ULTIMATE Guide on How to Detect Bed Bugs, Detecting a Bed Bug Infestation: 4 Steps

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

Introduction: 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.

  • UV Flashlight
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Old Credit Card

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

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

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

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.

Be the First to Share

Did you make this project? Share it with us!


How to Find Bed Bug Nests In Your Home

Bed bug problem can be really serious, if you keep it without taking any action. Fortunately, there are many products that you can use to kill these bugs. You can even make your own bed bug spray to do this. However, the most important thing that you need to do is find where these bugs reside. Or, in simplest way, you need to find their nest. Using bed bug product on the place where there is no nest or only few bugs stay at there will be useless. You won’t be able to solve the problem. So, find the bed bug nest and use it there. Now, how can we find the nest?


The only way to find the nest is search manually. Actually, there is product that you can use to attract bed bugs. However, if you can’t locate the nest, that would be useless. You only kill the bugs that gathering around the product that attract them. So, to search manually, you need several tools, like magnifying glass, flashlight and gloves.

Searching the Bed

The main important thing that you need to understand about bed bugs is they always stay close to their source of food. And, if we talk about food for bed bugs, it would be blood, your blood. Therefore, the best place to look for their nest is your bed, because you always use it for sleeping. Meanwhile, bed bugs are very active at night, which make your bed perfect place for them to make nest. To find where their nest on your bed, here are few steps that you need to do:

See also:  Types of Bed Bugs - Common Bed Bug Types in the USA

Search for the sign of bed bugs on your bed sheet. Usually, it can be a stain of blood, which usually caused by bed bugs that was killed by you accidentally, after they suck your blood. If you find it, that will be good sign that you are close to their nest.

Check the mattress, especially the edges and seam. Bed bugs love to make nest in the hidden places like that. Flip the mattress to find the other side of it, which usually is also best place for nest.

Box spring is the next target. Search every corner and crook of this place. Box spring is actually most common place where you can find bed bugs nest. We can say this is these bugs’ favorite place to stay. If necessary, you can remove the bed spring protector. Use magnifying glass and flashlight to find it.

Head board and bed frame is also another place you need search for. The joints and corner of bed frame and head board usually become the great place for bed bugs to stay.

After you located the nest, which is usually there are lot of bed bugs at there, you can use the bed bugs exterminator products or such on that place. That will help you to deal with the bed bugs problem. However, you also need to remember, bed bugs usually made several nest. So, you need to inspect other place, like furniture and your closet.


Determine a Flea Infestation in Your Home

If you think you have a flea infestation, but you aren’t entirely sure, this page will help you determine if that’s the case or not. First you need to know what you’re dealing with. You will find some pictures of fleas on this site that can help you do just that, but in short, fleas are 1/8 inch long and typically dark colored. They don’t have any wings, but instead they use their super strong legs to jump to their target. They can jump almost 10 inches, so they have absolutely no problem getting to you and your pets.

If you have a flea infestation, it is important to know about the life cycle of the flea, as it makes it easier to eliminate the fleas chance to survive on each of the development stages. You will probably have fleas in all stages if you find adult fleas in your home. That includes eggs, larva, pupas and fully grown adult fleas.

So how do you resolve a flea infestation problem in your home? You find the fleas and get rid of them. Easy as that, or is it? Finding all the fleas can sometimes be difficult because of their small size and large numbers. The best place to look is your pets. They are the main target for the fleas and the main reason why flea infestations happen. Fleas need blood to live and reproduce, and you need to stop them from getting it.

How to spot a flea infestation

A flea infestation will typically show itself when your dog or cat starts scratching and biting itself. If the problem is ignored, your pet will start getting infections and lose hair in the exposed area. I recommend checking your pet as soon as it starts scratching itself. You can use a flea comb to systematically go through its fur and look for fleas. Pay attention as they move fast and you will have to keep focus, or else you will miss them. Sometimes you won’t find any fleas on the pet, but instead you will find traces of them being there, like flea dirt. Although it looks like dirt, it’s actually flea droppings. You will know for sure if you touch it with a wet tissue and red rings of blood appear on the tissue.

