Identifying Bed Bug Infestations
Bites on the skin are a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites can be misidentified, which gives the bed bugs time to spread to other areas of the house. Bed bug bites can look like bites from other insects (such as mosquitoes or spiders), rashes (such as eczema or fungal infections), or even hives. Some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.
A far more accurate way to identify a possible infestation is to look for physical signs of bed bugs. For example, spots on bedding, as described below, are one of the earliest and most accurate methods.
When cleaning, changing bedding, or staying away from home, look for:
- Dark spots (about this size: •) which are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would
- Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm) and white
- Skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger
- Live bed bugs
- Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed