Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. Since they're less than a quarter of an inch long, they're almost impossible to spot. But they can be found anywhere, from houses to nursing homes and hotels.
"Normally the first signs of bed bugs are bites," says Rick Young, owner of UK-based Young's Pest Control.
The tell-tale sign is small bites clustered in a group or line on your skin.Although bed bug bites are itchy, they're usually harmless.
"In the vast majority of cases, bed bugs are a nuisance rather than genuinely dangerous to health," says Sreedhar Krishna, a dermatologist at TalkHealth London.
Still, most people who have bed bugs want them gone as soon as possible. Here's how to spot the signs of bed bugs and get rid of them quickly and effectively.
Bed bugs usually live in or around your bed, and they commonly hide in the creases and seams of mattresses or upholstery. However, it's rare to actually spot a bed bug.
"Sometimes it can be very hard to tell if you have bed bugs as they remain in hiding places through the day time and only come out at night to feed when we are in a deep sleep," says Young.
Instead of looking for bugs, you should look for signs of a bed bug infestation. These can include:
Treating bed bugs can be complex and time consuming, especially since infestations are usually severe by the time people notice it.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends certain do-it-yourself remedies.
In addition, our colleagues at Insider Reviews have put together a list of the best products to get rid of bed bugs.
You can try these before hiring an exterminator to save money, but you should note that professional extermination is a more effective (albeit costly) treatment.
Exterminators use the same tools heat or pesticides but they have access to higher-quality equipment that can work more quickly and effectively.
"There are a number of home remedies which one can try, but these are unlikely to eradicate the problem," Krishna says. "This is because bed bugs can hide in very tricky to reach areas and so professional help is often required."
In most cases, exterminators will have to come back multiple times to get rid of the bed bugs. The EPA has additional guidance on selecting a pest control company. After the extermination is complete you should continue to monitor for signs of bedbugs for at least two weeks.
If you suspect you have bed bugs, don't carry bedding or clothing into other areas of your house. This can help keep the bed bugs contained to one site, Young says.
Bed bugs are creepy, but they're mostly harmless and there are effective ways to get rid of them. Remembering that can help you stay calm if you notice the signs of a bed bug infestation in your home.
"You never need to panic if you have bed bugs," Young says. "There are qualified people and correct methods of safely exterminating your problem."
- National Bed Bug Registry Database and Maps - July 13th, 2020
- Why You Should Count on a Professional Bed Bug Exterminator - July 11th, 2020
- How to get rid of bed bugs: Four simple tips to eradicate them from your bed - Express - July 11th, 2020
- Bed Bugs | Faith Pest Control - July 11th, 2020
- WNBA Bubble: Players complain of bed bugs and worms in IMG... - The Sportsrush - July 11th, 2020
- BedBug Exterminator | BedBug Control | Bed Bug Information - July 6th, 2020
- A young Montreal mother goes from delight to dread after getting city-run housing - CTV News Montreal - July 2nd, 2020
- How to treat flea bites and get rid of fleas in your home - Insider - INSIDER - July 1st, 2020
- Experts: Bed Bugs Could Be Weakened by Coronavirus Pandemic - Best Life - July 1st, 2020
- Bed bugs treatment: How to get rid of bed bugs - key tips - Express - April 30th, 2020
- How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: A Low-Cost DIY Extermination ... - April 7th, 2020
- Bed Bug Exterminator Winnipeg Is The Top Bed Bug Exterminator In Winnipeg - MENAFN.COM - April 6th, 2020
- Bed Bug Exterminator Winnipeg Is The Top Bed Bug Exterminator In Winnipeg - Press Release - Digital Journal - April 2nd, 2020
- Two reports of possible bed bug sightings on campus - The Eyeopener - March 13th, 2020
- Ypsilanti library to reopen Thursday after closure for bed bug treatment - MLive.com - March 6th, 2020
- Local News Bed Bugs, A Pesky Problem That Can Happen Anywhere You Live Tatianna Taylor 4 - kjrh.com - March 6th, 2020
- Local exterminator says bed bugs can end up in vehicles - WZZM13.com - February 29th, 2020
- Uber, Lyft drivers in Dallas having cars treated for bedbugs - Yahoo News - February 29th, 2020
- Exterminator Says He Regularly Treats Rideshare Vehicles For Bed Bugs - GM Authority - February 29th, 2020
- Bed bug bites: How to know if youve been bitten by the household pest - the signs to spot - Express - February 28th, 2020
