The Signs of Bed Bugs: 5 Ways to Tell if You’re Sharing Your Bed

November 16, 2021
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Bed Bugs are some of the most invasive and notorious pests to ever infest a home. It can be hard to find bed bugs and even harder to get rid of them. Known for hiding in furniture and mattresses and being particularly resistant to household pesticides, bed bugs are a plague on any home they enter. Bed bugs cause harrowing experiences across the nation, feasting on your loved ones and destroying your furniture. Thanks to the decades of experience and knowledge that come with being a leading pest control provider in the midwest, the qualified experts at General Pest Control want you to know what the top 5 signs of bed bugs are so you can stop an infestation in your home. This information could be the difference in catching an infestation in the beginning rather than when it is a much larger problem, helping you to take the steps necessary to protect your family and property. 


1. Bed Bug Shells 

Bed bugs are known for shedding after they feed on the blood of sleeping people, and will often leave their shells and skins on furniture after they feed. The shells are white, minuscule, exoskeletons, and can be found anywhere that the bugs may be nesting.


This process of molting as they feed is how bedbugs progress through their stages of growth and are a dead giveaway that you have a population of bed bugs in your home. While you may only find a few in the initial stages of an infestation, a large-scale bedbug population can leave thousands of them in and around your home. 


2. Waste Stains

If you thought bedbugs couldn’t be even worse guests, after biting your family and ruining your furniture, then you’ve never discovered the smeared brown stains of bed bug fecal matter on everything you own. Bed bugs leave their excrement wherever they feed, so after they’re done making a meal out of you and their loved ones, they are kind enough to leave a trail of waste along with your sheets, carpet, and anything else they pass on their way to where they’re living. The fecal matter is dark brown or black and often stains carpets and furniture. They are comparable to tiny pencil marks.

3. Odor

In addition to the nasty waste, they offer another awful feature that drives homeowners up the wall. Bed bugs secrete what is known as an alarm pheromone, which is a specific smell they release when a colony is disturbed to alert the other bed bugs and potentially drive off the disturbance. This pheromone, in line with other insects who produce it, smells awful. The pheromone itself exudes a musty, foul-smelling odor meant to drive away intruders and can really stink up a room. It is not the strongest smell but is very noticeable up close. 


4. Bites 

Arguably the most glaring signs of a bed bug infestation are the presence of bites on you, your loved ones, and even your family pets. The small red welts can resemble mosquito bites, but are much more painful and often draw blood that stains sheets and comforters, and can often cause itching. When you are trying to determine if you have bed bugs look for clusters of these small bites on you or a family member living in the home, this is the most obvious sign of a bed bug problem.

5. Blood Stains

One of the most startling signs of an infestation for the average homeowner to stumble across is to find bloodstains on sheets, pillows, or pajamas. These stains come from the bites bed bugs inflict, because when they bite they drain blood from their victims to sustain themselves. Any blood they choose not to ingest ends up on their surroundings, normally bedsheets and your clothes. Combined with the waste stains they leave after feeding, a large-scale bed bug infestation will be pretty obvious.

The Consequences of living with Bed Bugs

In addition to the pervasive destruction of your furniture, coexisting with bed bugs can have profound negative effects over time. The Environmental Protection Agency has documented adverse physical and psychological reactions in cases where people reside in homes with bed bugs for an extended period of time. Bites from bed bugs can cause pain, itching, and irritation, and can cause severe allergic reactions with rare cases of anaphylaxis. Bed bugs can also cause a host of bacterial infections with their bites, such as impetigo and ecthyma. Living in a home with bed bugs creates a general feeling of distress, as well as insomnia, anxiety, and in some cases even depression. 

How Easily Do Bed Bugs Transfer?

As one of nature’s most resilient pests, bed bugs primarily spread through transference on people’s clothes, furniture, luggage, and linens. They can survive extreme heat, cold up to 46 degrees, and are undeterred by the water. They reproduce quickly and eggs only take ten days to hatch, which allows bed bugs to turn one breeding pair into a population of hundreds at a rate most homeowners couldn’t even begin to handle on their own. 

What to Do Next

If you believe you’ve stumbled across any of the signs of bed bugs we’ve mentioned, contact a professional. It’s never too early to protect your family and deal with an infestation. When dealing with bed bugs, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and ignoring the tell-tale signs today can have you living with a colony of thousands by the end of the week. 

We provide comprehensive bed bug services, as well as follow-up visits and free consultations if you aren’t sure what services you need. Since 1978 General Pest Control has strived to provide the best in extermination services, and we still hold ourselves to those standards today. So if you have bed bugs, rodents, termites, or an unidentifiable furry critter living in your shed, call General Pest Control and watch your problems disappear.