If only those were the actual Signs of Bed Bugs. Instead, bedbugs will typically sneak out at night, feed on you, and sneak back into hiding. Their goal would be to leave no signs as they are nocturnal feeders who hide during the day.
Although it’s not uncommon to find the lone bug away from the group, usually you will find infestations where many bugs are trying to hide together. Once you understand what to look for, it’s very possible to see the signs of bed bugs, and if you do have a Cimex Lectularius (Bed Bugs) problem.
So if these guys are not usually out during the day, they are feeding on me at night, and they hide during the day, how do I know if I have a problem or not?
Here are some indicators.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Since bed-bugs are drawn to carbon monoxide from their sleeping hosts, they usually feed during the night. They will consume a blood meal during the day however if in a heavily infested area. These opportunistic little guys will feed on other animals too, but prefer to feed on humans. It takes them up 10 minutes to feed and engorge themselves. Once they have fed, they will move to an area to hide for up to 10 days.
-Do you have numerous bite marks or reactions on your skin that you cannot explain. If so, these could be signs of bed bugs. However, it could also be fleas, spiders, mosquitoes or any other of the myriad of biting insects. If it is ongoing, or multiple bites, or you have an allergic reaction or infections, or you just want to make sure, it might make sense to go see your doctor.
-Rusty brown or black dots on the sheets or mattress or box spring or bedding. If present, Bedbug feces will often leave spots in the area where you or others sleep. These are common signs of bed bugs.
-The actual bugs themselves can be found in a hiding place such as cracks and crevices. They have 6 legs, and become red-brown after a blood meal. Adult bed-bugs which haven’t fed will be a rusty brownish to mahogany color. Use a flashlight and inspect the bed, the bedding, and any furniture around the area of the bed. ( Always bring a small flashlight with you when traveling so you can check any rooms before you stay in them for signs of bed bugs). Bed bugs are usually flat if they have not had a recent blood meal. Some describe them as the size of apple seeds or small watermelon seeds.
-Since the females can lay hundreds of eggs during a lifetime, it is possible you may see an infestation with….eggs(while difficult to see as they are transparent and small) nymphs, bugs, exoskeletons, and bed bug feces, mixed together. It may make sense to bring an encasement with you for a crib if you use one.
-Moltings or exoskeletons are typically in the mix also as a bedbug must molt 5x on its way to adulthood. This usually takes about 21 days. These appear as cast off tan/yellowish exoskeletons. Some people like to keep all of their clothing in large double zipper plastic bags when traveling so as not to make it easy to pick up hitch hikers. It also makes sense to bring a small travel flash light with you too to check for the above signs of bed bugs.
The Signs of bedbugs will be there…if you have a problem, and you know how to read the signs. Here is a good resource in order to help you learn and understand more about the signs of bed bugs and what they mean to you.