How To Check For Bed Bugs In A Hotel

How likely is it to get bed bugs from a hotel?

The Answer – Advice, staff picks, mythbusting, and more. Let us help you. Illustration: Joel Plosz

We’ve updated this article with additional recommendations for gear to help you avoid bringing home bedbugs during travel.

After checking into a motel in Berkeley, California, many years ago, my husband and I began a well-rehearsed ritual. We left our two young kids strapped in their strollers, pulled back the bedding, and scanned the surface of the mattress. Poking into the deep seams of the mattress’s pillow-top padding, I found what we feared: a multitude of brown-black flecks.

  • Bedbug stains.
  • The motel manager offered to move us to a different room, but instead we drove to a relative’s house that night.
  • That experience taught me that it’s worthwhile to take two minutes to check the mattress before you unpack.
  • A 2016 survey of 100 US hotels, conducted by Orkin, found that 82 percent of them had been treated for bedbugs in the previous year; bedbugs have also been found on airplanes, cruise ships, and public transportation in recent years.

And according to research published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, bedbug infestations peak in the summer, coinciding with vacation season. But don’t let bedbugs, or the fear of them, ruin your summer travel. Despite the statistics, the chance of encountering bedbugs in any given hotel room is “pretty darn unlikely,” said Michael Potter, a professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky.

Do all hotel rooms have bed bugs if one has them?

If One Hotel Room Has Bed Bugs, Do They All? – No, if one hotel room has bed bugs, it does not mean they all do. However, if one room has bed bugs, the chances of other rooms having them is much greater. Recently we searched a hotel in NJ, and over half of the rooms we searched had bed bugs.

How do I make sure I don’t get bed bugs in my hotel room?

Keep Luggage off the Ground – Leaving suitcases and bags on the floor—or a second spare bed—can be one way to bring home an unwanted souvenir, said Henriksen. “Bed bugs can travel (from) room to room, so even if you don’t initially have them, they could be in the room next to yours, and they may come looking for meal sources,” said Henriksen.

What to do if you slept in a hotel with bed bugs?

Wash Everything. – Luckily, you probably don’t have to discard all of your belongings, but you do have to be careful not to bring them inside. When you get home, put all of your luggage and other belongs outside immediately. Place anything washable in a garbage bag and transport directly to the washing machine.

Can you get bed bugs from one night in a hotel?

Bed bugs in your hotel what to do after? (Last Updated On: April 12, 2011) Bed bug, Cimex lectularis Imagine that you’re traveling and staying in a nice hotel. The next morning you discover bites and confirm that your room has bed bugs. What do you do? This is an increasingly common problem for travelers, as well as a nightmare for the hotel industry.

Recently a question came into our office from a person with just this experience. She had stayed in a hotel with bed bugs. Immediately after returning home she called her local health department and was advised to discard all her personal belonging if she didn’t want to bring the bed bugs home. She did this, and is now fighting with hotel management for reimbursement of the cost of her lost personal items.

While you should be legitimately concerned about bringing bed bugs home from a stay in an infested hotel, there are easier, less drastic solutions. After reporting the infestation to the hotel, there are several things you can do to protect yourself if you suspect you’ve stayed in a bed bug infested room:

First, don’t panic. Not everyone who stays in a bed bug infested room will take bed bugs home. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to act as if you may have picked up a stray bed bug or two. The most likely place to pick up bed bugs in luggage is on, or next to, the bed. If you kept your luggage away from the bed, say on the luggage rack in the closet, your risk will be lower.

