How to Find Bedbugs

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Bed bug bites.
Bed bug bites. (Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unforth/3401283135/)

Even though pesticides and cleaner sanitary conditions have prevented the kind of bed bugs outbreaks seen many years ago, the pests still exist. In fact, since present-day exterminators are using nonchemical methods to fight insects, bed bugs have been making a comeback. Here is how to find out if you have them in your house.

Check your body for bites in the form of red welts that itch. Bed bugs inject an anesthetic that keeps you from feeling their bite, but as the anesthetic wears off you are left with a red welt or groups of them if you have a bad infestation. If you have the welts, chances are you have a bed bug problem.

Look behind any hanging artwork. Bed bugs love to hide behind paintings and photographs hanging on walls. Use a flashlight: Bed bugs are tiny (adult bed bugs are about 1/5" long and reddish-brown) and come out at night.

Take the bedding off your bed and check under your mattress, under your box spring, and in corners and crevices. Bed bugs like to hang upside down from the bottom of box springs. Also check the frame where they have been known to hide in corners. These are all places that bed bugs will hide during the day.

Pull out dresser drawers and look in the corners and crevices of the drawers. If bed bugs are in your bedding, they're probably in your clothes and drawers.

Look for small red or brown spots on your bed linens. The spots also are a sign of infestation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be thorough. Bed bugs are hard to see and difficult to find. If you find bed bugs or signs of them, wash your bedding and clothes, then vacuum all of your furniture and in any crevices and corners. Clean paintings and behind them as well. Call an exterminator for a final inspection and to use pesticide if necessary.
  • Though the bedroom is where bed bugs tend to be -- since they come out at night and bite you in your sleep -- it's a good idea to check your entire home.

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