What Are the Early Signs of Bed Bugs in Walls?

Bed bugs often hide in walls behind beds.
Bed bugs often hide in walls behind beds. (Image: bed image by Kirsten Alexander from Fotolia.com)

Bed bugs, also known as cimex lectularius, are an unwelcome visitor to beds, walls and homes nationwide. Only about 1/4-inch in size, bed bugs can lay up to five eggs a day and spread quickly. If you think you have some bed bugs in your walls, you should look for the following signs since the bugs themselves are difficult to spot.

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People sometimes smell bed bugs before seeing them. A new, musty, sweet or pungent odor coming from the walls could be worth investigating. Due to the oily liquid they emit, bed bugs have a fairly strong scent.

Blood Spots

Spots of blood on the wallpaper, behind the molding or near the headboard are also signs that bed bugs are present and have been feasting.Cast-off skin or small bits of rust-colored excrement in these areas are two more clues that bed bugs could be in the walls.


Small, red bites and bumps on arms and legs or any other areas of exposed skin are another indication that bed bugs are lurking in the walls or bed. While bed bugs do not transmit diseases, their bites can be both itchy and uncomfortable. Wash the bites with soap and water, then apply ice to avoid swelling.


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