How Can You Figure Out If You Have Bed Bugs? All You Need To Know

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Bedbugs are flat, oval insects that feed on human blood and hide in furniture. But how can you figure out if you have bed bugs? Some folks become itchy by just thinking about them. Bedbugs may be uncomfortable and frustrating to live with, even though they don’t transmit any diseases and aren’t typically deadly.

It’s preferable to detect a bed bug infestation as soon as possible before it becomes entrenched or spreads. While treating a little infestation is inconvenient, it is significantly less expensive and time-consuming than treating the same infestation once it has expanded. 

Continue reading to find out how you can figure out if you have bed bugs. 

How To Identify Bed Bugs?

how can you figure out if you have bed bugs

To identify bed bugs, look for the following:

  • Bed bugs have a flat, oval-shaped abdomen and a thin head and thorax.
  • They have six legs and two antennae, as well as two beady black eyes that protrude from the sides of their heads. 
  • Bed bugs have little vestigial wing pads, but they can’t fly, and their antennae have four segments and extend out from the front of their heads. If something flies, it’s not a bed bug.
  • Adults are brown/rusty and flat, while nymphs are pale. They expand somewhat and turn crimson after being fed.
  • Bed bug interceptors (sometimes called monitors or indicators) are an excellent instrument for catching and identifying bed bugs.

How Can You Figure Out If You Have Bed Bugs?

Looking at comfortable bed with magnifying glass

Finding the bed bug infestation can be tricky sometimes. Use the following methods to figure out if you have bed bugs or not: 

Blood Stains 

Even if we don’t see bed bugs when feeding on us, they don’t always make it out alive. When a bed bug becomes engorged with blood, it transforms from a flat, seed-like shape to a spherical, inflated shape, resembling a little football.

Inadvertently crushing or squeezing a bed insect that has just completed eating if you move or adjust your body in your sleep.

While it normally doesn’t kill them, it can cause some of the blood they just ate to flow out, leaving a visible crimson or rust mark. If you see a bloodstain on your linens, clothing, or pillow, examine your body first to see if there is a cut or scab that might be the source of the stain.

If there’s no other explanation, the bloodstain might have been left by a bad bed bug.


Bedbug bites on woman's arm 36-hours after being bitten

Bug bites are the easy way of knowing bed bug infestation. Adult bed bugs produce bites with a variety of features. On the other hand, immature bed bugs might cause bite wounds that are difficult to detect as bed bug bites. The most visible indication of a bed bug infestation is on your skin.

The bites of bed bugs are usually tiny and red, which can be irritating. It’s possible that the bite will get irritated. However, not everyone bitten by a bed bug develops a red mark or itchy region. One of the telltale signs of a bed bug infestation is waking up with a distinct bite pattern on your skin.

Inspect the bed

Remove the mattress and box spring and check the edges and seams completely. Use a magnifying glass and a flashlight to look for bed bugs.

Rust-colored blood stains and reddish-brown, as well as little brown ovals, are what you’ll be looking for (molted bed bug skin). The spots have an awful odor and resemble a little market formed with a felt tip.


It might be an early symptom of bed bugs if you detect a strange, musty stench in your bedroom that doesn’t appear to come from an apparent source, such as a pile of dirty clothing. When disturbed or frightened, bed bugs produce “alarm” pheromones. These pheromones create scents that are somewhat sweet or musty. 

When many bed bugs live together, the odors of their pheromones mingle with the smells of shed shell casings, dead bed bugs, and bed insect feces. The consequence is an unpleasant, metallic odor that worsens as the infestation progresses.


If you think you may have picked up bed bugs while traveling recently, there’s just one way to find out. Look for small white eggs in the seams of your baggage and bags.

Bed bug eggs are roughly the size of a pen tip and may attach to various surfaces. These eggs may also be found attached to or sprinkled in infestation regions.


Bed bug infestations

One of the most noticeable characteristics of bed bugs is their propensity for leaving black poo trails wherever they go. Bed bugs, in fact, frequently discharge excrement while eating.

As a result, if bed bugs are present, small black droppings, black streak markings, and black smears will frequently be seen on sheets, pillowcases, and bedding.

These feces will also be seen in infested locations. If you notice an area of black on the seams of your mattress or the underside of your box spring, you probably have bed bugs.

If you detect black in the stitching, seams, or surface of permeable fabric on upholstered furniture, there’s a significant probability it’s infested with bed bugs.

Dark spots on your walls

Bed bugs can leave feces stains on walls or behind wallpaper, which may seem strange. If you can’t find any infestation but can’t locate any proof in your bed, look for traces of the bugs on your walls.

Shed Insect Skins 

Bed bug (Cimex lectularius) spent skins, eggs & carcasses

If you come across bed bug shell casings, also known as husks or shed skins, there’s a significant likelihood you have bed bugs. Abandoned shell casings are a solid sign of a growing bed bug infestation.

Shell casings or “shed skins” of various sizes are produced due to this operation. Because most individuals are unfamiliar with the sizes and forms of bed bug nymphs, recognizing shell casings can be difficult.

However, if you already suspect bed bugs and find yellowish, transparent shells in popular bed bug hiding locations, you should schedule an examination with your local pest control specialist. Bed bugs may hatch and breed in mattress seams, upholstered furniture, and cracks, fractures, and fissures in wooden furniture

Open the closet

Bed bugs may attach to clothes. It is how they may spread, so search through your closets and properly inspect your stuff. The presence of bed bugs on clothing indicates that they are present in humans.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

person detecting pest or insect on a furniture textile. parasite control and cleaning service concept. sanitation worker. copy space.

Beg bugs tend to hide near where they feed at the start of an infestation. Here are some examples of potential hiding spots:

  • Headboards, bedroom furniture, and drawers 
  • Bedsprings, mattress seams, bottoms, and bedding hems
  • Chairs, wheelchairs, sofas, and covers 
  • Clothing, backpacks, handbags, and suitcases 
  • Carpets and curtains 
  • The back of baseboard heaters and electrical outlets 
  • Mouldings and window or door frames 
  • Peeled tapestries, frames, and posters 
  • Cracks in the plaster, wood, or floor

How to detect a bed bug bite?

Bedbug bites are visible on the back of a woman standing in a hotel room

Unfortunately, the bite of a bed bug isn’t the most obvious indicator of an infestation. Bites on the skin, on the other hand, might be a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites might resemble mosquito or chigger bites, rashes (such as dermatitis or fungal illnesses), or even hives. 

However, looking for these indications or symptoms of a bed bug bite, as well as making a link based on other discoveries, is still beneficial:

  • Red, raised welts
  • A rash caused by bed insect bites in a specific location
  • Itching and burning
  • Multiple bites in straight lines

Bottom Line

By reading this article, you know how to detect whether you have bed bugs, keep an eye out if you stay in a hotel, visit a friend or family member who may have bed bugs, or visit someone who may have bed bugs. While no one likes bugs in their bed (or any other part of their house! ), the problem may be avoided.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.