Signs of Bed Bugs — Pictures of bed bug infestations
Signs of Bed Bugs
- 1 Signs of Bed Bugs
- 2 Blood Smears and Fecal Stains
- 3 Pictures of Bed Bug Infestions on Beds
- 4 Signs of Bed Bugs in Other Furniture
- 5 Bed Bug Cast Skins/Shells
- 6 More Signs of Bed Bug Infestation — Eggs and Fecal Droppings
- 7 Signs of Bed Bugs in Other Places
- 8 Learn How to Inspect for Bed Bugs in your home or hotel
- 9 What’s Next?
- 10 Recent Articles
- 11 How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
- 12 Dead Bed Bugs: Look Like, Find, Treatment, Clean Up, Eggs (Edited)
- 13 Dead Bed Bugs
- 14 Bedbugs: how do I prevent an infestation?
- 15 Reduce places where bedbugs can hide
- 16 Be careful about what you bring into your house or buy
- 17 Check your home regularly for bedbugs
Here you’ll find pictures of signs of bed bugs like eggs, fecal stains and cast skins on mattresses, different types of furniture and other hiding places. Whether you think you might have bed bugs or want to make sure you avoid bringing them home, these photos give you a good idea of what to look for and where to look.
Looking for something in particular? This page is pretty long, so these links will take you straight to the sections you most want to see.
Blood Smears and Fecal Stains
Smears of blood on sheets are one of the early warning signs that bed bugs might be sharing your bed. Stains like the ones in the picture below happen when recently fed bugs get squashed in the bed by a person moving unexpectedly. But, many other things could cause stains like this. For this reason, blood stains alone are not evidence of a bed bug infestation.
If you are being bitten by bed bugs, you will also see fecal stains.
Fecal stains on sheets look like the marks of a felt tip pen and tend to bleed into the fabric. The picture below is a great example of what bed bug fecal stains look like. Note the live bed bugs in the photo and how flat they are.
Pictures of Bed Bug Infestions on Beds
The photo below shows evidence of bed bug infestation on the side of a mattress. In this view mostly just spots and a few adult bugs are visible.
The picture below is a closeup of the same mattress. Here it’s apparent that there are live adults and nymphs (bed bug babies) as well as fecal stains — but can you pick out the eggs?
Now look at this magnified view. See how closely the eggs resemble the shiny white fibers of the mattress fabric?
Bed Bugs Hiding in plain sight!
This set of pictures is a great example of how bed bugs easily «hide in plain sight». Take a close look at the picture in the upper right corner of the collage. See any bed bugs? If you found a couple — that’s not bad.
Now look at the at the picture to the upper left. See all the beige colored spots especially around the open grommet hole? Those are baby bed bugs (nymphs) and there are a lot of them!
Even more surprising is the lower-right magnified view of a grommet hole (above) that is completely filled with nymphs and their cast skins. That same hole is located on the right edge of the upper-right image you looked at first.
Box springs are actually the #1 bed bug hiding spot according to a study of 13 infested apartments conducted by the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology. (Read more about where bed bugs hide and the results of the study.)
As the pictures below demonstrate, you’ll typically find more signs of bed bugs at the head of the bed (left image) than at the foot (right image).
Headboards and bed frames are also favorite hangouts for bed bugs. The photo below shows signs of bed bugs living in the decorative groove of a wood headboard.
Bed bugs are freakishly flat and can squeeze themselves into the most unlikely places. Notice how a bunch of them have piled into this gouge in a bed frame.
Special thanks to Lou Sorkin, entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History for such a large selection of helpful pics. All of the images of bed bugs on furniture in this block as well as many of the photos throughout the site are Lou’s, and are used with permission via Creative Commons licenses, unless otherwise noted.
Signs of Bed Bugs in Other Furniture
These two pictures show multiple signs and symptoms of bed bug infestation on an upholstered chair. Note how the nymphs and eggs are clustered right in the seam area in the photo below. In fact, at first glance the eggs might be mistaken for dust or other fibers.
This photo on the right shows signs of much heavier infestation, including cast skins, fecal droppings and many eggs on the underside of the chair upholstery — something to keep in mind when you are checking for bed bugs.
Bed Bugs can also be found on and inside wood furniture like night stands, dressers and book shelves. They like the cracks and crevices of joints between pieces of wood and can even be found in screw holes. The two pictures below show evidence of bed bugs on a wooden shelving unit. The little white spots on the side of the shelf are eggs, the beige spots are bedbug nymphs and the black dots are fecal matter. The bigger bug in the picture on the right is a German cockroach.
Bed bugs can also hide on almost any other type of surface including metal and plastic. The photo on the right below shows how a number of bed bugs found harborage together inside a the head of screw.
