How to Identify a Bug Found in Your Bed

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Everyone remembers the old nursery rhyme about bed bugs, but few realize how serious an infestation of these small bugs can be. If you have found a bug in your bed, it is important that you correctly identify it as a bed bug before taking any actions. Once properly identified, you can take the proper steps to quickly eradicate the bugs from your bed and save yourself the headache of a more serious problem in the future.

  • Check yourself for bites. If the bug you have found is a bed bug, you likely will have bite marks. These can look like small puncture marks or larger red bumps on the skin.

  • Scour the mattress for red blood smears or brown spots left by bed bugs. Pay particular attention to the part of the mattress by the headboard where these spots are often grouped together. Sheets may also have these stains.

  • Check the color of the bug. Young bed bugs are a whitish-yellow color while the adults are a brownish-red.

  • Determine the size and shape of the bug. Bed bugs are 1/16 of an inch at birth and 3/16 of an inch as adults. They are oval in shape, have six legs and two antenna.

  • Have the specimen evaluated. As of April 2011, for a $10 fee, you can send in the bug to Harvard University and have it identified.

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