Skip to main content

How to Identify Bed Bugs and How They Get In Your Home


For years, bed bugs were not a major issue. In fact, many people have never heard of them until recent years. But now that these nasty little bugs have made a major come back, it seems like you hear about them all the time. Today we are going to learn how to identify bed bugs and how they find their way inside of your home. So if you suspect you have bed bugs, you just might want to pay close attention to the information below.


Four Ways to Identify a Bed Bug

Bed bugs are little, parasitic insects that feed only on blood, preferably human blood, thus leaving behind red bumps on your skin the itch terribly. You can typically identify a bed bug by:

  • The Size of An Apple Seed: A bed bug is about the size of an apple seed and is generally about the ¼ inch in length if they have not fed. Once bed bugs have fed they will often be balloon shaped and are more elongated.
  • A Reddish Color: Most bed bugs will be reddish-brown in color especially if they have recently fed. This is due to their diet of blood that they take from their host.
  • A Translucent Color: Young juvenile bed bugs will be void of color and appear translucent.
  • A Foul Odor: Bed bugs are very smelly and will give off a musty scent. While this is very gross this smell can help you identify these nasty little bugs.

Signs You May Have Bed Bugs

There are a few signs that can indicate you have a bed bug infestation in your home. Below you will find a list of warning signs that you should be looking out for.

  • Rusty brown stains on bed sheets: As you sleep these bugs will feed. While feeding they will often be crushed. This will stain the bed sheets and even the mattress and is a sure sign that you have bed bugs.
  • Black or dark red spots on furniture, walls, and clothing: Bed bugs don't just damage your bed—they can also make their way into almost anything dark.
  • Red bumps on arms and legs: These are bed bug bites. They can become itchier and even painful over time, especially if you're allergic to their saliva or feces.
  • Bed bug eggs: If you find small pale-yellow eggs about the size of a millimeter you probably need to call in a professional. This is a definite sign that bed bugs are breeding and producing more bugs inside of your home.
  • A musty, wood-like odor: This smell comes from their scent glands.

How Do Bed Bugs Enter the Home?

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs do not just show up in unsanitary conditions like cockroaches might. Cleanliness has nothing to do with finding bed bugs in your home. Common bed bugs can hitch a ride with you and you wouldn't even realize it until it was too late. You can attract bed bugs a variety of ways, but keep in mind that these insects are not always found in these places, they've just been known to be there. 

On Your Luggage

If you have recently stayed in a hotel room, then you just might have brought home more than just the free shampoo. Bed bugs can hitch a ride on your luggage and then when you bring it home they can jump off and infest your home. Even the poshest and most expensive hotels can have them, so you should be diligent about keeping them out of your home. Instead of placing your luggage on the bed or floor, place it in a cabinet or closet during your stay. This will help avoid contact with these nasty little bugs.

Used Furniture

Another way that these insects can get inside the home is by hiding inside used furniture. Sofas, chairs and other plush furniture make the perfect hiding spot for bed bugs. So if you have recently purchased used furniture make sure that you have it treated before bringing it inside of the home.

On a House Guest

Bed bugs can even attach themselves to people and their clothing. This allows them to move to a new location and start a new colony. Having a house guest over that is currently having their own  infestation just might put your home at risk.

Public Libraries and Retail Stores

If you're checking out books, flip through them to see if there are any signs that bed bugs could have crawled in there from another person that had checked out the same book. Similarly, it is possible that a bed bug could find its way into a retail store just waiting to hitch a ride with an unsuspecting subject in their purse or on their clothing. Be sure to check your purchases for any telltales signs. 

Public Transportation

Whether you travel on planes, or trains, or even in automobiles, bed bugs can find their way to the public transit system. Be sure when you arrive at your location, you leave your luggage out and check it before transporting it inside. 

Hospitals and Nursing Homes

These critters can make their way most anywhere, and hospitals or nursing homes are no exceptions when you consider a number of people that are in and out of the facilities on a daily basis. 

Bed Bug Control Services

Bed bugs are very difficult to get rid of so protecting yourself from them is highly important. Although an infestation of bed bugs is annoying and bothersome, not to mention itchy, they are not known to spread diseases to humans or animals and they can be rid of for good. But if preventative measures are too late and you have an infestation, you should contact a professional to get rid of them. Getting rid of these bugs can be an expensive and annoying process but it’s the only way to ensure your home is safe. An infestation is a serious issue that needs to be handled by someone that specializes in their removal. Contact Big Time Pest Control for a free estimate.