Luggage should be kept in the garage or on an outdoor porch when arriving home. At your convenience take out washables and place in a garbage bag for direct transport to the washing machine. Place clothing in the washer and run on the high temperature cycle for at least 30 minutes. Placing in a drier on the HOT setting for 30 minutes (7.7 lb load) will also kill bed bugs and their eggs. Don’t forget to tie-up and throw out the empty garbage bag immediately after unloading the clothes into the washer. Suits and sweaters that cannot be washed in hot water should be sent to the dry cleaners (keep bill for possible reimbursement). Remaining items (toiletry, shoes, suitcase, etc.) should stay isolated outdoors until they can be carefully inspected or treated with heat, cold or insecticide. To kill bed bugs with heat, place items in a plastic bag in a hot, sunny location (summer) and raise temps to 120 degrees for an hour or more to kill. If you have a chest freezer with space, luggage can be dis-infested by placing in such a freezer for a day or two. If neither of these options are available, non-washables can be treated by a pest management professional using Nuvan Prostrips (dichlorvos) fumigant strips. Items to be treated are placed in a 2-mil thick (minimum) plastic bag with fumigant strips for 48 hours.

Bed bug infestations can be reported online via one of multiple consumer hotel registries. Two sites include and : Bed bugs in your hotel what to do after?

Should I be worried about bed bugs at a hotel?

How to Check for Bed Bugs in Your Hotel – Because bed bug infestations are becoming so prevalent and problematic, in all types of hotels, it’s a good idea to look around right after you check in to ensure you’re not settling into a bed bug-riddled room. Here are some tips for checking out your hotel room for signs of these notorious pests.

  • Keep your luggage and belongings safe: When you first enter your room, place your suitcase on a luggage rack away from the beds, or in the bathroom — the least likely places for bed bugs to hide and later hitch a ride on your luggage. Even after inspecting your room, keep your luggage on the rack and try to keep your things tidy — clothes and extra items strewn all over the room give the bugs more places to hide. To be extra safe, you can also bring large garbage bags to keep your suitcase and other belongings in during your stay.
  • Inspect your room for bugs: Before you settle into your hotel room, do a thorough visual inspection of the whole room. Remember, the bugs don’t just hide in beds, but could be in just about any soft surface, as well as in cracks in wooden furniture. Check under the sheets, under and around mattresses, as well as couches, chairs, headboards, artwork and carpet/flooring seams. Use a flashlight to help you see, if you have one. Adult bed bugs and eggs are easily visible to the naked eye. Also, look for additional evidence of bed bugs, including small, dark, rust-colored spots on bedding and discarded exoskeletons.
  • Alert hotel staff to any issues: If you do find any evidence of bed bugs in your hotel room, report the issue immediately to a hotel staff member so they can investigate the room, as well as the surrounding rooms and common areas. Do not stay in a room with visible bed bug evidence, and request a room in a different part of the building if possible.
  • Check for bugs at home: If you have any concerns after traveling, thoroughly inspect your suitcase for any bugs. Washing clothes doesn’t necessarily kill the bugs, but heat from the dryer will. Place all travel clothes in the dryer for 30 minutes to kill any remaining hitchhikers. Alternatively, you can place any items that will fit inside a freezer to kill off bugs.

What happens if you sleep in a bed with bed bugs?

Where To Sleep If You Have Bed Bugs? – Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, you should sleep in your same bed. You don’t want to move around and switch up your sleeping location, because bed bugs can cling to you and infest the new area as well.

  1. Bed bugs do indeed feed on humans at night! Their bites are distinct and easy to identify.
  2. With their first bite, they inject an anesthetic so that you don’t wake up when they bite you.
  3. The second bite contains an anticoagulant to prevent bleeding.
  4. The third bite is when they actually feed.
  5. Most often, people do not realize they have been bitten until the next morning when they wake up feeling itchy.
You might be interested:  How To Find Out If A Will Exists For Free?

Bed bugs are nasty nuisances, but it actually is possible to sleep on a mattress that has bed bugs while you’re working with an exterminator to get rid of the infestation. This might not sound like the best option, but for many, it’s the only one available.

Some people may think that if you have bed bugs in your bedding, it’s time to pick the whole mattress up and throw it out the window. Unfortunately, that is not an option for several people. Mattresses are not cheap, and tossing your current one out because of bed bugs may not be an option for you. You can do several things to prevent bed bugs from biting you during your sleep.

Four steps to follow are steam cleaning, using a mattress cover, covering your body, and using bug repellent or essential oils to keep them from biting you.

Can you see bed bugs with the naked eye?