All of the photos of bugs above are also from Lou Sorkin’s vast collection of bed bug photos .
Bed Bug Cast Skins/Shells
As bed bugs grow from birth to adulthood , they molt, or shed their exoskeletons. The cast skins (bedbug shells) they leave behind can be found in and around their harborages (hideouts) and are definite signs of a growing bed bug population.
The photo above shows two cast skins in the upper left corner along with a live bed bug and fecal stain.
The image below is a bowl full of shed skins or exoskeletons. Yuck!
More Signs of Bed Bug Infestation — Eggs and Fecal Droppings
Here are some close-up pics of bed bug excrement and bed bug eggs. While the fecal stains on sheets at the top of the page look like back marker stains, the droppings themselves look like little black blobs.
Note how the the hatched eggs in the picture on the above look dull, dried out and flattened compared to the unhatched eggs.
Bedbug eggs are often found on wood, cardboard and fabric. They are covered in a sticky glue-like substance which helps them stick to the surfaces and gives them a shiny appearance.
Credit (all 3 photos above): Dr. Harold Harlan of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (CC).
Signs of Bed Bugs in Other Places
Typically, bed bugs hide out close to their source of food (see top 8 hiding spots). But, as infestations grow, bed bugs tend to spread out from the immediate vicinity of their feeding area. While they are not feeding, they will hide out in a wide variety of places. They’re super flat, so they can squeeze themselves in to very tight spots like picture frames, electrical outlets, carpet edges and behind window/door moldings and baseboards.
Signs of bed bugs on a door hinge.
And behind rubber baseboard molding.
Photos credit for collection of photos above: Lou Sorkin (CC)
Learn How to Inspect for Bed Bugs in your home or hotel
Hopefully, these pictures of signs of bed bugs help you have a better idea of what to look when checking for a bed bug infestation.
If you think you may have bed bugs, it’s time to get down and dirty. But before you do, check out our handy step-by-step inspection instructions in the bed bug detection section.
If you haven’t already done so, its a good idea to get familiar with what bedbugs look like in all of their life stages. Once you’re done here, I also recommend learning more about all 9 signs of bed bug infestation, where they like to hide, and how to look for them.
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How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Whether you are obsessive about cleaning your home or not, you can still get bed bugs. Anyone can. Chances are, you had no idea they had a way in. Many times people unknowingly bring them home. Bed bugs are travelers and excellent at hiding. Their bodies are thinner than a credit card, so they can creep through very small spaces.
Your Home Is Not Bug Proof
Any crack in the wall is a possible entrance point. Tiny slivers of space in the corners, or even cracks in the paint or torn wallpaper, are enough to allow them to crawl through. They can also travel in from a next-door apartment through tiny openings in walls or the floor or ceiling. Sometimes exterminators use pesticide foggers which cause bed bugs to scatter and even find refuge in adjacent apartments. This can also spread harmful chemicals, so it’s not recommended.
An infestation in one apartment can spread throughout the building. It’s also important to realize they’re not only in the walls, ceilings, and bedding. Bed bugs can seek refuge in boxes and suitcases and remain their long after the rest of them have been exterminated.
They Go Where You Go
These are hardy insects. While they must seek out human hosts and their blood to survive, bed bugs can go for months without feeding. They’re also known to come along for the ride. Creases in clothing give them something to hold on to. You might be bringing home a bed bug from a hotel room or even the bus on your shirt, pants, or shoes.
The insects spread easily from one place to another. Your child might bring one home in their backpack. Bed bugs have been seen in schools and also hospitals, restaurants, offices, and public buildings such as police stations. Dorm rooms to cruise ships have been infested. All it takes is one unsuspecting person to have some travelers hitch a ride home with them.
On the King County fact sheet, there are some tips on how to spot bed bugs in their tracks.
Bed Bugs Are Travelers
Aside from hitching a ride on a backpack, car, bus, train, or plane, a bed bug has a lot of mobility. They can’t fly. One is able to go up to 20 feet to find a host, and further if they find more. Primarily nocturnal, they will venture into full daylight to satisfy their hunger.
No matter where they go bed bugs will survive as long as the temperature is right. They are just fine in temperatures as low as 46°F. From there, these insects will thrive. They die as soon as their body temperatures reach 113°F, which is why many exterminators recommend extensive heat treatments in infested apartments.
Just as with discarded furniture, these pests can travel on any rug you toss. They can survive in books, magazines, and paper. If you’re borrowing or purchasing these used, check for signs of infestation. Bed bugs can also be present in electronics. They’ve spread around in old TV’s, computers, radios, and even CD players.
