Can I identify a bed bug infestation on my own?

by April 3, 2023

Just the thought of bed bugs is enough to send chills down the spines of most. Small creatures living in your mattress and biting while you sleep is the last thing you want to think of when lying down after a long day. But if you start to notice unexplainable bites on your body, you may be wondering if you can identify a bed bug infestation on your own.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites can be tricky to identify. They often look like the bites from other insects such as mosquitoes or chiggers. On some people, the bites resemble skin rashes like eczema or other skin infections. Alas, some people show no reaction at all to the bites. Still, it is a good idea to know some common indicators that your bites may be caused by bed bugs.

Possible signs of bites:

  • raised red bumps in a zig-zag pattern or line
  • raised itchy bump with a clear center
  • a red itchy bump with a dark center and lighter swollen area around
  • inflamed and burning sensation on areas of the skin

While not a reliable diagnosis of bed bugs, bites are often the first evidence of bed bugs and should lead to further investigation of the problem.

Physical Signs of Bed Bugs

The most accurate and proactive way to identify a bed bug infestation is to look for any physical evidence you might find as you clean your house. A well-trained eye can quickly notice any signs and reach out for help to contain an infestation.

  • reddish-brown spots on your bedding or mattresses
  • pale molt-skins or eggshells from the bugs shedding their skins
  • small black dots on walls or ceilings from droppings
  • live bed bugs in your upholstery

While very small, bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye. Adult bed bugs are a little smaller than an apple seed. They are brown, have an oval, elongated body, six legs and wings. Young bedbugs and eggs have a pale color and are very small making them more difficult to find and identify.

Where to Look

The most obvious place to look for bed bugs is in your mattress and bedding. Unfortunately, this is not the only place bed bugs can occupy in your home. In addition to your mattress, it’s a good idea to keep a lookout for bed bugs in other places:

  • the crevices of other upholstery
  • folds of curtains and drapes
  • drawer joints
  • electrical receptacles and appliances
  • loose wallpaper
  • rugs and under carpet

The small size of bed bugs makes it very easy for them to take up resident in tight quarters. Keeping an open eye for these crevices will help identify problem areas quickly.

What to Do

Smaller infestations are much more difficult to identify. You have to recognize the signs and act quickly. But the sooner you take action to contain an infestation, the easier and less expensive the treatment will be. If you think you have identified a bed bug infestation on your own, you can take a few steps to begin the restoration process. Bed bugs can be very difficult to eradicate on your own, though, so the professionals at Environmentally Considered Pest Control are ready to help. Contact us today.