Bed Bug Signs

Aside from bites, cast skins or shells, dead insects, and blood smears are the most common signs. Let’s go over these in detail below.


Bed bugs have one obvious sign that often isn’t identified until after they have a sizable presence. Most of us discover them upon awakening and seeing bites on our body. Since bed bugs only look to be active in the dark, bites typically occur while the victim sleeps. More info: everything you need to know about bed bug bites.


Not everyone is allergic to their saliva, so you may not get bitten. But, another sign to look for is random blood spots on bed sheets. These smears can be on sheets, dust ruffles, walls, clothing, and even luggage.

The most common signs of infestation include these blood smears, or droppings by the bed bug which is smeared through tossing and turning if on sheets.

There may be dark spots on walls where the bed bug has deposited droppings.


Finally, the insects themselves can be seen as cast shells or “skins” when they molt.

Dead Insects

Rarely will occupants see live insects crawling about unless they are disturbed and dislodged from a hiding place.

Good at Hiding
Bed bugs are hardy insects and difficult to detect prior to feeding. Due to extremely flat bodies, they are able to hide in the cracks and crevices of mattresses (buttons and beading), box springs, hollow areas of bed frames, furniture coverings, other types of furniture, and in wall crevices and voids in heavier infestations. Simply put, bed bugs will hide anywhere they’re provided darkness, isolation, and protection.


Another indication of an infestation is a distinct odor produced from their glands. In the presence of a larger infestation, an obnoxiously sweet smell is apparent. While most homeowners may not diagnose the smell, a trained professional should be able to identify.


Bed bug infestations can arise anywhere people (or animals) sleep or rest. This can include homes, apartments, hotels, airplanes, subways, buses, offices, theaters, libraries, etc. I

It can be hard to identify an infestation since the irritation from a bed bug bite is often confused with a rash or feeding by other biting insects like fleas and mosquitoes.

As bed bugs are more common in “resting” areas such as hotels and dorms, to best protect oneself, a guest should check the mattress, box springs, headboard, couch cushions, and the edge of carpeting for starters. Bed bugs are encountered not only in Domestic but as well during International travel where they are more prevalent.

Being efficient hitchhikers and hard to detect, bed bugs are able to work their way into homes through suitcases, clothes, shoes, boxes, and secondhand furniture. These aren’t pests found solely within squalor. They do not feed on human food, so their presence in pristine conditions is very possible.

Within the home, one should check bedrooms, couches and living rooms, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and anywhere luggage is stored. In heavy infestations, bed bugs can be found behind wall pictures, switch plates, cracks, and other hard to access areas.

Control is difficult at best and with the explosion of infestations, early detection is so important. A trained professional can look for signs of infestation. They might call on the services of a specially trained dog as well to supplement the thorough inspection.

If bed bugs are suspected, even if none of the signs are confirmed, call a professional. This is a job for a trained professional as rapid response is vital since populations can explode very quickly.