If you look closely, many tiny bed bug eggs will be present during an infestation. They are highly efficient reproducers. Females can lay up to three eggs per day, and up to 500 in her six to twelve month lifespan. Some bed bugs live longer.
Mating and egg production require feeding. For this, they require a meal at least once every 14 days. Each bug needs one meal at the very least in order to develop into the next stage of its life. All bed bugs have six life stages. Between each, they molt their shell. They can feed more than once if there are abundant hosts.
Some insects are mistaken for bed bugs. Carpet beetles have been. On the other hand, people have misidentified bed bugs as something else. That enables them to have more time to spread. You might wave it off if there’s one or just a handful, but that’s how it starts. Bites might not be present but a lot of folks don’t have any reaction. Besides, bites alone don’t prove anything because they look like those from mosquitoes and other bugs.
If you know how bed bugs spread, you can prevent them from taking over your home.
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Dead Bed Bugs: Look Like, Find, Treatment, Clean Up, Eggs (Edited)
Bed bugs are a badly harmful and disgusting infestation to have in your home.
They’re small, oval-shaped and brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals.
They’ well knew as blood-feeding insects that love to bite human’s body majorly. Bed bugs normally feed at night when people stay in bed.
Beds bugs have been well known to travel over 20-feet from hiding to feed but will usually hide within 3 to 6 feet of their host.
Due to the compressed body of a bedbug they can simply hide in small places like as baseboards, in floors, cracks, behind loose wallpaper, under carpets, bed frames, behind picture frames, sofas and many other places which make bedbugs very hard to find.
Dead Bed Bugs
Since living bed bug nymphs and eggs are observable with the naked-eye, it is logical to take for granted that dead bugs are also visible.
Sometimes it might be a bit harder to detect them than live ones, but still, it is visible if anybody looks carefully and closely. You might also discover remains of dead bedbugs or live bedbugs wandering around because you’ve disturbed the bed bugs with the flashlight.
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Find on Dead Bed Bugs
Check common places like as edge of the carpet behind beds as well other furniture in the room, cracks, and ceiling to wall join. To see bed bugs and dead bed bugs it’s valuable to know what you are looking for.
- Cast skins that are left alone by bedbugs throughout the molting process.
- Small reddish black fecal droppings.
- The exterior of blood spots on bed sheets or other bedding items.
The primary step in controlling as well as treating bedbug and dead bed bug infestation is to clean all the fields where bugs are live and where bedbug eggs are laid. As soon as you detect bed bug eggs or bedbug, make sure to rubbing alcohol might be sprayed on bedbugs to kill these pests immediately.
You may call the pest control as this might already be a symbol of infestation. You can begin by ensuring the infestation by cleanup all clothing, beddings, linens, and rugs. These items must be washed out with hot water, and soap then dried out the hottest dryer setting permissible for the fabric, for about thirty minutes.
Next step is to clean the mattress, carpets and related items to remove bed bugs, dead bedbugs, bed bug eggs before vacuum-cleaning. After scrubbing, vacuum-cleaning all these regularly including other fields where they live will assist remove these pests.
After vacuuming perfectly, the vacuum-bags must be handled by placing a vacuum bag in a plastic bag then throwing it on the garbage outside the house. However, there is an option to put away the mattress, carpets, and related items by enclosing it as well boxy-springs with a securely woven cover to put off bedbugs from incoming or for missed bedbugs from avoidance. This cover should be kept on for one year to assure that all remaining bedbugs and dead bed bug eggs are dead and removed dead bed bugs.
How to Get Rid of Them
Once you find that you hold an infestation, you requiring figuring out a way to annihilate them instantly before the situation worsen efficiently. Because the expansion of bugs takes awhile, you can destroy a whole colony as well stop them from hatch new eggs with the right and proper treatments.
The-do-it yourself techniques are much cheaper than having to employ a professional. However, depending upon the strictness of the infestation, trying to exterminate them yourself may not be an adequate way of exterminating the infestation. Treatments might take some more cost, particularly if you have an out-of-control infestation.
Bed bug infestations are increasingly common, but some steps can be taken to prevent them from infesting your home.
When bed bugs and dead bed bugs are present, they can be securely controlled. See our all guidelines and read the entire article about bed bugs and dead bed bugs which will assist you to learn more about how bed bugs flourish.
You’ll be able to know about how to realize and inspect bed bugs presence, steps which you should take to avoid them from infesting your house, how to safely and carefully rid your home of bedbugs if they do happen, and also how to pick and work on pest management professional.
Bedbugs: how do I prevent an infestation?
Prevention is the key to avoiding bedbug infestations in your home. To reduce the chances of an infestation, follow these steps:
Reduce places where bedbugs can hide
- Get rid of clutter.
- Vacuum often, including under and behind beds.
