9 Bed Bug Symptoms and Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Bed bugs are stealthy pests and they would only be revealed once the infestation is at a massive range. Although these insects are hideous, some signs can’t hide their existence. What you can do here is to act upon seeing some bed bugs symptoms and signs. Swatting each bug would be the convenient practice but you should plan a bigger extermination to save yourself from the itchy bites and fabric damage.

1. Dark fecal stains on the bed

One thing that bed bugs can’t hide is their fecal matter. This would look like dark stains on the bedding or mattress.  The stains are like when you press a tip of the marker on a fabric where the ink bleeds into the fiber of the sheets. The bugs poop right away after sucking blood from their host, so the more stains present, the more bugs feeding off your blood.

This is the number one symptom of an infestation and is usually a tell-tale sign.

2. Itchy, red welts on the skin

People experiencing an undiagnosed infestation would have itchy welts on their skin caused by the bed bug bites. It’s easy to dismiss the skin rash as mosquito bites, but one thing to determine it is to check for the placement of the red spots. If it looks like the ‘breakfast, lunch, dinner’ line, it’s likely that you’re facing a bed bug attack.

The hosts would usually see the bed bugs symptoms and signs upon waking up in the morning, as the pests are nocturnal parasites that will suck blood once the source of food is sleeping.

bed bugs symptoms and signs

3. Tiny bloodstains on the pillows or sheets

Tiny bloodstains on the pillows or sheets could also reveal an infestation, however, be sure that you don’t have present wounds that may cause the stain. Bed bugs crawl slower when they are stuffed after feeding off your blood. You might have crushed some of the bugs while it’s still on your bed. Some stains can also be found on your shirt and pajamas.

This sign could be tricky as the blood may come from a crushed mosquito. If you observe the presence of bloodstains, it’s better to check for the other listed signs as well.

4. Musty odor in the affected area

Bed bugs’ excreta and glands produce a distinctive smell, but if it’s easy to pick up in a few sniffs inside the room, the infestation might already be in the advanced stage. It’s described as a sweet, musty smell close to the odor of almonds and over-ripe berries. This odor would be even more evident if the bugs are agitated and sniffing dogs could already be deployed to detect the harborage.

But before you jump to the conclusion that there is indeed an infestation, check for the air deodorizers you’re using as it might be mixing with the other scents in the room.

5. Bed Bugs Symptoms And Signs: Shed skins

The nymphs or young bugs need to undergo the molting phase where they shed their skin up to five times to transform into a fully adult bed bug. The shed skin would be present on top of the bed or the floor as the insect has to suck more blood from the host. These cast skins look like dried up bed bugs and are usually transparent or reddish as the bug approaches adulthood.

The skin is about 1 mm to 3 mm of size and it can easily be sucked into a vacuum. Before cleaning your bed area, check for the possible presence of the shed skin.

bed bugs symptoms and signs

6. Bed bug eggs

Another sure sign of a termite attack is the presence of the eggshells. This looks like a grain of white rice that can be either empty or still in the process of housing a young bug. It’s very small at about 1 mm but the eggs are still easy to find with the naked eye. If you have poor vision, you can use a magnifying glass to check on rough surfaces where bed bugs usually lay their eggs.

To identify a hatched egg from a live egg, check if it has a less shiny appearance and a flatter shape. If so, the eggs you’re seeing are still alive. You should exterminate it right away.

7. Transparent looking insects

Fully-grown and red colored bed bugs are harder to spot as they can survive a whole year without food.  What you should watch out for are the nymphs. These young bugs have an almost transparent color and more likely to be seen around as they continuously seek a possible host to feed on. Molting nymphs need to eat more often as they have to change skin up to five times to be an adult bug. Of all the bed bugs symptoms and signs, this one will confirm an infestation.

8. Asthma attacks

Massive infestations would produce large amounts of bug excrement and shed skin. When this body wastes dry, it would be airborne and easily inhaled by a person suffering from asthma. If you’re wondering why you or somebody else in the house are always experiencing asthma attacks for no reason, you should check for a possible bed bug presence.

bed bugs symptoms and signs

9. Dark spots on electrical outlets or wall junctions

It’s easy to dismiss the dark spots on electrical outlets or wall junctions as accumulated dirt due to your failure of cleaning the walls. But take a closer look and you’ll see crawling insects that are bed bugs! They may look like dust but these bugs are actually moving freely on your property. If it’s close to your bed, this means that the pest is establishing a permanent harborage to feed on your blood.

These bed bugs symptoms and signs are the surefire evidence that your house is on a bed bug invasion. Once you identify the pest’s presence, you should take extermination actions to prevent its spread and to dodge the health threats the insects might pose. Do you find these points helpful? Share your opinion with us in the comment section!