It doesn’t take long for the fleas to spread from your dog or cat to the rest of the house. The eggs don’t stick very well to the pet, so they will usually fall off at its resting place. This is where the flea infestation begins and this is where it should end. It’s a great place to start looking for fleas if your cat or dog is scratching itself all the time. Another way to spot a flea infestation is by wearing long white socks. Fleas are dark, so if they try to jump you, it will be easier to spot them on a white background. After you have determined the flea infestation, it’s time to get rid of the fleas.

Related Posts

You probably want to know what fleas look like so you can identify your pest…

As soon as you get a flea bite and discover fleas in your bed, or…

If you have pets, chances are you also have fleas in the house. If not,…


How to Detect Hidden Surveillance Cameras With Your Phone

April 21, 2019, 6:40am EDT

A family recently discovered a rude surprise at their Airbnb: a hidden camera disguised as a smoke detector in the living room. Here are two ways to check for cameras—in an Airbnb or elsewhere—using only an iPhone or Android phone.

Hidden Cameras Are a Real Danger

If you’re staying in a hotel or an Airbnb, hidden cameras can be a worry. In the case of Airbnb, your host is required to list any cameras they have, whether or not they’re turned on. Additionally, Airbnb does not allow hosts to place cameras in bathrooms or sleeping areas, even if that’s a living room with a foldout bed.

But, as this one family found out, the occasional creepy host can still hide a camera and not tell you. Hidden cameras in an Airbnb aren’t a new thing. The problem isn’t limited to Airbnb, either. A recent news story described the harrowing tale of hidden cameras live-streaming in South Korean hotels. More than 1500 hotel guests were filmed and live-streamed over the internet. As hidden cameras become even more inexpensive, they seem to be popping up more and more.

Manufacturers design cameras disguised as other everyday objects, like smoke detectors, clocks, USB hubs, even wireless chargers. These can be used for legitimate reasons in your own home—for example, to hide a camera a burglar can’t find or to monitor a nanny with that person’s consent. But how do you ensure someone isn’t targeting you with a hidden camera? With a single app and your phone’s camera, you can do a sweep for hidden cameras when you check in.

There are two ways to scan for cameras with your phone. First, if you have access, you can scan the Wi-Fi network for devices that look like cameras. But this will only find cameras connected to the network. Second, you can search for night vision cameras using your phone’s camera. If a hidden camera isn’t connected to the network and doesn’t have night-vision capabilities, neither method will spot it—but these tricks should spot most cameras.

How to Scan for Networked Cameras

Many places you stay give you access to the local network. You can use this to your advantage with an app named Fing. Fing makes both iPhone and Android apps. Better yet, it’s free and doesn’t have ads. Fing does ask you to sign in for more features, but you won’t need to do that for the device and port scanning.

See also:  Safer Pest Control

The idea here is to look at all the devices connected to the local network. We recommend disconnecting all your devices except the phone or tablet running Fing so that you’ll have fewer things to sort through. Connect your phone or tablet to the network and then open Fing.

On Android, tap on the “Refresh” button at the top-right of the app’s screen to get started and agree to give the app location permissions. The iPhone app performs this step automatically.

Wait for the app to finish scanning, then look through the list of found devices. You’re looking at devices on the network the app identified, you’ll want to keep an eye out for anything that shows a camera manufacturer (like Nest, Arlo, or Wyze), or lists as “IP Camera.”

Even if you don’t spot a camera on this list, take stock of how many devices you do see listed and what you can find around the place you are staying. If something stands out as unusual (perhaps with no recognizable details), and you can’t locate a good source, write down the IP address. The next step is scan for open ports.

If you find any suspicious devices on the network, you’ll want to scan for any open ports those devices are using. First, tap the “Network” button at the bottom of the screen.

Then tap “Find Open Ports.”

Type the IP address you wrote earlier and then tap the blue “Find Open Ports” button.

The list will show what ports are open, and what services they use. Keep an eye out for RTSP and RTMP; those are common for streaming video. Anything with HTTP or HTTPS as a service you can try to connect to with a browser, which may reveal video streaming. Just type the IP address into your browser, followed by a colon, followed by the port listed (i.e.,

How to Spot Night Vision Cameras

You won’t always have access to the local network to try the above steps. Even when you do, they might not help. A hidden camera could be on a separate network, or too obscure to recognize easily. If you haven’t found any cameras yet, you can try looking for infrared lights. Most IP cameras use infrared for night vision. While infrared rays are invisible to the naked eye, you already have a device that can help—your smartphone.

