Have bed bugs but can't find them

Hidden Bed Bugs: How to Identify, Find, and Eliminate Them

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Ever woken up with bites on your skin, but failed to identify the cause? You're not alone. It can be really hard to find bedbugs at the beginning. When you can't find the bedbug infestation, you have to confirm the source of those rashes on your skin, find the bedbugs by searching around your bedroom, and then eliminate them.

In this text, we'll investigate the following together:

✔️ Identifying bedbug bites

✔️ Common bedbug signs in your home

✔️ Locating hidden bedbugs

✔️ Eliminating bedbug infestations

Let's lift the veil on these hidden invaders and reclaim your peaceful home.

How to Identify Bedbug Bites?

Truly, not being able to identify a bedbug infestation can be overwhelming. So let's move onto the most important aspect of all: Confirming the problem.

Characteristics of Bedbug Bites

Bedbug bites often manifest as small, itchy bumps or welts on the skin. Bedbugs feast on our blood when we enter deep sleep, usually at night, making every day a challenge to find peace.

Unlike mosquito's or flea's, bedbug bites will appear in a straight line or a random pattern.

They emerge on areas of the body, exposed during sleep such as the arms, neck, and face. A single bite may not provide a definitive identification, so watch out for clusters or rows.

What Are Signs of a Bedbug Infestation?

person with a flashlight in a bedroom

There are different types of hints when it comes to bedbug outbreaks. The direct, indirect, and behavioral signals. Let's dissect them together.

Direct Signs of Bedbug Infestation

The direct signals are the most concrete evidence of a bedbug infestation. Let's illustrate them for clarity:

  • Physical presence: Bed bugs, adult or nymphs, are visible to the naked eye (similar in size to an apple seed). So, seeing one implies an infestation. They typically hide in narrow areas like the seams of mattresses, behind baseboards, in electrical outlets, or in furniture joints. A credit card or similar tool might help you investigate these areas.
  • Eggs and shells: Bed bugs' eggs and empty shells, tiny and white, often appear clustered in cracks and crevices nearby.
  • Blood stains: After a feeding frenzy, bed bugs leave behind blood spots on sheets and mattresses. So the presence of unexplained blood stains could indicate these notorious guests.

Indirect Signs of Bedbug Infestation

Attention to subtle, indirect signals may quickly suggest a bedbug infestation. The following might not seem as evident, but they deliver significant clues:

  • Unpleasant odor: An unaccounted musty odor in your home? It might be bed bugs. They emit this scent from their scent glands.
  • Excrements: Check for black or brown stains on appliances, mattresses, or beddings. These are excrement spots left by bed bugs.

Behavioral Signs of Bedbug Infestation

The behavioral symptoms are perhaps the most intimate and concerning. They directly impact your comfort, sleep, and even your psychological well being.

  • Bedbug bites: As we previously discussed, they often reflect as small, itchy bumps in straight lines or scattered, randomized patterns.
  • Sleep Disruptions: As bed bugs are nocturnal, feeding primarily at night, you're more likely to experience sleep disturbance in a full-fledged bedbug infestation.

Dealing with bedbug infestations as early as possible is the key to restoring your peace of mind. Don't hesitate to seek help for timely and effective treatment from pest control experts once you know and recognize any clue mentioned above.

How to Locate Hidden Bedbugs?

Locating hidden bed bugs can be really hard, as they're mostly nocturnal, making the struggle long and exhausting. To do so, you'll need a flashlight and wait for sunset. In this section, we'll dive into their favorite hideaways and inspection tips, so you can effectively search for them.

Typical Bed bug Hideouts

Bedbugs are picky when it comes to hideouts, choosing only the best spots to live. That's why it's essential to familiarize ourselves with these:

  • Mattress and bedding: These parasites typically reside within the crevices and folds of mattresses and bedding, making them difficult to spot. They are there due to the proximity to their human host they feed on during the night.
  • Furniture and box springs: Other common hiding locations include box springs and in the nooks and clutches of furniture, particularly in rooms frequented by humans. They may especially be found in places that come into direct contact with humans like couches and upholstered chairs.
  • Electrical outlets and wall hangings: Surprisingly enough, bedbugs can also camp behind wall hangings and inside electrical outlets, using these spots as hibernation zones.
  • Underneath peeling paint and loose wallpapers: Check under peeling paint or loose wallpapers. Bedbugs often hide in such areas, laying eggs and spreading.

