How Can You Tell If You Have Bedbugs?


Quick Answer

Clusters of itchy, red bites or welts on the skin in a straight or zig-zag pattern are usually the first signs of a bedbug infestation. Bites are most commonly found on the arms or shoulders, and usually there are between three and five within proximity of each other.

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Full Answer

Bedbugs are very small, flat, oval-shaped insects that don't have any wings, and range in color from white to brown, although they usually turn a rusty red color after feeding. They're roughly between one-quarter and one-half of a centimeter long. Look for them in the bed, especially along any seams in the mattress. Because they're so small, it may be necessary to look for other signs of an infestation if they can't be detected visually.

Another sign of bedbugs is small bloodstains. Carefully inspect all bedding, linens, mattresses, box springs and surrounding carpets for tiny reddish dots. Bedbugs also leave tiny dark spots from their excrement in areas where they hide, so inspect crevices, furniture, walls and floors for signs of waste. Also keep an eye out for the outer shells of bed bugs, as well as tiny white eggs. Areas that are extremely infested with bedbugs may have a sweet, musty odor from the chemicals they use to communicate. Not everyone can detect this odor.

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