs have bitten you and left a little blood residue after feeding.

Shed Bug Skins

As bed bugs go through their growth stages, they shed their skin and shells, depending on the growth stage. These often look like bed bug shells but more translucent.

Live Bed Bugs

Of course, one of the best ways to confirm you have bed bugs in your home is to catch a live bug on your mattress. If you have a light sheet on your bed, it will be easier to see small bugs crawling but you should bear in mind that they tend to move around more during the night.

This can make it more difficult to see them moving. Use a flashlight and check the corners, edges, and seams of your mattress. It’s also worth checking behind headboards as bed bugs can be clever at hiding.

A more established infestation may see bed bugs crawling on the walls and ceilings too.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

You know to look for small dark bugs crawling on your bed but what do bed bugs look like? They have six legs and two antennae. Their bodies are oval-shaped but flat. They do not have wings and are unable to fly. Adult bugs can grow up to 5mm big and are a reddish-brown color.

When bugs lay eggs they are a white or pearl-like color and they are often laid in clusters. The color of the eggs often makes it much more difficult to find them on mattresses and eggs can also be laid as singulars.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

The earlier you spot and get rid of bed bugs, the better. An infestation of bed bugs can be tricky to remove. When you want to get rid of bed bugs, you can attempt to do it yourself or call a professional.

If you want to do it yourself, you can pick bed bug treatments that will kill bed bugs and their eggs. Then you’ll need to thoroughly clean your space and ensure you remove all bugs, eggs, and shed skins. You may need to leave your home for a while to wait for the treatment to work.

It’s often a much safer idea to ask a professional to do the job. Professionals often use heat treatments or traditional pesticides to kill bugs and eggs. You can take a look at https://www.custombedbug.com/ for information on getting bed bugs out of your home and the options available to you.

Knowing the First Signs of Bed Bugs

When you know the first signs of bed bugs, it can save you a lot of time and hassle. If you identify the problem quickly, you can address it and go back to living your life.

If you’re not sure you have bed bugs because you’re unable to spot them or identify them, it’s a good idea to call a professional and get an opinion. If it’s not bed bugs, it could be another pest that needs to be exterminated.

Take a look at some more of our articles on home and health.

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