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10 Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Finding out you have bed bugs can be a traumatic experience. But the sooner you know, the sooner you can address and solve the problem. Bed bugs are a ubiquitous problem, meaning they don't care if you're rich or poor, neat or untidy, clean or dirty. Bed bugs aren't prejudiced. They're notorious hitch-hikers, and they can travel from suitcase to suitcase on an airplane, from backpack to backpack at school, or get into your belongings or clothing if you stay at a hotel with an infestation.

Here are a few signs of a bed bug infestation that you should never ignore:

1. You wake up with itchy red spots.

The most noticeable sign of a bed bug problem may be found on your skin. Bed bug bites are typically small and red, and can be itchy. The bite might also become inflamed. However, not all people react to bed bug bites by experiencing a red spot or itchy area. Some people show no signs of bed bug bites and have no physical reaction at all, so many times people aren't even aware they have a problem. That's why it's important for people everywhere to inspect for bed bugs regularly.

2. If you have bites, those bites are in a line across your skin.

One hallmark of a bed bug problem is waking up with a very distinctive bite pattern on your skin. According to the NHS, bed bug bites often occur in a line. This means that you might be able to differentiate them from the bites of fleas or mosquitoes, which don't normally appear in such a formation.

3. You notice an unexplained musty odor.

If you detect an unfamiliar and musty odor in your home, it could be a sign of a bed bug infestation. An unpleasant, musty scent in your bedroom could signal the presence of the pesky critters. This is because bed bugs release pheromones that can be quite strong when large amounts of the insects are present.

4. There are tiny specks of blood stains on your sheets.

Waking up with your sheets peppered with blood is alarming, and it may signal a bed bug problem. Sometimes, people will unconsciously squash a bug while or after it feeds during the night. This can result in a blood spot on the bed linen, your pajamas, or your skin. If you wake up with bloody polka dots on your bed, you might want to have your house checked for bed bugs.

5. You notice dark, rusty-colored spots on your mattress.

If you find dark spots on your mattress or bed sheets, the stomach-turning reason could be bed bugs. Bed bugs frequently leave fecal stains on bedding or wherever they have gathered in large numbers, according to WebMD. These spots often smear when touched and can have an unpleasant odor.

6. Or you find dark spots on your walls.

Yes, bed bugs can hide in your wall paper! Though it might sound odd, bed bugs can also leave fecal stains on walls or under wallpaper, WebMD cautions. If you suspect you have an infestation but can't find any evidence in your bed, try examining your walls for signs of the bugs' presence.

7. You find a collection of bed bug shells.

Bed bug shells appear as white, husk-like specks, according to the NHS. They can sometimes be mottled and are produced when the bugs shed their skin as they grow. Though you might find these shells in your mattress or along your headboard, it's also possible to uncover them between your sofa cushions or under furniture. The insects also tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic or metal.

8. There are tiny white spots in the joints of your furniture. These are bed bug eggs.

Another sign you might have a bed bug problem is the discovery of small, white spots in the joints of your furniture or the dimples of your mattress. Carefully check the crevaces of your couch. According to the NHS, if you spot "small bugs or tiny white eggs in the crevices and joints of your mattress and furniture," you should inspect the rest of your belongings for further signs of an infestation. Use a flashlight and a magnifying glass to peer between cushions or behind headboards, and peel back the fabric stapled to the bottom of chairs if necessary.

9. Your friends or neighbors have had bed bugs.

You might not realize that bed bugs can spread from person to person. If you visit a neighbor's home or a hotel room that is infested with the bugs, you could carry them back with you to your home. Bed bugs can spread from house to house, living in even the cleanest conditions; bed bugs are not a sign that a person's home is dirty or unkempt.

10. You recently bought second-hand furniture or a used mattress.

If you bring used furniture into your home, you might be bringing bed bugs as well. One of the most common ways bed bugs are introduced to a home is through used and discarded furniture. If you do decide to buy used furniture or find discarded furniture, please inspect it carefully!

What to do if you see signs of a bed bug infestation:

If you see any of these signs, act fast and call Eastside Exterminators. But don't be tempted to throw out furniture or clothing, because this could just make the problem spread. If you move things from room to room, you may inadvertently be spreading a bed bug infestation more. Getting rid of bed bugs is difficult and tedious work, but we have years of experience and success in dealing with the daunting little critters. We are here to protect you, so you can rest easy. Call now and have one of our bed bug experts carefully inspect your home and set up a treatment plan specifically designed for your problem. (425) 482-2100.