They are visible to the naked eye. Adult bed bugs are usually brown in colour. When filled with blood, their colour ranges from red to dark brown. They are oval in shape and about the size of a flattened apple seed, 4 to 7 mm in length.

Can you vacuum bed bugs?

2. What Works for Adults Won’t Work for Eggs – Unfortunately, even if you’re able to capture a bed bug or two, you still must contend with possible infestations as well as any eggs laid by the bed bugs. Vacuum the area, but don’t expect optimal results.

Considering how quickly bed bugs reproduce, this is a real concern. Vacuuming the pests that you can see can seem simple, however, with bed bugs, there are a lot that you will not see. Vacuums cannot remove all of the hidden bed bugs as well as any eggs, A few left behind could be the difference between elimination and continued infestation.

Those advertised as the best vacuum cleaner for bed bugs on the market can make claims, however cannot guarantee complete elimination of infestations.

How do I know if I have bed bugs if I don’t see them?

Looking for Signs of Bed Bugs – Photo of a person’s arm with bed bug bites (courtesy of Harold Harlan, AFPMB) A more accurate way to identify a possible infestation is to look for physical signs of bed bugs. When cleaning, changing bedding, or staying away from home, look for:

Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed. Dark spots (about this size: •), which are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would. Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm) and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger. Live bed bugs.

How do I know if I saw a bed bug?

7. Live Bed Bugs –

  • Small, flat, reddish-brown insects around the size of a flaxseed
  • Often found congregating in tight cracks and crevices
  • Sometimes confused with baby cockroaches, carpet beetles, spider beetles, and other small insects

Finally, the most obvious sign: finding live bed bugs in your home. Bed bugs are flat, oval-shaped insects that are reddish-brown with a large abdomen, short antennae, and 6 legs. They’re about the size of a flaxseed or a small apple seed. Adult bed bugs typically measure between 1/6–1/4 inch long (4–7 mm), while nymphs can be as small as 1/16 inch long (1 mm).

Normally, bed bugs don’t like to wander around unless they need to feed. During the day, they typically find a hiding place and stick to it. For this reason, many people never see live bed bugs until the infestation becomes severe. Only when their hiding places are disturbed, like when you’re packing for a move, will bed bugs be discovered.

People also get bed bugs mixed up with other household insects. In our experience, the most common bugs that people mistake for bed bugs are baby cockroaches, carpet beetles, and spider beetles. Back to top

Do bed bugs stay in your hair?

Bedbugs are small insects roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny. They feed on the blood of people and animals. More than 90 types of bedbugs have been identified. Only two types commonly bite humans. Bedbugs have flat, oval-shaped bodies that allow them to easily hide in areas like cracks in your bed frame or the seams of a mattress.

Although they’re a nuisance, bedbugs aren’t known to spread diseases to humans. Bites can lead to persistent itchiness that may lead to an infection if you scratch them. It’s highly unlikely you’ll find a bedbug in your hair since they prefer to hide out of sight away from their host. It’s plausible that a bedbug could wander onto your scalp while you’re sleeping, but it’s extremely unlikely it will want to live there.

Keep reading to learn why it’s unlikely that bedbugs will take up refuge on your body, and what types of bugs are more likely to live there. Bedbugs are nesting parasites that spend most of their lives hiding. They like to live in places near where humans or animals sleep so they can feed while their host is resting.

around your bednear the pipingin the seams or tags of your mattressin your box springin the cracks of your bed frame or headboard

In heavy infestations, bedbugs may also hide in:

seams of chairs or couchesdrawer jointselectrical receptacles and appliancesunder loose wallpaperwhere walls meet the ceiling

A human scalp isn’t an appealing place for a bedbug to live. Bedbugs prefer to live in undisturbed environments. They dislike light, If bedbugs do wander onto your scalp, they likely won’t stay or live long. Bedbugs aren’t adapted to clinging to your hair follicles.

They would likely get washed out of your hair while you bathe. Bedbugs also don’t like heat. They die when they’re exposed to 113°F (45°C) for 90 minutes or 118°F (47.7°C) for 20 minutes. You may experience these temperatures in situations like sitting in a car parked in the sunlight or in a sauna. A very hot shower may expose bedbugs to temperatures close to the maximum they can withstand.

