The major sign of the presence of bed bugs on people is the appearance of itchy red welts anywhere on the body that were not present before sleep, WebMD explains. These welts lack a red spot in the center, unlike some other insect bites.
Other signs of bed bugs include blood stains on sheets or pillow cases, a pungent musty smell in the bed, dark spots on bedclothes or walls, and bedbug egg shells or shed skins in common hiding areas, states WebMD. The bites of bed bugs alone are not sufficient to be certain that bed bugs are the culprits, but these other signs are sufficient to confirm an infestation. Bedbugs can hide and travel in bedclothes, luggage, clothing, couches and beds. They have very flat bodies and so can squeeze in very narrow spaces, making it difficult to spot them directly.
Bedbugs are more of a nuisance than a danger, as they do not spread disease, WebMD says. Eliminating them can be difficult, with professional chemical extermination services being the most reliable method. Other possible steps include cleaning all bedding, cleaning curtains, vacuuming the bed and surrounding area, and encasing the bed in a tightly woven zippered cover. Such a cover must remain in place for at least a year to be sure to kill any trapped bedbugs.