A Simple Guide to Bed Bug Detection

A big problem with bed bugs is knowing where to look for them. Bed bug detection can be difficult which is why it’s important to educate yourself on the areas to keep an eye on.

It didn’t seem like too long ago when bed bugs were thought to be things of the past. Even now, many homeowners have no idea that the once exterminated creature has entered back into the fold of unwelcome household pests. If you have the unfortunate luck to get bed bugs, though, you’ll find out how much of a nuisance they are very quick.

A big problem with bed bugs is knowing where to look for them in the first place. Bed bug detection in NYC can be difficult, which is why it’s important to educate yourself on the areas to keep an eye on. Here, we’ll look at a few of these. 

If you’re sure you have bed bugs, please call your local bed bug exterminator right away.


Bed Bug Detection in Your Home

This should go without saying, but the first local hotspot you should be paying attention to is your own home. Bed bugs are one of the last insects you want to contend with. Once they find their way into your house, it is often a long, arduous process to get them out.

How they get inside is mostly due to simple migration. It is a fallacy that only a dirty house will have bed bugs. Any home, no matter its condition, is prone to these creatures.


Where to Begin Your Bed Bug Search in Your Home

Bed bugs are sneaky critters. They love to hide in all the little out-of-the-way places of your home. They take refuge in the cracks found in your walls and the crevices of your furniture — hence being called bed bugs. This is why your bed bug search needs to be as meticulous as possible.

Bed bugs are reddish-brown, oval, flat, and about 3/16th of an inch long. The nymphs look like adults except they’re smaller and not as dark. But bed bugs are very difficult to locate, so you may be infested but still not spot one. Therefore, in your bed bug search, you’ll need to look for other signs of their presence, such as:

  • Dark spots on the sheets or mattress (the excretion of bed bugs).
  • Reddish smears on your sheets (blood-engorged bed bugs you’ve crushed without knowing it by shifting in your sleep).
  • Hatched and un-hatched eggs, which are usually sticky.
  • Tan-colored shed skins (from nymphs as they molt).


bed bugs stain on the corner of wall

Bed Bug Staining on Wall and Baseboards

“Bed bugs are sneaky critters. They love to hide in all the little out-of-the-way places of your home.”

-Rest Easy Pest Control

Start with beds in the home because—as their name suggests—bed bugs like to hide in groups near beds so they don’t have far to travel when they come out at night to feed on you while you’re sleeping.

You’ll need to take the bed apart, paying special attention to mattress seams and tags, as well as to any holes in the mattress. You also should check in any cracks or crevices in the bed frame or box springs. But the bed bug search doesn’t end there—you’ll also have to inspect all your furniture, as well as holes and crevices in the walls, particularly where the walls meet the floors.


Install ClimbUp Interceptor Bed Bug Monitors

This product allows you to trap them as they move about, so if you have an infestation, the ClimbUp Interceptor should let you know it. The Interceptors are specially designed plastic cups that you place under the legs of your beds and other furniture.

Each cup is pesticide-free but is coated on the inside with slick talc. As they move from their hiding places to their feeding destinations, they’ll crawl into the cups, which will be too slippery for them to crawl out of, leaving them trapped there for you to see.


bed bug monitor

ClimbUp Interceptor Bed Bug Monitors

Are They Bed Bugs or Carpet Beetles?

We know these little parasites have been making a comeback, and they can be so devastating (and annoying), that we might tend to see signs of the insect when it’s something else.

One such possibility is the carpet beetle, a common insect that is sometimes misidentified as a bed bug. We’ll explain why this confusion occurs and how you can tell the difference between these two bugs.


The Physical Appearance of Carpet Beetles

One big difference between bed bugs and carpet bugs is the fact surrounding their genealogy, in a sense. While it is true that both are insects, only bed bugs are actual bugs. Carpet bugs are beetles. Beetles, as you’re probably aware, have very distinct features.

While bed bugs are reddish brown and flat, carpet bugs tend to be either black or feature a mix of yellowish brown, black, and white. Although both are small in appearance and each is often found on furniture, comparing their pictures online should quickly tell you which insect you’re dealing with.


a carpet beetle on fabric

Carpet Beetle (Clemson University – USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org)

The Lifecycle of Carpet Beetles

The lifecycle that each insect goes through may be an indication as to which pest you’re dealing with. Bed bugs go through a lifecycle that begins with an egg and goes from nymph, then through several stages, until it reaches adulthood.

Each of these stages, starting as a nymph, look nearly identical to each other. Only their size changes. Carpet beetles are different. When they hatch from their eggs, these insects look like small hairy worms. Much different from bed bugs.


Waking Up with Bed Spots

As anyone who has experienced a bed bug infestation can attest, bed bugs love to bite. To move from through the bed bug life cycle, bed bugs must feed on a host, and that host is you. When they feed, people will find red, itchy spots on their body.

Not only is this creepy, but it’s also rather uncomfortable. Carpet beetles don’t bite, so under normal circumstances, red spots wouldn’t indicate that you have a problem with them in particular. However, if you suffer from allergies, this might not be true.

Although carpet bugs do not bite and only eat natural fibers, there have been cases where allergy sufferers have experienced red spots due to their presence. This is because the carpet bug larvae have hairs that can act as an allergen.


“To move from one lifecycle to the next, bed bugs must feed on a host, and that host is you.

After they feed people will find red, itchy spots on their body.”

-Rest Easy Pest Control

If Your Bed Bug Search Doesn’t Yield Results, Consider a Professional

If you’re unable to locate any of the parasites, you might need to turn your bed bug search over to the professionals. After all, due to a resurgence of the parasites, pest control companies have become well-versed in how to quell an infestation or take care of any problems you already have.

When you call a professional, they will first evaluate your needs. They’ll do their bed bug search, where they will use whatever tools are at their disposal to find them. Pest control experts can often tell there’s a bed bug problem from the smell in a particular room.

They also know how to test furniture, wood, etc. to see the telltale signs of a bed bug problem. They even have bed bug dogs that can be employed to check for bed bugs and pinpoint their locations. Of course, when that is all done, they can also take care of their elimination for you.


Detect Bed Bugs At the Gym

Unfortunately, the place where we go to work out and burn calories can also be a place to find bed bugs. The primary reason for this is how bed bugs often transfer themselves from one house to the next.

They are notorious for hitching a ride on luggage, and to them, your gym bag is just as good as a suitcase. With all those people in the gym, from all walks of life, there’s bound to be some who might be experiencing a bed bug infestation without even knowing it. That’s why it’s important to check your own bag before you take it back home.


Detect Bed Bugs at Public Transportation

Every day, millions of people use public transportation around the world, whether it’s buses, trains, or subways. When you get on a subway, for example, you’re sitting in the same spot that possibly hundreds have sat on that same day.

This equals a lot of exposure to bed bugs. It doesn’t matter what kind of financial situation the person is in, or where he or she lives, the fact is that bed bugs will use a person’s clothing or their belongings to get a free trip across town.

You don’t want to be paranoid about this, but you don’t want to be naive about it either. To avoid any issues, it is a good idea to perform a quick visual check of these places.

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