Bedbugs don’t tend to live on humans, The only contact they generally have with people is to feed every few days. Like with your hair, bedbugs likely won’t live long on your skin. They will likely either get washed away while you bathe or search for a more suitable hiding place.

Bedbugs aren’t the most likely bug you’ll find in your hair. Head lice are significantly smaller than bedbugs. They spend their entire lives on human scalps. Unlike bedbugs, lice have crab-like claws to help them cling to your hair. They can only survive for 1 or 2 days if they drop off. Scabies mites can be transmitted through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a person who has them.

They bury into your skin and can cause severe itching. Scabies generally doesn’t affect the face or scalp, but people who are immunocompromised can develop a type of infection called crusted scabies that may affect the scalp. Fleas are another bug that can travel from household pets to humans.

Fleas usually bite around your ankles or lower legs. Finding bugs in your hair can be unsettling, but it’s unlikely to significantly impact your overall health. Taking a hot shower with shampoo can help wash away bugs that may have wandered into your hair but aren’t adapted to live there. If you find more than one very tiny bug in your hair, they’re very likely head lice,

A healthcare professional can help you identify lice and decide how to best treat them. Treatment for lice usually involves taking an over-the-counter or prescription medication to kill the lice and their eggs. A healthcare professional can also help confirm a bedbug diagnosis by examining your bites.

  1. A doctor can help you figure out whether bedbugs are causing unidentified bug bites,
  2. The bites rarely need treatment unless they get infected from scratching.
  3. But identifying a possible infestation can help you figure out whether you need to call a professional exterminator.
  4. The bugs themselves can be difficult to spot, but a telltale sign is itchy bites that are clustered or in a row.

Other clues that you may have a bedbug infestation include:

finding bedbug exoskeletons in your bedspotting bedbugs in your mattress or sheetssmelling a sweet musty odor in your bedroom (a sign of severe infestations)having rust-colored spots on your mattress or furniture

If you suspect you or your child has head lice, it’s a good idea to visit their doctor to make sure you have the correct diagnosis. Bedbugs feed off human or animal blood. They’re often found in places like the seams of your mattress or cracks in your bed frame.

Do I have bed bugs or am I just paranoid?

With the summer comes more bugs and their bites – including the suspense of wondering what bit you. If you live in a city that has bed bugs (many of them do), it only takes a few too many itchy red bumps to start believing the worst. Brooklyn didn’t even break the top 10 cities with bed bugs, and I could easily name a handful of people I know who have gotten them.

Two years ago, I had a two-month scare that culminated in me learning that I had fleas instead. Sure, fleas weren’t great, but I’ve never been so psyched to have them. Even if you’re lucky and don’t end up having them, the process of figuring that out can be almost as stressful, time consuming and crazy-making as actually having bed bugs.

Here’s what you’re in for. Itching They say that bed bugs tend to bite in clusters, so naturally any kind of red bump constellation is cause for concern. Unfortunately, doctors can’t diagnose bed bug bites just by looking at them – they can only make an educated guess. Your best bet is finding a bug. Inspection The best way to confirm whether or not you have bed bugs is to find one. If you can’t do that, you have to look for signs they leave behind — extra skin, eggs and feces, So yes, in between biting you and driving you crazy, these little jerks still have time to reproduce and poop in your bed. That’s enough to make you want to throw it away. Research This stage is dangerous and unless you have overwhelming evidence that you have bed bugs, it’s nothing to mess with. Even if you are sure you have them, the Internet is not your friend. It’s a place to confirm what a bed bug looks and call an exterminator. You’ve likely felt one or more imaginary bugs crawling on you just reading this, or at least I did while writing it. It’s an inevitable consequence of the inspection and research stages that ends in so many trips to Home Depot that you consider applying for a part-time job there. Action Between all the laundry and alarming your roommates alone, thinking you have bed bugs can turn into A full-time job. Remember that it’s not your responsibility to turn yourself into an exterminator overnight. It’s actually dangerous and irresponsible to take on chemicals you’re not experienced with. The longer you’ve spent on the first five stages, the worse the insanity will be. You’ve invested so much time, energy and money that even if an exterminator tells you don’t have bed bugs (either at all or anymore), you refuse believe them. It’s like you’ve developed Stockholm Syndrome for these nightmare bugs and you can’t imagine life without them — mostly because it feels like they ruined the one you had before. Whether they turn out to be bed bugs or not, at the end of the day they’re just bug bites and they’re only an issue if you scratch them. The impulse to obsess over the possibility is just another itch to steer clear of. Worst case scenario, you have them and they’re not forever.