- Texas Exterminator Treats '5 to 10' Rideshare Vehicles for Bed Bugs Each Week - The Drive - February 26th, 2020
- Bed bugs at Radio-Canada - The Ticker Times - February 19th, 2020
- Baby girl dies from gas poisoning after neighbours spray flat with severely toxic substances to get rid of b - The Sun - February 18th, 2020
- 'Our little epidemic:' Bedbug infestations on the increase, say pest experts - Hickory Daily Record - February 13th, 2020
- Inuit say airport hotel is inhospitable, unsuitable for housing the sick - CTV News - January 10th, 2020
- We caught bedbugs from traveling and then the nightmare began - The Points Guy - December 23rd, 2019
- Press Release: Experts Warns By Pest Encounters During This Thanks Giving Season with Fast Pest Control Australia - PRWire - December 8th, 2019
- Protecting your home and family: The top 10 myths of bed bugs - Richland Source - November 24th, 2019
- Can Bed Bugs Stand the Heat? - PCT - PCT Magazine - November 24th, 2019
- East Islip home has massive hive with 120,000 bees - Newsday - November 20th, 2019
- How Much Do Bed Bug Exterminators Cost? (A Simple Guide ... - November 8th, 2019
- Can Bed Bugs Live In Wood Furniture and How to Remove Them ... - October 14th, 2019
- The 10 Best Bed Bug Exterminators Near Me (with Free ... - October 14th, 2019
- How to Deal with Bed Bugs at Your Rental Property - October 13th, 2019
- Bed bugs | UMN Extension - October 13th, 2019
- Bedbugs: Bite Treatment, Signs, Pictures & Identification - October 6th, 2019
- Apartment Bed Bugs | RPA Tenant Rights Blog - October 4th, 2019
- Preparing Your House for Bedbug Treatments | NC State ... - October 2nd, 2019
- The 10 Best Exterminators Near Me (with Free Estimates) - September 24th, 2019
- What to Do Before And After The Exterminator Comes for Bedbugs - September 10th, 2019
- Will an Exterminator Get Rid of Bed Bugs? How to Get Rid ... - September 10th, 2019
- Bed Bug Exterminator NYC | Extermination Treatment ... - May 23rd, 2019
- Bed Bugs Toronto - Pestend Affordable Pest Exterminator - May 13th, 2019
- Bed Bugs Treatment - May 12th, 2019
- Bed bug - Wikipedia - May 2nd, 2019
- Buffalo Bed Bug PCP | Professional Pest Control Buffalo ... - April 30th, 2019
- Bedbug Exterminator | Bed Bug Control | Bed Bug Infestation - April 20th, 2019
- Exterminator Bug Services |authorSTREAM - April 14th, 2019
- Milwaukee Bed Bug Exterminator | Pest Control Service | A ... - March 14th, 2019
- 6 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs [Incl. Recipes] - March 12th, 2019
- #1 Bed Bug Exterminator & Pest Control in Houston Texas ... - March 6th, 2019
- How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs (COMPLETE GUIDE) - February 16th, 2019
- Metro Detroit & Atlanta Bed Bugs - Metro Detroit Exterminator - February 10th, 2019
- How to Check for Bed Bugs: Discover where they hide and ... - February 10th, 2019
- Chicago IL Exterminator, Pest Control, Termite Inspections - February 9th, 2019
- How much does it cost to get rid of bed bugs in Toronto? - February 2nd, 2019
- Are Bed Bugs in the Walls? | Bed Bug Exterminator NYC | 24 ... - February 2nd, 2019
- Can Dogs Carry Bed Bugs? | Bed Bug Exterminator NYC | 24/7 ... - January 31st, 2019
- Affordable Bed Bug Exterminators: Pest Control Bed Bugs - January 24th, 2019
- Bed Bugs - January 24th, 2019
- What Do Bed Bugs Look Like (53 PICTURES OF BED BUGS) - January 24th, 2019
- Bed Bugs Guide - How to Kill Bed Bugs - January 10th, 2019
- Alpha Bed Bug Exterminator NYC - Manhattan | Treatment ... - January 4th, 2019
- Bed bug control & treatment - Expert exterminator for bed ... - January 4th, 2019
- Bed Bugs | Pest Control and Bug Exterminator Blog - November 21st, 2018
- Bed Bugs: How to Identify Bedbugs and How to Get ... - WebMD - October 3rd, 2018
- Bed Bug Exterminator NYC Testimonial - Watch Now - Bed Bug Exterminator NYC - September 27th, 2018
- Bed Bugs Exterminator Crew | Call 888-329-7794 - September 8th, 2018
- 2018 Average Bed Bug Exterminator Cost (with Price Factors) - July 6th, 2018
- Bed bug control techniques - Wikipedia - May 19th, 2018
- Heat Pro | Denver, Co Bed Bug Exterminator, Heat Treatment ... - May 2nd, 2018
- Pest Control | Bed Bug Exterminator Iowa City, Cedar ... - April 1st, 2018
- Bed Bug Facts & Pest Information: How Do You Get Bed Bugs? - March 22nd, 2018
- Bed Bug Extermination Cost: Inspection and Treatment Costs - March 18th, 2018
- Pest Control Exterminators Bed Bugs Roaches Termites - December 30th, 2017
- Bed Bug Exterminator Indianapolis - The Bed Bug Co. - December 27th, 2017
- The Best Bed Bugs Exterminator in Queens, NY - November 25th, 2017
- Bed bugs, drug paraphernalia greet 6th graders at Estes Park YMCA - The Denver Channel - September 2nd, 2017
- Guaranteed Bed Bug Exterminator in Brooklyn, NYC ... - September 2nd, 2017
- College students told to continue living in apartment with bedbugs - WRAL.com - September 1st, 2017