A bedbug occurrence can be identified by:
- Tiny dark excrement stains or blood stains from crushed bedbugs that typically appear on sheets, pillowcases and mattresses and in seams, cracks or crevices of beds and furniture.
- Molted skins and eggs shells, which look like small white-ish casings, that typically are found in seams, cracks or crevices of beds and furniture.
- Crawling or dead bugs.
- In cases of severe infestation, a musty sweet smell may be present.
Insect bites may also indicate the presence of bedbugs. Bedbug bites are identified by small welts similar to mosquito bites that appear in the morning or the middle of the night. These welts often occur in rows of three or more and can cause itching and discomfort.
A bedbug occurrence cannot be confirmed by examining a bite alone, and it is impossible for a medical professional to diagnose a bite as a bedbug bite. Insect bites, however, should be examined by a medical professional as they often mimic other conditions, such as scabies, contact dermatitis, poison ivy, and allergic reactions to detergents, body sprays, lotions, etc.
To check for bedbugs, examine areas around the bed and sleeping quarters for signs of bedbug activity, including excrement spots, skin casings and live or dead bugs. Bedbugs prefer areas around fabric, wood and paper. Areas that should be checked include: folds or seams in bedding and linens; seams, corners and buttons on mattresses and box springs; bedroom furniture, especially around the corners and crevices of headboards and footboards; and baseboards, moldings and carpet seams near and around the bed. Bedbugs often travel up, so you should also check the areas above your sleeping quarters, including artwork, wall hangings, curtains and walls.