How do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?
1) Look for bites on your body
People often realize they might have a bed bug problem when they discover bites on their body in the morning. Although every bed bug infestation implies bites, the presence of what seems to be bites on your body doesn't automatically mean a bed bug infestation.
Keep in mind that:
- Many medical conditions can lead to skin lesions similar to bed bug bites.
- Bed bug bites can take many shapes and sizes depending on the person. They can either ben small or big, look like mosquito bites or pimples, be marked with a red dot in the middle or not, be grouped or appear individually.
- Certain people do not react at all to bed bug bites.
Morsures de punaises (source)
Did you know?
It is impossible to diagnoze a bed bug infestation simply by analyzing the marks they can leave when biting. When in doubt, proceed with caution.
For all these reasons, if you believe you may have a bed bug problem, inspect every room of your home. Use the following steps to guide you.
Want to act before it's too late ? Learn how to prevent bedbugs
2) Begin by searching for clues of a bed bug infestation
Bed bugs can hide in multiple places in your bedroom. Before conducting an in-depth search, start by looking for:
- Reddish spots on your blankets or matress, which indicate that bed bugs were crushed.
- Black dots, which can be bed bugs excrements (they can also leave what looks like pencil marks on fabric).
- Eggs or egg shells, of about 1mm in size and of pale yellow color.
Also keep an eye out for for bed bugs themselves. Their shape and color can change depending on their age and when they had their last meal.
3) Conduct a search of your house
Do any of the clues listed above lead you to believe that you may have a bed bug problem? If so, a complete search of your home is in order. Pay close attention to these popular bed bug hiding spots:
- The bed is where bed bugs usually live. They can hide in the headboard, inside the matress, around zippers, seams, upholstery, among other places. To learn how to properly inspect your bed, see step 4.
- Inspect furniture and walls with care. Mouldings and window frames are also potential hiding spots.
- Look behind and under every decorative object (photo frames, mirrors, etc.).
- Pay close attention to nooks and crannies, as well as cracks and tapsestry.
- Inspect carpets and rugs closely: bed bugs also love them.
- Don't forget to check every electrical oulet, phone jack, power switch, phone and clock, as bed bugs can hide inside them.
- Do not neglect any space! Even screw heads can serve as a hiding spot.
Don't forget that an adult bed bug is about as thick as a bank card. Every hole or crack of this size is a potential bed bug nest.
Did you find any bed bug during your first inspection? Time to tackle the next step: the in-depth inspection of your bed and furniture.
4) Inspect your bed
As their name suggest, bed bugs usally live... in beds. They prefer to feed at night, which is why people usually notice the bites when they wake up.
Here are the steps you should follow when inspecting your bed:
- Remove all bedding (sheets, quilt, pillow cases, etc.) and inspect everyhing carefully.
- If you find any clue of bed bug presence, wash everything at maximum temperature.
- Inspect your mattress carefully, looking at every nook and cranie, seam, button, handle and fold.
- Don't forget that bed bugs are small, and can easily hide inside easily.
- Remove your matress and check underneath it.
- Carefully inspect your box spring as you did with your mattress, paying attention to seams, folds, edges and any other nook which could hold bed bugs.
- If you find hints of bed bug presence, flip the box spring, remove any protective fabric and check its inside.
- Continue by examining your bed base. Once again, pay close attention to every nook and cranny.
- Do not neglect inspecting walls near your bed. Bed bugs can be found on them. This is especially true if you have any power oulets or wallpaper in the area. Unscrew the plastic panel of every outlet to check inside.
- Don't forget to cut the power before inspecting power oulets.
Did you find any bed bugs? You can either purchase a new mattress to replace the old one, or kill the bed bugs with the power of dry steam.
5) Inspect your furniture
Even though the bed is the favorite hiding spot of bed bugs, they can also survive in nearby furniture easily. Follow these steps to inspect your furniture.
- Begin with couches. Remove all cushions. and inspect every crack, hole, seam and zipper. Also check the cushions and the spaces between them. Flip the couch and check underneath it. Do not neglet to check every free space between padding and fabric.
- Inspect furniture like tables, chairs, book shelves, dressers, cupboards. Make sure to check inside and underneath them as well.
Did you know?
bed bugs love furniture and objets made of wicker. Make sure to inspect these carefully!
Did you find bed bugs? Continue by inspecting the following places:
- Curtains and their support device.
- Frames, hinges and latches of windows and doors.
- All mouldings.
- Wall frames, smoke detectors, ceiling lights, and any other object that could serve as a hiding spot for bed bugs.
What are bed bugs?
The bed bugs in Montreal : a real curse
Bed bugs are a real curse. The number of recorded cases has been rising dramatically everywhere in Quebec, and experts concede that they have lost control of the situation.
Unlike dust mites, bed bugs are visible to the naked eye. Oval-shaped, they are either brown or reddish. They move relatively quickly, but cannot fly nor jump.
They are also very resitant. Although they rare live more than a few months, they can enter a state of dormancy which allows them to live for more than a year without feeding.
Bed bug eggs, of a whiteish color, are small: about the size of a pinhead. The female usually lays multiple eggs that come to form a cluster, which hatch after about two eggs.
Learn more about bedbugs lifecycle