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New enquiries: 0800 030 9114

Existing customers: 01438 717175

How to Spot Bed Bugs

How to Spot Bed Bugs

As a child, the phrase ‘sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite’ may have seemed like a harmless nursery rhyme; as an adult, bed bugs can be a serious cause for concern. 

Bed bugs multiply quickly, producing three or more generations in a single year. Identifying a bed bug infestation early gives you the best chance of complete eradication. Unfortunately, bed bug infestations are notoriously difficult to spot, but our guide should help you to recognise the early signs.


I’ve noticed bites on my body. Do I have bed bugs? 

bed bug bites on back

It is common for people to attribute any bites they find on their bodies to bed bugs. In truth, bites can be caused by a variety of insects and are a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. If you notice bites on your body, consider the following: 

  • Where are the bites on your body? – Bites that are on exposed body parts, rather body parts covered by tight sleepwear or clothing, are more likely to be from bed bugs. Note that bed bugs will avoid the soles of your feet, so any bites on these areas will almost certainly have come from elsewhere.
  • Are you experiencing new bites throughout the day? – Though bed bugs can travel outside of your bed, they’re unlikely to travel with you throughout your day. Bites that you obtain in different locations should be ruled out as bed bug bites.
  • Are new bites appearing only after you’ve gone to sleep? – bites that only appear after you’ve woken up would indicate that you are being bitten by some sort of insect present in your bed. This would improve the likelihood of a present bed bug infestation.

If you’ve answered the above questions and believe you have reason to attribute your bites to bed bugs, then it’s time to do some further investigating.


Physical signs of bed bugs 

Bedbug on bed sheet after biting person

Bed bugs are difficult to identify, as they can easily be mistaken for other bugs. A better way to identify bed bugs is to look for other physical signs. 

  • Small red stains around 0.1cm long on your bedding or the surrounding areas may have been caused by bed bugs getting crushed. These stains are often partially digested blood, and bed bugs may not leave a stain if they haven’t recently fed. 
  • Dark stains of around 0.1cm long on your bedding or the surrounding areas may have been caused by bed bug excrement. It is most likely to be excrement if a cluster of these spots are found in a single area. 
  • Tiny pale eggs of around 1mm in diameter on your bedding or the surrounding areas may have been laid by bed bugs.


Do bed bugs only live in beds? 

Despite their name, bed bugs can live outside of your bed. A severe bed bug infestation will likely travel beyond your bed and can be found in a variety of other locations around your bedroom, including: 

  • The seams of chairs and sofas 
  • Curtain folds 
  • Drawers 
  • Under loose wallpaper 
  • In clothing piles 

John O’Conner offer professional bed bug surveys and extermination services. We’ll use our years of experience to identify bed bugs in your home and enact a suitable eradication procedure that eliminates an infestation with minimal disruption to your daily routine. If you’d like to enquire about our bedbug services, or any of the services we offer, get in touch with our team today. 


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