Some smartphones have filters to block out infrared light on their primary camera, but very few of them have filters on the front camera. To determine which camera will work for you, grab an infrared remote like the one you use for your TV. Point it at your smartphone’s primary camera and press a button. If you see the light on the screen, then it can detect infrared. If you don’t, try again with the front-facing camera.

Josh Hendrickson

Once you determine the best camera to use, turn off the lights in the room you want to sweep. Then turn on your smartphone’s camera and start looking for any glowing lights. IP cameras don’t come in any standard configuration so you might see just one, four, six, or some other combination of lights. They’ll typically be purple but sometimes can look white. You won’t necessarily need to be near the hidden camera. In the above image, the camera is just a few feet away. But take a look at another picture from the other side of the house:

Josh Hendrickson

The lights in the center of the image are the same camera, just three rooms away (a dining room, a living room, and a study). That’s bright enough to be noticed and warrant closer investigation. Don’t just look at the center of walls though, point your smartphone at the ceiling, vents, even outlets. When the lights are on, look for anything unusual. Does a room have more than one smoke detector? Is there a USB hub in a place with no other electronics? If you touch a standard mirror and look at your finger from an angle, your reflected finger won’t “contact” your actual finger. If you do the same with one-way glass, your reflected finger and real finger will contact (seem to touch), and that could be hiding a camera. Noticing out-of-place things can help you find hidden cameras.

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed method for finding a hidden camera. But taking these extra steps when you arrive will give you fighting chance, and hopefully some peace of mind.


Canine Scent Detection

Note: Bed Bug Central has worked very closely with J&K Canine Academy in the development of bed bug sniffing dogs. Pepe Peruyero, President of J&K Canine Academy, is one of the country’s top canine scent detection trainers and has worked extensively with the Entomology Department at the University of Florida in validating the use of canine scent detection for the detection of termites and is currently involved in similar research with bed bugs. It is through our experience with J&K Canine Academy and the researches at the University of Florida that we have developed many of the opinions expressed on the subject of canine scent detection for bed bugs. For more information on J&K Canine Academy you can visit their website http://www.jkk9.com/

Dogs have been used very effectively for the detection of a wide variety of things which include but are not limited to drugs, bombs, fugitives, cadavers, mold, and termites. So why not bed bugs? There would seem to be no reason, and canine scent detection for bed bugs is already available.

A number of scent detection companies have emerged offering canine scent detection of bed bugs. While we are advocates of canine scent detection, it is also our opinion that the current scent detection offerings have limitations. If you are considering a scent detection company you should consider the following:

  • How frequently do the dogs have false positive alerts (this means that the dog alerts to the presence of bedbugs in situations where bedbugs are not present).
  • How often (what percent of time) do dogs fail to find bed bugs?

You will want to carefully look at the claims of the company you are considering and determine what type of research has been done to validate their claims on the performance of the dogs. While the use of canine scent detection is both an exciting and promising method for the early detection of bed bugs, it is still an evolving technique and you should exercise caution when considering this method of detection to ensure that the detection service that you select is capable of delivering the level of service that you expect.

Canine scent detection can be very effective but it is important to realize that every bed bug detection dog and handler team is different from the next and you need to find out exactly what you can expect from the team that is performing the inspection. A well-trained bed bug detection dog should be able to identify very small numbers of live bed bugs, sometimes as few as one. Additionally, the dogs should be able to discriminate live bugs and viable eggs from evidence left over from an old infestation (fecal spotting, caste skins, empty egg shells, carcasses). Unless they are able to do this, it becomes much more difficult to distinguish between active and old infestations.

See also:  Wasp, Yellow Jacket, Hornet - Bee Species, Rentokil Canada

Some trainers cross train dogs to detect multiple scents which may make it difficult to interpret a dog’s alerts. How do you know whether the dog is alerting on the scent of mold or of bed bugs if it has been trained to detect both? Like any other inspection tool, scent detection has shortcomings and is not always definitive. Scent dogs depend on their noses, so their “inspection” is limited by what they can smell. Sometimes, bed bugs can be present but the odor is simply not available to the dog. The reasons for this vary, but the three most significant factors include the location of the bugs, air flow, and temperature.

If bed bugs are located well above the dog’s head, and the air flow is pulling the scent upwards, the dog may not alert. Therefore, it is entirely possible for bed bugs to be in plain view high up on the wall or along the ceiling and not be detected by the dog. It is this type of “failure” that causes some to doubt the utility of scent-detection dogs.