You might be interested:  How Many Seasons Of Rick And Morty Are There?

How long does it take for bedbug bites to show up?

How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug? – It is hard to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug unless you find bed bugs or signs of infestation. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten.

  • Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite.
  • The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating.
  • The bite marks may be random or appear in a straight line.

Other symptoms of bed bug bites include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from profuse scratching of the bites. Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten.

How long before I know if I brought bed bugs home?

How Long Does It Take To Realize You Have Bed Bugs? – There’s no surefire answer to this. Each infestation is different from home to home, but generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month for signs of the infestation to show up. If the infestation is small to start, the signs won’t be immediate.

Do bed bugs stay on your body?

11. Where Do Bed Bugs Hide on Your Body? – Bed bugs do not typically hide on the body. They prefer to feed, then move back to their hiding place until they are hungry again. In some cases, they may hide in your clothes or the soles of your shoes.

Can you get bed bugs from sleeping in a hotel?

How to avoid bedbugs – Bedbugs are, unfortunately, on the rise, They don’t discriminate and aren’t only found in rundown hotels — in fact, we acquired these pests at a very nice hotel. But the risk isn’t even limited to only beds or hotels. Bedbugs can be found in airports and even on airplanes.

  • Remember, the room we stayed in continued to have bedbugs for at least another month after our visit.
  • Just think of how many more travelers encountered them and potentially brought them home, or into their next hotel or onto a flight,
  • And of course, who knows how long the pests were there before our stay.

Our bags had stowaways, and on our way home we dragged them through an airport and loaded them onto an airplane. It’s easy to imagine how easily these awful critters spread. If you want to avoid getting bedbugs, you have to assume they are everywhere, and treat your luggage as if it’s always contaminated.

Never store your luggage or dirty clothes on the floor (whether your room has hardwood or carpet); the bed; or another similar surface in a hotel. Instead, use the metal luggage racks, the bathtub and do whatever you can to keep your items away from bedbug-friendly habitats in the room, including but not limited to beds and sofas.Inspect every single room you stay in for bedbugs. It’s hard to get used to, but you can do it. Pull back the covers and the mattress pad and look in crevices and along seams for bugs or evidence of bugs, such as dark streaks. I never once saw a live bug in my house and I looked every day, so you can’t rely only on your eyes, but it’s a good place to start.

Mattress folds are a great place to look for evidence of bedbugs (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.)

If you start experiencing bites on your trip that could be bedbug bites, inspect the bed again and ask hotel staff to help with the inspection.Never bring your luggage into your home. Ever. This is also annoying, but doable in many cases. Store your luggage in a sealable plastic bin in the garage when not in use. If you don’t have a garage or elsewhere to keep your luggage outside your home, you still want to store it in a sealable plastic bin.Heat the luggage and clothing brought on the trip. Stick with me here: Bedbugs die in extreme heat, so if you can heat your bag and belongings, that’s great. Put your clothes straight into a hot dryer cycle, if possible, when you return home. During the summer, you can use the sun and black trash bags to heat your bags. Or, you can buy a luggage heater. Once you’ve lived through the nightmare of a bedbug infestation, spending between $300 and $400 on an electric heater designed to raise the temperature of your suitcase and belongings to a temperature where bedbugs can’t survive doesn’t sound crazy at all.Use bedbug covers for your mattress and box springs at home. This won’t actually prevent bedbugs, but it will stop them from burrowing deep into your mattress, or contain them if they’re already there.Place climb-up insect interceptors beneath the legs of your bed. Again, this won’t stop you from bringing bedbugs home, but it makes it much harder for them to climb into bed with you — and you can periodically check to see if any are stuck in there.

