5 Steps to Check For Bed Bugs


Check For Bed Bugs, Step #1

Carefully remove all bedding. Take special care not to overly agitate the bedding as you remove it. Ball it up on the center of the bed, and put it directly in to a dryer. If you don’t have a dryer, put the bedding into garbage bags, sealing the opening with the cinch. Dry the bedding on high heat for 30 minutes. This will kill any insect living in the bedding including bed bugs.

Check For Bed Bugs, Step #2

Inspect the mattress. Bed bugs like to hide in the folds. Working around the perimeter, check for dark spotting near the folds. The spots are usually dark brown or black in color and the size of a ball point pen. Where the infestation is severe you may see many spots in one area, resulting in a cluster of spots as shown here:

Bed Bugs

The next picture is also typical of spotting you may find on the top of the folds:


You may also find live or dead bed bugs in these areas. Bed bugs are pictured below and are generally the size of a ballpoint pen tip. They are usually apple seed shaped, dark brown or red, sometimes clear with a dark spot. They have ridges horizontally along their back like the rumble strips on the freeway.

The following picture is of a very typical looking bed bug. Note: also in the picture is a casing just above the bug. A bed bug casing is a skin they shed as they grow. Casings are another piece of evidence you should be looking for. However, casings are very easy to mistake for non-bedbug related material, and should not be considered evidence of bed bug infestation on their own.


*If you have NOT found any evidence of bed bugs at this point you may proceed to step 3. If you have found evidence of bed bug infestation you should skip steps 3-5 and call A-1 Exterminators to discuss treatment. (801) 968-3370. Continuing to disassemble the bed with active bedbugs may cause further spread of the infestation and should not be attempted by the homeowner.

Check For Bed Bugs, Step #3

Continue to disassemble the bed. Lift the mattress and lean it against a nearby wall. Inspect the underside of the mattress. You are looking for the same type of spotting that you were looking for in step 2. Another good place to inspect here is near the tag. Spotting on the underside of the mattress is shown below:


Next, lift the box spring up onto it’s side and inspect the bottom. Again, look for spotting, especially near the folds. You may see bed bugs on the bottom of the box spring. They may be living in and around the dust cover found on the bottom of most box springs.

Pictured below is a bed bug walking across the bottom of a box spring.


Check For Bed Bugs, Step #4

Step 4 is to inspect the bed frame. Wooden bed frames are especially vulnerable to bed bug infestation, as they usually have a higher number of cracks and crevices where bed bugs like to nest. You will almost always see the black or brown spots in and around the areas where the bed bugs are living, weather that is on a mattress or a bed frame. As you can see, the spots are the number one sign of a bed bug infestation.

Check For Bed Bugs, Step #5

After you’ve inspected the mattress, box spring, and bed frame, it’s time to check the immediate area around the bed. As a rule of thumb: you will find 95% of bed bugs within 3 feet of the bed, with 95% of those within 1 foot of the bed. Inspect nightstands, especially the edges. Again, the black or brown spots pictured above are what you’re looking for.

You’re Done

At this point, you’re done. If you’ve done all 5 steps listed above and have not found any evidence of bed bugs, you most likely do not have a bed bug problem. If you do, or if you have any question about something you see we are happy to help! Call A-1 Exterminators. We can discuss your specific needs and we have the ability to look at pictures/video in real time to help determine if you have a bed bug infestation. A trained professional always answers our phone. (801) 968-3370. Learn More

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