Bed bugs are among the hardest pests to contain, so it’s important to act quickly.

Just one female bed bug could lay 113 eggs during her life, which can hatch in as little as 6 days.

However, bed bug infestations rarely start with just one-bed bug. If left unchecked, your home could be ground zero for a serious bed bug infestation that can spread rapidly.

Our K-9 bed bug inspections are designed to identify bed bugs in every hiding spot across your home so that none are left behind.

If you suspect you have bed bugs in your house, look out for the signs of bed bugs below.

25 Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs are not subtle creatures by any means. Most bed bugs leave behind telltale signs that are easy for most homeowners to identify.

1. Spotting Live Bed Bugs

This should be the most obvious sign of a pest problem, but bed bugs are very small (between 5-7mm in length) and have several life stages making it difficult to pinpoint them. What’s worse is they could hide just about anywhere in your home, including behind molding, electrical outlets, and even cracked drywall.

2. Raised, Red Welts On Your Skin

Another classic sign of bed bugs is waking up to itchy, red, raised welts across your skin. While it doesn’t always implicate bed bugs, there is a good chance that some sort of bug lives beneath your sheets.

3. You Have Recently Encountered Someone Or A Place That Has Reported Bed Bugs

While this is no guarantee that you will get bed bugs, if someone you know has had them or recently discovered they have had them, it’s a good idea to check around your own home to be sure you didn’t pick up a stow-away. We recommend hiring a professional because you may be dealing with the early stages of an infestation, which are generally harder to identify.

4. Shells Or Molted Skins

While living bugs can be elusive, they leave a little present behind. Bed bugs shed their exoskeleton as they molt to the next stage. You will find these “leftovers” in cracks, under furniture, or anywhere they may be nesting.

5. Fecal Spots On Bedding/Mattress

Liquid fecal spots on your bedding are a sure sign of bed bugs. These small, liquid waste spots can be scattered across your bed depending on how often the bugs have fed.

6. Bloodstains On Your Sheets/Pajamas

If you are a host for a family of bed bugs, another sign would be bloodstains. The primary diet for bed bugs is blood from humans or other warm-blooded animals. Seeing unexplained spots of blood on your sheets could be a warning flag.

7. Dark Spots On The Walls Or Upholstery

Sheets aren’t the only place for bed bugs to hide. These little creatures can easily slip behind your wallpaper or into other enticing spots they can hide away during the day.

8. Multiple Bug Bites

Maybe it’s not mosquitos! If you wake up with multiple little red dots, you likely have bed bugs. The problem is, however, that you may not actually feel the bed bug bite if they are from a young bed bug. The bites may be painless, but they will most likely cause you to have a reaction.

9. Painful, Swollen Bumps With A Dark or White Center

If you aren’t 100% sure you have been bitten by a bed bug, one way to tell is by looking at the bite. They are often swollen with a dark center. In some cases, they can have a white center as well.

10. Burning And Itching

While the initial bite may not hurt, bed bug bites tend to leave victims with a burning and itching sensation.

11. Fever, Nausea, or a Swollen Tongue

Bed bug bites can cause a severe reaction in certain individuals. Coupled with the other signs of bed bug bites, such a reaction could be a sign of an infestation.

12. Marks On Exposed Skin

You may have bed bugs if you have rash-like patches, bites in a straight line, or burning hives on your exposed skin. Depending on the clothing you wear to bed, bed bugs will latch on to exposed skin for an easy meal.

13. Not Everyone Displays Symptoms; Others Have A Strong Reaction

It’s common for people to have different reactions to bed bug bites, even within the same household. Keep an eye on your skin and the skin of small children because it can be difficult to spot the sign without a reaction.

14. Uncomfortable Nights

Another sign of a bed bug infestation is an uncomfortable night’s sleep. While you may not feel the bites, your body may react in response to any interaction with these pests. They are quick and often run across your bed at night to feed. While you may not know the presence, your body may experience restlessness as a reaction.

15. Musty Smell

Bed bugs have a particularly musty smell. Much like the scent of a dirty, wet towel, where there is an infestation, there is often an overwhelming, damp scent.

16. Rusty Spots On The Bedding

Much like seeing spots of blood, a common sign of bed bugs is in the rusty spots from expelling blood and fecal matter.

