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8 Common Signs of Bed Bugs

It is not uncommon for people to question whether or not they are experiencing an infestation of bed bugs. 

What Are Bed Bugs?

If you’re not sure what a bed bug is, it’s essentially a small parasite that feeds off of blood from humans and other animals. They are often mistaken for spiders or ticks at first glance because their size ranges from about half an inch to 1 inch long. Keeping a keen eye on the signs of these critters can help you get to the root of your problem before calling pest control. Here are eight signs that you may have encountered bed bugs:

Fecal Spots

Bed bugs will leave behind fecal spots when they move between their hiding places, which can be found in many areas in or around your home. These may appear on your mattress, in your bed frame, or on the walls. The droppings are dark brown and can range from the size of a pinhead to that of a grain of rice. They may also appear as stains to the naked eye because bed bug feces take on reddish hues as they dry out.


You may not see bed bugs when you are sleeping, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there. Bed bugs can feed on your blood without waking you up. The bites from these critters will appear in a cluster on your skin and look like red welts that can itch for hours after the initial bite occurs. These could be mistaken for mosquito bites, so make sure that you are careful not to jump to conclusions when ruling out bed bug infestations.


If you had bed bugs, the most obvious sign would be the eggs hidden in your mattress after a visit from the critters. It is essential to look at places where a bed bug may be hiding in your house, including beds, mattresses, box springs, and even behind wallpaper or picture frames. If you see any dark spots on your mattress or either side of one of your box springs, these are likely to be egg sacks left behind by bed bugs. You should also check for eggs in other places, such as your closet, anywhere else you sleep, or at the back of your headboard or bed frame. 

Molt Skin/Shells

If you continue to see eggs, the next step may involve looking at the areas where the bugs shed their skin. Bed bugs will shed their outer shells as they grow, another sign that these critters have been around. You might find their molted skins in places like your mattress, sheets, and pillowcases. Keep in mind that molt shells are often tiny and can be hard to see without a magnifying glass, according to pest control.


If you’ve tracked bed bugs from one area of your home to another, you can expect to see bloodstains where the critters have dragged themselves. This is another sign that it is time to get pest extermination officers. Bed bugs usually follow a pattern and will often drag themselves across the floor where they had eaten an animal’s blood to move on and find a new victim.

Musty Smell

Bed bugs will leave a musty smell in your bed, clothes, and even your mattress. If you have noticed a strange odor in the area of one of your beds, you may be dealing with an infestation of these pests. Even if you don’t see the signs mentioned above, if you smell something fishy or like mildew, there is a chance that you are dealing with an infestation.

Changes in Pet Behavior

If your pet spends a lot of time in your bed or anywhere near where you sleep, there may be an infestation affecting the animal without you knowing it. Your pet may even be trying to tell you that something is wrong. Keep an eye on how your pet acts and see if this could be a sign of a bed bug problem.

Live or Dead Bugs

If you’ve tracked these critters throughout your home, you may also encounter some that are still alive. These bugs are small and can often be difficult to see, so if your dog or cat brings an infestation into the house, there is a good chance that you will find them before they can multiply. Once you start seeing live or dead bedbugs around, it’s a sign you should call pest extermination officers.

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Poway Pest Control is a locally-owned residential and commercial pest control company for more than a decade.

We have a broad range of pest services to fit your needs. We are a full-service pest control company specializing in today’s pest problems.

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