Signs of a bed bug infestation include live bugs, rust-colored spots on bedding, shed exoskeletons and a musty color. People sleeping in an infested room develop bite marks, but these sometimes take up to two weeks to appear.
Most people are unaware they are being bitten by a bed bug. The bugs normally bite while the individual is asleep. They inject an anticoagulant that allows them to feed freely on the victim's blood. The bug also injects an anesthetic so the sleeping individual does not feel the bite. The skin reaction to bed bug bites depends on the individual's allergy levels. Some people develop no reaction at all, while others experience anaphylactic shock. However, red, itchy spots that resemble mosquito bites are common.
Anyone who visits an area infested with bed bugs is at risk for bringing an infestation to his own home. Bed bugs often transfer to the luggage or clothing of humans in hotel rooms and other places where people share living or sleeping areas previously used by others. Bed bugs have slim bodies and often move from one location to another without detection. Once the bugs infest an area, they are difficult to eradicate. Getting rid of them often requires the services of a professional exterminator.