However, there are just as many situations where the dog will alert on bed bugs that are difficult or unlikely for an inspector to find: an outlet with a bug or two behind it, a baseboard that has a few bugs behind it, or eggs hidden along a carpet tack strip. A scent-detection dog can go under a bed and alert on bugs inside the box spring without an inspector having to take the mattress and box spring off. The dogs can alert to bed bugs behind a heavy entertainment center without anyone having to move it, and can detect bed bugs or their eggs in a pile of clothing or a toy box full of stuffed animals.

Dog going under a bed during an inspection Dog alerting on scent of bugs associated with bed
Dog alerting on the scent of bed bugs associated with a desk Dog picking up scent of bed bugs in a book case

What should be your response when the dog alerts? You have a choice to make, you can either put all of your trust in the dog’s ability or you can try and confirm the presence of live bugs or viable eggs in the area that the dog indicated. If you are going to inspect the areas to confirm the dog’s findings you may need to conduct a very in depth inspection in an effort to produce the bug(s) or egg(s) that the dog alerted upon. This could involve removing the mattress and box spring, take off the outlet switch, pull up the carpet, remove the baseboard, empty and move the entertainment center, and go through the pile of clothing and stuffed animals where the dog alerted. This can be done but obviously this adds time and money to the inspection and there is no guarantee that you will be able to find the bug(s) or egg(s) that the dog alerted on. If the evidence is inaccessible, or you simply fail to see it, you will not be able to visually confirm the alert. Also, the dog is alerting on a “scent picture,” and while it will often be right where the bugs or eggs are, there is also the possibility that it is not. Scent travels with air, sometimes for significant distances.

An alternative method is to use a double blind confirmation system that uses multiple-dogs and multiple handlers. This type of an approach can help overcome some of these issues and often adds the level of certainty needed for both the handler as well as the contracting party. The way this works is that the area is independently inspected by two different handlers, each using a different dog and the results of the two inspections is compared. If both dogs indicate the presence of bed bugs in the same areas, independently of one another, the likelihood that bed bugs are actually present is quite high. Still, you must decide what you are going to do with this information. One option is to say that a double positive indication is viewed as a confirmation that bugs are present. A mixed result, one dog alerts and the second does not, could be viewed as reason to perform a visual inspection in an effort to find bugs or eggs. If visual inspection fails to reveal evidence of a live infestation, you must decide whether or not to treat for bed bugs or to just keep a close eye on the situation. Other options might include implanting the use of other tools that can help aid in the detection of bed bugs such as mattress encasements, insect interception devices, CO2 traps, or other detection traps as they are developed (also see section on Early Detection Devices) .

Canine scent detection is especially well suited for large scale inspections where visual inspections is simply not practical, such as periodic inspections of hotel guest rooms, college dormitories, entire apartment complexes, movie theaters, schools, or infestations in office buildings. The contracting parties should agree in advance as to what methods will be used and how the information will be interpreted. Questions to be considered include the following:

  • Will they rely on the dog’s detection alone?
  • Do they want a second dog for confirmation purposes?
  • What if there are mixed results between multiple dogs?
  • What circumstances will mandate a detailed visual inspection to confirm the dog’s alert?
  • How to handle situations where the presence of bed bugs could not be confirmed through visual inspection?

Nevertheless, scent detection adds a whole new dimension to the inspection. Bugs that might escape visual detection by a human may be detected by a bed bug sniffing dog and vice versa. Look at it this way: Bed bugs can be so difficult to detect that different methods may prove to be useful from one location to the next. The more bed bug detection tools you can deploy, the more likely you are to detect infestations early when bed bugs are the easiest to control. NESDCA (National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association) The National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA) was recently formed and held its first meeting at the University of Florida Department of Entomology’s Southeast Pest Management Conference. The objectives of the association are as follows:

  • To unite and assist all entomology scent detection canine teams in the training and continued improvement of all Entomology scent detecting work dogs.
  • To establish a working standard for all entomology scent detecting canines, handlers and trainers through an accreditation program.
  • To provide educational material through publications, visual aids and training seminars.
  • To improve the image of the entomology scent detecting canine.


No comments

Добавить комментарий

Your e-mail will not be published. All fields are required.