Early Signs of Bed Bugs

If you think bed bugs may be infesting your home, there are some early signs to look for. Not all of these signs will lead you to a definite conclusion that there is bed bug infestation. However, if you see several of these signs you probably have an infestation and your best course of action.

The sooner you can get rid of an infestation, the better. If left untreated, bed bugs will reproduce and the infestation will grow.

Blood spots on sheets and pillowcases. This is probably the most common early sign of a bed bug infestation. These blood spots are small, dark red, or rusty brown, and may appear over time as the bugs feed on you.

If bed bugs begin to reproduce in your bed, you may also see the bugs in the daylight, their translucent white cast skins, or black fecal spotting. If you have a heavy infestation of bed bugs, they will leave behind their cast-off skins.

However, in this early stage of an infestation, you may not see the bugs themselves in your bed. If you want to see early signs of bed bugs, you may need to read the below article.

Early Signs to Look Out for Bed Bugs

There are a number of early signs to look out for in order to identify a bed bug infestation. Since these signs are not always apparent, it’s important to be vigilant in examining your surroundings.

Inspecting the seams of mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs are most likely to be found in these areas, as they provide an ample supply of blood meals for the bugs.

Look at the seams of your couch cushions, cracks in wooden furniture, behind electrical outlets and baseboards, along carpet edges, and behind headboards.

Bed bugs can be found in other areas, but these places are most likely to harbor them early on as they tend to be near where people sleep.


Though not always apparent, bed bugs produce a distinct odor. You may notice this smell if you live in an apartment building where other units are infested. However, there are other reasons for this distinct smell beyond bed bugs. For example, there are other parasites that produce the same smell.


If your room or apartment smells like mildew or has an unusual scent, it might be time to do a thorough inspection. Since smelling the odor is not a sure sign, you should do a thorough examination in order to determine whether you have a bed bug infestation.

Skin Irritation

If you begin to notice severe itching, swelling, and discomfort along with small red bumps on your skin, it is time to inspect your mattress and other furniture for bed bugs. Cases of allergic reactions to bites should be brought to a doctor immediately.

skin irritation

If you are an adult, your bites will usually go unnoticed. However, if you are a child or have sensitive skin, your bites might cause a reaction.

Examine your skin for any redness, irritation, or rashes that did not appear before you started sleeping in the bed. If you have young children, check their skin for any unusual symptoms.

Bed Bug Bites

Check yourself for bed bug bites. The best way to tell whether you have bed bugs is by identifying the bite marks.

They are usually small and often mistaken for mosquito bites. If you only see one or two bites, it does not mean that you have a bed bug infestation, but you still have to be vigilant as these bites may evolve into larger, more apparent marks.

However, if you have pets, they may also react to the bites. This makes it more difficult to tell whether you are suffering from bed bugs or fleas, another common pest in the home.

Holes in Linens

Bed bugs are notorious for chewing through bedding to feed on their hosts. If you have a recent bed bug infestation, there may be holes in your sheets and other linens.

Holes in Linens

Check the seams, edging, and any other parts of the bedding that are in close contact with your skin. If you think you have bed bugs, you should also check your clothing for holes. Also check baseboard cracks, carpet edges, and furniture seams.

Bloodstains on Sheets

Other indications of bed bugs may include rust-colored spots on your mattress. This is caused by the bugs excreting after feeding or by bursting.

Bloodstains on Sheets

If you suspect an infestation, turn your mattress and box spring over and inspect all sides for any signs of bloodstains or excrement.

Check the seams of your mattress for any dark spots indicating bloodstains or holes that are about 1/8th of an inch in diameter.

Reddish or rusty brown spots on sheets and pillowcases are signs of the bloodstain. Don’t confuse these stains with rust, which are larger in size.

Bed Bug Eggs on Mattress or Pillowcases

Bed bugs are excellent at hiding and their eggs are tiny, making them hard to spot in the early stages of bed bugs infestation. However, you can look for bed bug eggs in the creases and seams of your mattress or pillowcases. This is the major sign of bed bugs on the mattress.

The eggs are usually clear, white, or yellow. If your mattress or pillowcases have these colors, you can look for small specks and compare them to the egg picture below.

Bed Bug Eggs on Mattress or Pillowcases

These small white specks may be stuck to the seams or tucked in the crannies and grooves of your bedding.

If you notice eggs or eggshells on the mattress, turn the bed over and check the other side for any eggs. If you find these signs, make sure to check your clothes and luggage for eggs or casings when you return home from a trip.

Fecal Marks

Bed bugs excrete after feeding and their feces are often mistaken for small black fecal marks. However, if your bedding becomes stained with droppings, it may be a sign of an infestation.

Look for black staining on pillowcases, sheets, and mattresses. Bed bugs do not defecate after feeding, so the droppings are concentrated in areas they frequent and around the seams and stitching of the mattress and box spring.

If you find any black spots, it is best to strip your bedding immediately and send the items through the laundry and dryer.

How to Check for Bed Bugs?

It’s challenging to find bedbugs because they’re good at hiding. A thorough inspection and a keen eye might be the only way to detect them. You should look for bedbugs in all the usual areas where you might find them.

Here’s how to perform a detailed check for bed bugs.

  • Inspect your room. Don’t forget to check the mattress, box spring, bed frame, nightstands, dresser drawers, carpets, and baseboards.
  • Don’t forget to check your clothes and luggage when you return home. Identify a bed bug infestation. Look for signs of bed bugs, such as black spots, rusty brown stains from blood, and shed skins.
  • Clean the room. Dispose off infested furniture, bedding, clothing, and anything else that’s been in contact with bed bugs.
  • Use a steam cleaner on the mattress and box spring to get rid of bugs and their eggs.

Check Also: How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs


Though the early signs of bed bugs are not very distinct, by being aware of these warning signs you can be better prepared to handle a potential infestation.

In the event of a bed bug infestation, knowing these signs will help you determine how serious the problem is. If the early signs of an infestation are discovered, you can get rid of the pests before they become a major problem.

Hope this article provides you with useful information about early detection signs of bed bugs.

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