During the summer, you enjoy the warmer weather… Bed bugs do too. These pesky little pests thrive in warm weather, making it the prime season for them to invade our homes. Bed bugs are recognized as a public health pest by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Addressing bed bug infestations quickly is super important to keep your home safe and healthy.

This article will explore the identification, inspection, treatment and prevention of bed bug infestations, providing you with some tips to maintain a bed bug-free home.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like

Bed bug bites can be identified by their characteristic appearance and tell-tale symptoms. Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that are often difficult to spot due to their size and nocturnal nature. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, measuring approximately 5-7 millimeters (about 0.28 inches) in length. They have flat, oval-shaped bodies and are wingless. Bed bugs are often mistaken for other insects, like carpet beetles, so it's important to know their distinguishing features to identify them correctly.

Early Signs of Bed Bugs

Detecting bed bugs early can help you address an infestation before it becomes severe.

  • The first sign of bedbugs may be small, itchy bites on your skin, often on your arms or shoulders.
  • Bedbugs tend to leave clusters of bites rather than single bites here and there, but for some people, bedbug bites don't cause any marks or itching.
  • You might also notice rusty or reddish stains on your sheets or mattress caused by crushed bed bugs, or blood spots.
  • Look out for tiny pale-yellow eggs or eggshells, and bedbug poop, which appears as black dots about the size of a period punctuation mark that may bleed on fabric like a marker.
  • You might see the bedbugs' shed skin, which looks a lot like the bugs themselves, or white, oval eggs about as big as an apple seed.
  • Additionally, a sweet, musty odor around your bed can be a giveaway.
  • And, of course, actual bedbugs are often found in the seams of mattresses, furniture and cracks in walls.

What Do Bites Look Like?

What Do Bites Look Like

Bed bug bites typically appear as small, red, itchy bumps on the skin, often in a line or cluster. They are commonly found on exposed areas such as the face, neck, arms, and hands. Unlike some other insect bites, bed bug bites do not have a red dot in the center. To help identify bed bug bites, compare them with other insect bites and refer to bed bug bite pictures for visual examples.

Inspecting for Bed Bugs

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Conducting a thorough inspection of your home is essential to detect bed bugs. To get started, you'll need a few tools: a flashlight, a magnifying glass and a credit card or something similar.

  • Step-1: First, take a good look at your mattresses and bedding. Bed bugs are drawn to warmth, making your mattress a prime spot for them. Carefully check your sheets for any blood spots they might have left. Be sure to inspect the seams, tufts, and folds of your mattress, as well as any corners or crevices.

  • Step-2: Next, your furniture. Bed bugs love to hide in places where people sit or lie down for long periods. Make sure to check your couches, recliners, and office chairs. Look under the furniture, where the fabric meets the legs, and between the seat cushions. Don't forget to examine your walls and baseboards. Bed bugs often hide along the edges of rooms, so inspect the baseboards and carpet edges, as well as any cracks and electrical outlets.

  • Step-3: Using your flashlight and flat-edged object, check your nightstand and dressers. Empty out each drawer and examine the cracks and joints. Be sure to turn the drawers over and inspect the bottoms. Bed bugs can also hide in curtains and drapes, around window and door frames, in the corners of the ceiling, behind loose wallpaper, inside outlet covers, under lamps, inside picture frames, and even inside alarm clocks and other electronics.

If you want to be extra thorough, consider hiring a professional Pest Inspection service. They can give you a complete evaluation and peace of mind.

Understanding Bed Bug Behavior

Understanding bed bug behavior is crucial for avoiding and dealing with them. Bed bugs can enter your home from various sources, such as luggage, second-hand furniture, and visitors. These pests are excellent hitchhikers and spread by attaching themselves to clothing and personal items. Once inside, they can travel from one house to another, particularly in multi-unit buildings where they can move through walls, floor and ceiling openings, and pipes.

Despite their ability to spread quickly, bed bugs can't fly; they can only crawl. This means infestations can sometimes spread slowly on their own. However, most bed bugs spread faster when they hitch a ride on people’s clothes, linens or furniture and get into luggage. People then move the bed bugs from place to place much quicker than the bugs could do on their own.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

1. How to Kill Bed Bugs

High heat is an instant bed bug killer and one of the most effective methods for ridding your home of bed bugs. Washing and drying infested items on high heat can eliminate both bed bugs and their eggs.

For things you can’t wash, like couch cushions and chairs, consider using bed bug sprays and insecticides specifically labeled for bed bug control. Applying diatomaceous earth to cracks and crevices can help, as can employing heat treatments like steam cleaning.

2. Long-term Eradication Methods

For long-term bed bug control, encase your mattresses and box springs in protective covers and reduce clutter around your home to minimize hiding spots for bed bugs. Regular vacuuming is also a proven method but be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag immediately after use.

Comprehensive Treatment Plan for Bed Bug Infestations

Completely eradicating bed bugs often requires a combination of chemical treatments, heat treatments, and ongoing monitoring.

  1. The first step is to remove the bedding and isolate the bed.
  2. Strip the bed linen directly into a double plastic bag to reduce the chance of spreading the bugs.
  3. Wash the bedding in hot water for at least 30 minutes and then dry it at a high temperature for another 30 minutes.
  4. When transferring the linen to the washer, seal and discard the inner plastic bag.
  5. Vacuum to remove any remaining bed bugs and eggs as thoroughly as possible, though this might not remove deeply harbored bed bugs.
  6. Dispose of the contents of the vacuum cleaner outside in a sealable plastic bag.
  7. Finally, ensure the bed frame is free of bugs by spraying it with a pesticide.

To prevent bed bug re-infestation, it's important to take a few proactive measures. Always thoroughly inspect any second-hand furniture and clothing before bringing them into your home. Using protective covers on mattresses and box springs can also help keep bed bugs at bay. Maintaining cleanliness and reducing clutter in your living spaces will equally help minimize potential hiding spots for these pests.

When traveling, always inspect hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs and keep your luggage off the floor to avoid bringing any unwelcome guests back home with you.

Role of Professional Pest Inspections

Professional pest inspections play a crucial role in early detection and prevention of bed bug infestations. Inspectors are trained to identify signs of bed bugs that may be missed by the untrained eye. Early detection through professional bed bug inspection services can save time, money and stress by addressing infestations before they spread.

WIN’s inspection and testing services can be beneficial for homeowners to prevent all kinds of pests from entering the home, such as wood destroying insects and mold. As the #1 ranked home inspection company, our Healthy Home Check offers you the assurance that your home is safe and healthy from these hazards and more. Visit wini.com to find an inspector near you!


Knowing how to deal with bed bugs is important to keeping your home comfy and healthy. Recognizing what bed bugs look like, taking action immediately, and using effective treatments can all help keep these annoying pests away, so you can enjoy the simple things like a cold lemonade and a pool day at home.