17. Flat, Reddish Bugs

If you do happen to see a bed bug, they are about 5-7mm in length and they are no bigger than a sunflower seed. These small oval bugs are so tiny they can fit almost anywhere and are so light it’s hard to tell when one is on you.

18. Bug Exoskeletons Or Bodies

A sure sign of bed bugs is finding dead bodies throughout your house. These little creepers can find various spots to nest in your home, so don’t limit yourself to just the bedroom and mattress.

19. Eggshells Or Eggs

Bed bug egg shells are about 1 mm and are pale yellow. Like the exoskeletons or dead bodies, spotting eggs could mean you have a nasty infestation.

20. Shells In Drawers

Much like your bedroom, it’s possible for bed bugs to house themselves in your clothing drawers. They can hide between the cracks, underneath, or even in the clothes themselves.

21. Spots Near Electrical Receptacles And Appliances

Another spot you may find black and rust-colored spots is by electrical sockets. While it’s more common to find bed bugs in your mattress, it’s possible to find them just about anywhere in your home.

22. Box Spring Nightmare

If you have any bed bugs, the spot you will most likely find them is within your box spring. Bed bugs can squeeze themselves flat and fit in just about any little space.

23. The Head Of A Screw

While the most obvious places may give you difficulty, consider this possibility: bed bugs in a screw head. Depending on the severity of the infestation, bed bugs can fit themselves in some of the strangest places.

24. Bites On Your Animals

If you have any warm-blooded animals, like cats or dogs, you may want to inspect them. Bed bugs don’t just bite humans!

25. Overall Decrease In Personal Well-Being

If you find yourself covered in welts, having a rough night’s sleep, and can’t stand the smell of your bedroom, your well-being is likely suffering. Not knowing or treating the signs of a bed bug infestation can lead to a poor quality of life.

What Causes Bed Bugs

It’s important to understand what causes bed bugs to best avoid them. Unlike cockroaches or ants, which typically indicate a dirty home, bed bugs usually arrive from an external source. Some common sources of bed bugs include:

  • Thrifted clothing
  • Second-hand furniture
  • Public transportation
  • Hotels and motels

Therefore, thoroughly inspecting luggage, clothing, and your person after interacting with these sources could help you curb a bed bug infestation before it spreads.

How to Inspect for Bed Bugs

You can perform a bed bug inspection yourself, though we recommend hiring a professional. If you go the DIY route, here are some things to remember.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Bed bug bites may not be subtle, but bed bugs are better at hiding than most people expect. The most common hiding places for bed bugs are:

  • Mattresses and Box Springs: Bed bugs commonly hide in the seams, tags, and piping of mattresses and box springs.
  • Furniture Cracks and Joints: Cracks and crevices in bed frames, headboards, and other furniture provide ideal hiding spots.
  • Baseboards and Carpet Edges: They often conceal themselves along the edges of carpets and underneath baseboards.
  • Electrical Outlets and Appliances: Bed bugs can squeeze into tiny gaps in electrical outlets and inside or behind household appliances.
  • Behind Wallpaper and Wall Hangings: Loose wallpaper, picture frames, and other wall decorations offer hidden spaces for bed bugs.

Should I Contact a Professional?

Since bed bugs are such difficult creatures to treat–pesticides are rarely effective–it’s best to contact a local exterminator at the first sign of a bed bug. Exterminators are equipped with the tools and knowledge to handle a bed bug infestation and route any remaining bugs without causing harm to you or your loved ones.

Bed bugs are a pest that no one wants to encounter. If you see any signs that may indicate an infestation, get rid of bed bugs as soon as possible. Your skin, pets, and furniture will thank you for it.

To learn more about our Bed Bug treatments, contact The Pest Rangers.


What do bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are about the size of an apple seed and can be difficult to detect due to their nocturnal nature and ability to hide in small crevices.

How do bed bugs spread?

Bed bugs spread primarily through human activity. They can hitch a ride in luggage, clothing, used furniture, and other personal belongings. They are not known to spread diseases but can cause discomfort and anxiety.

Are bed bugs only found in beds?

No, despite their name, bed bugs can be found in various locations, including:

  • Furniture (sofas, chairs, dressers)
  • Curtains
  • Luggage
  • Behind pictures and wall hangings
  • Under carpeting, especially near the bed