Can you get bed bugs from one night in a hotel?

Bed bugs in your hotel what to do after? (Last Updated On: April 12, 2011) Bed bug, Cimex lectularis Imagine that you’re traveling and staying in a nice hotel. The next morning you discover bites and confirm that your room has bed bugs. What do you do? This is an increasingly common problem for travelers, as well as a nightmare for the hotel industry.

  • Recently a question came into our office from a person with just this experience.
  • She had stayed in a hotel with bed bugs.
  • Immediately after returning home she called her local health department and was advised to discard all her personal belonging if she didn’t want to bring the bed bugs home.
  • She did this, and is now fighting with hotel management for reimbursement of the cost of her lost personal items.

While you should be legitimately concerned about bringing bed bugs home from a stay in an infested hotel, there are easier, less drastic solutions. After reporting the infestation to the hotel, there are several things you can do to protect yourself if you suspect you’ve stayed in a bed bug infested room:

First, don’t panic. Not everyone who stays in a bed bug infested room will take bed bugs home. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to act as if you may have picked up a stray bed bug or two. The most likely place to pick up bed bugs in luggage is on, or next to, the bed. If you kept your luggage away from the bed, say on the luggage rack in the closet, your risk will be lower.

You might be interested:  How Long Is Cooked Ground Turkey Good For?

Luggage should be kept in the garage or on an outdoor porch when arriving home. At your convenience take out washables and place in a garbage bag for direct transport to the washing machine. Place clothing in the washer and run on the high temperature cycle for at least 30 minutes. Placing in a drier on the HOT setting for 30 minutes (7.7 lb load) will also kill bed bugs and their eggs. Don’t forget to tie-up and throw out the empty garbage bag immediately after unloading the clothes into the washer. Suits and sweaters that cannot be washed in hot water should be sent to the dry cleaners (keep bill for possible reimbursement). Remaining items (toiletry, shoes, suitcase, etc.) should stay isolated outdoors until they can be carefully inspected or treated with heat, cold or insecticide. To kill bed bugs with heat, place items in a plastic bag in a hot, sunny location (summer) and raise temps to 120 degrees for an hour or more to kill. If you have a chest freezer with space, luggage can be dis-infested by placing in such a freezer for a day or two. If neither of these options are available, non-washables can be treated by a pest management professional using Nuvan Prostrips (dichlorvos) fumigant strips. Items to be treated are placed in a 2-mil thick (minimum) plastic bag with fumigant strips for 48 hours.

Bed bug infestations can be reported online via one of multiple consumer hotel registries. Two sites include and : Bed bugs in your hotel what to do after?

How do you check if you have bed bugs on you?

Bedbugs – Signs of an Infestation & How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Medically Reviewed by on May 21, 2023 Bedbugs are small, oval, brown insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, though, they swell and turn a reddish color.

  1. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card.
  2. This means they can get just about anywhere so long as there’s blood to feed on.
  3. Bedbugs don’t make nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places.
  4. They don’t fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings.

Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime. Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity. They require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions, the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year. Bedbugsusually get into your home from another place that’s infested with them. If you live in an apartment or condominium, they can travel from another unit in your building. They might hitch a ride on used upholstered furniture. Or you could carry them in on luggage or a purse that you set down in a place that has bedbugs. Bedbugs’ flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into very small spaces. Photo credit: Deming9120/Dreamstime Bedbugs aren’t considered dangerous. There’s no evidence they can spread disease to people. But their bites can be itchy and uncomfortable.

If you scratch a enough to break the skin, it could lead to an infection. Some people are allergic to the bites. For them, bites could lead to hives, blisters, or intense itching. See your doctor if this happens to you. The first sign of may be small, itchy bites on your skin, often on your arms or shoulders.