- Repair or remove peeling wallpaper and tighten loose electrical faceplates.
- Seal all cracks and crevices on wooden bed frames, between baseboards, and in walls, ceilings, windows, door frames, and furniture.
- Check any entry points on walls that you share with neighbours, and openings that allow access to the inside of the wall (like areas where pipes, wires and other utility services enter).
Be careful about what you bring into your house or buy
- Check every item you bring into your home for the first time, including used books, new furniture, and garage sale or antique store furniture.
- Be very cautious with second-hand or refurbished items.
- New mattresses are often delivered in the same truck that carries away old mattresses, so be careful to check your new mattress before it enters your home. Insist that your new mattress be sealed before it is delivered.
- Never take a mattress or sofa from a curb.
- Check items before you put them in your vehicle and check your vehicle after helping a friend move.
- When you return from a trip, follow the tips described on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.
Learn more about bedbugs
Check your home regularly for bedbugs
Regular inspection is important to prevent infestations. To thoroughly inspect your home, you will need a few simple tools:
- something to scrape along mattress seams and other crevices (like an old credit card cut into a long triangle: use it in a sweeping motion in narrow spaces to chase bedbugs out of hiding)
- screwdrivers for removing electrical faceplates and taking furniture apart (always be sure the power is turned off before opening an electrical outlet)
- alcohol, glass-cleaner, or baby wipes for checking if stains are bedbug droppings (if spots dissolve into a reddish brown colour when rubbed, the spots could be bedbug droppings)
- cotton swabs for checking stains in crevices
- white plastic bags that can be sealed, for your belongings
Check on, under and beside beds, couches and upholstered furniture. Look for black/brown spots (dried blood or feces), white spots (eggs — very hard to see), or live or dead bedbugs.
If you find signs of bedbugs, you should carefully widen the area of your inspection. If you have a pet, check areas where your pet sleeps as well.
Checking a bed for bedbugs
- Remove and inspect all bed linens, including pillows. If you see signs of bedbugs, wash the linens using the hot cycle of your machine.
- Slowly lift up each corner of the mattress and examine all creases, tufts, and buttons, along each side of any piping material sewn onto the edges, along mattress handles and air holes, and under pillow tops.
- Slowly lift up each corner and check where the box spring sits on the bed frame.
- Look closely at the top surface of the box spring, inside folds of material, along seams, and where the fabric is stapled to the box spring. Also check along the edge of the cloth underside. If you see signs of bedbugs, flip the box spring upside-down and remove the cloth underside to look inside the box spring.
- Check all surfaces, crevices, screws, staples, tacks, and under wooden plugs that cover screw or nail holes on the bed frame, legs, and headboard.
- Also go over the wall behind the bed (bedbugs can hide in wallpaper and electrical outlets). Remove electrical, telephone, or cable faceplates to check behind them. Always be sure the power is turned off before opening an electrical outlet. Pay extra attention to gaps in the baseboard or rips or bumps in wallpaper.
You should throw your bed out if you find bedbugs inside the box spring or where holes or worn spots in the fabric of the mattress are. These spots can allow bedbugs to lay eggs in places that are not easy to reach for treatment.
If you do throw out your bed or any other infested items, wrap them in plastic and tape off the edges to prevent spreading bedbugs on your way to the trash. Put a sign on the item saying it has a bedbug infestation, so that no one else takes the problem home with them.
Checking furniture for bedbugs
- Remove any loose cushions and check the creases, especially the seams and around the zippers of upholstered chairs and couches. Check the seating area and any creases along the sides and back of the chair or couch. Check the legs, especially where they join the upholstery, and where the fabric is tacked to the frame.
- Go over all corners and surfaces of wood furniture like dressers, cabinets, tables, chairs, and bookshelves. Remove drawers and look at the inside, the top, sides, back, and legs, paying extra attention to any cracks. Use the crevice tool to check any gaps (like between a shelf and bookcase frame, and under metal drawer slides).
- Wicker furniture is an ideal hiding spot for bedbugs, so check it carefully.
If you find signs of bedbugs, also check:
- Wall baseboards closest to the bed, using the crevice tool to check inside gaps.
- Between the folds of curtains, along the curtain hem, inside curtain rods and under the hardware on the wall.
- Around window and door casings and frames, along the hinges and in the hole for the door latch.
- Under area rugs and the edges of carpets. Fold back the edges of wall-to-wall carpeting and check the carpet tack strips.
If bedbugs are on the walls, they could also be hiding in picture frames, light fixtures, smoke detectors or other wall-mounted items. Bedbugs hiding in ceiling lights could mean that they are entering from a room above yours.
For more information on pesticide use and regulation, contact Health Canada’s Pest Management Information Service.