Bedbugs tend to leave clusters of bites rather than single bites here and there. But for some people, bedbug bites don’t cause any marks or itching. You might also notice:

Blood spots on your sheets or mattress Bedbug poop, black dots about the size of a period The bedbugs’ shed skin, which looks a lot like the bugs themselves White, oval eggs that are about as big as an apple seed A sweet, musty odor around your bed Actual bedbugs in your bed

If you suspect you may have bedbugs, inspect your mattress and bed carefully, especially in the crevices. Bedbugs like to hide in these areas, where they have easy access to people to bite. You might find them near the seams, tags, and piping of your mattress or box spring, or in cracks in your bed frame or headboard.

In the seams or between the cushions of sofas and chairs In the folds of curtains In the joints of drawers In electrical outlets and appliances Rooms or apartments nearby

Because bedbugs live only on, they’re not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes as in messy ones. Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite you while you’re sleeping. They pierce the skin and take your blood through their long beaks.

The bugs feed from 3 minutes to 10 minutes until they’re full, then crawl away. If you have a bedbug bite, you may notice an on your skin. On people with light skin tones, the bites usually look red. On darker skin, they may be purple. It can be harder to see them on dark skin. Bedbugs tend to leave groups of bites in a straight row or zigzag pattern, but they can also be in a random pattern.

You may not notice bites right away, as it can take up to 2 weeks for marks to develop. Unlike flea bites, which are mainly around your ankles, you’ll find bedbug bites on areas of skin that are exposed while you’re sleeping, often your face, neck, or hands.

Wash your bedding, curtains, and clothing in and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Put stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run it on high for 30 minutes or more. Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming. Vacuum your bed and the area around it every day, including windows and molding. Afterward, immediately put the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place it in the garbage can outdoors. Put a tightly woven, zippered cover on your mattress and box spring to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs can live several months without feeding. So keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year. Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide. Get rid of clutter around your bed, and move your bed away from your walls and other furniture.

If your mattress is infested, you may want to get a new one. But first, take the above precautions for the rest of your home so bedbugs won’t get into your new mattress. While these techniques can help to control bedbugs, getting rid of them completely often requires,

Make sure you use only pesticides that are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and whose labels say they’re meant to control bedbugs. Don’t treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding. Never apply them to your body. It’s usually best to hire a professional exterminator who has experience with bedbugs.

A few ways to stop bedbugs (and bedbug bites) include:

Use a protective cover on your mattress and box springs. Check it regularly for holes. Reduce clutter in your bedroom so bedbugs don’t have many places to hide. Vacuum regularly, including your mattress, carpet, curtains, and upholstered furniture. When you stay away from home, put your bag on a suitcase stand, dresser, or table rather than on the bed or floor. When you get home, wash all the clothes from your trip and dry them in a hot dryer. Wear pajamas with long sleeves and long pants to protect your skin from bites. Carefully inspect used upholstered furniture, before bringing it inside. Avoid used mattresses and bedding. Use plastic bags to hold your clothes and linens while using shared laundry facilities. Bring clean clothes home to fold them, if possible If you live in a multi-unit building, install barriers under your doors and seal cracks around baseboards.

Bedbugs tend to leave groups of bites in a straight row or zigzag pattern. Photo courtesy of Phil Pellitteri, University of Wisconsin © 2023 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. : Bedbugs – Signs of an Infestation & How to Get Rid of Bedbugs

How do you know if you slept with bed bugs?

Sign #1: Bed bug bites – People don’t often consider bed bugs until they’ve left their mark. The appearance of flat, red welts in zigzag lines or small clusters may be a sign that bed bugs have been having a blood meal at the expense of their human hosts.

Bed bugs can also leave bites in straight rows. Although they don’t spread disease-causing pathogens to humans via their bites alone, their bites are quite irritating and scratching them can lead to bleeding and a secondary infection, However, they largely do not pose a major health concern in most cases – but are certainly a nuisance and unwanted presence.

Should you find yourself developing those itchy welts while laying in bed sleeping (or trying to sleep), it’s possible bed bugs are the problem. Learn more about how to identify bed bug bites.