Remember, these are not their only hiding spots, their small brown bodies allow them to nestle in tiny cracks and corners throughout an infested area, making them especially challenging to detect and uncovering bed bug locations effectively.

Inspection Tips

Conducting a thorough inspection is vital for effective bedbug control. Here are 4 tips to find these insects:

  1. Use a credit card to probe and scrape: The edge of a credit card is an excellent tool for probing and scraping along mattress seams and cracks. It can break the hideouts, making the bedbugs visible.
  2. Invest in high-quality insect interceptor traps: Placing these traps under beds and furniture can trap bed bugs as they move, so making it easier to spot them.
  3. Examine all items thoroughly: Pay close attention to luggage, clothes, shoes, and items you bring from outside as bedbugs can quickly hitch a ride on these items.
  4. Involve bedbug exterminators: If doubts remain even though conducting a thorough inspection, it's recommended to seek expert help for accurate identification and effective treatment. Bedbug controllers have the expertise and special equipment to detect and get rid of bedbugs.

How to Manage and Eradicate a Bedbug Infestation?

Maintaining a bedbug-free home remains a priority. Yet, they can hide, multiply, and affect our health and sleep quality. We will discuss do-it-yourself solutions first, followed by professional pest control techniques.

DIY Solutions

  1. Heat treatments: Bedbugs can't withstand extreme heat. So, laundering beddings and clothes at high temperatures (over 120°F or 49°C) kills bedbugs. To be sure, dry items on a high heat setting as well.
  2. Vacuuming: Vacuum your mattress, box springs, cushions, and other furniture thoroughly to remove these creatures.
  3. Insect traps: Use commercially available interceptor traps under furniture feet. These traps restrict bedbugs from reaching the bed, trapping them to starve and die.
  4. Seal crevices: Bedbugs hide in small cracks. Seal these off using caulk to eliminate their hiding spots.
  5. Insecticides: Consider effective insecticides for bedbugs. Choose EPA-registered products specifically designed for bedbugs. Make sure to read and follow the instructions carefully.

Professional Pest Control

For severe bedbug infestations, professional intervention becomes necessary. Pest control experts possess the right skills, tools, and techniques to effectively handle bed bugs.

  1. Inspection: Exterminators conduct a thorough inspection using the best tools and sometimes dogs, trained to detect the presence of bedbugs.
  2. Pest Treatment: They apply suitable treatments considering the level of the problem. This might involve heat treatments, pesticide applications, or both.
  3. Follow-Up: Professionals also offer follow-up visits to ensure complete bedbug eradication.

Remember, bedbugs reproduce quickly, making their management challenging, so don't shy away from seeking professional help.

Preventive Measures

Full-proof preventions against bed bug infestations involve keeping living quarters clean, frequently vacuuming carpets and upholstery, heating possibly infested objects, and inspecting new or used furniture before bringing it in.


Even after efforts to eliminate these pests, bed bugs may persist, so take action quickly. Their minute size, nature to hide in narrow crevices, and nocturnal feeding habits pose a challenge for individuals seeking to rid their habitat of these vermin.

While detecting these insects might be tough, it's not impossible. It calls for thorough inspection, keen observation, and the correct approach.

When the distress seems endless and the problem continues to re-emerge, it might be time for professional help. Pest control experts, well versed in locating these elusive bugs, use advanced tools and techniques to help eradicate them completely.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the physical traits of bedbug eggs and shells?

Bedbug eggs and shells are tiny, white, and often found clustered in crevices or cracks near their feeding areas. These signs are crucial indicators of a bedbug infestation.

How do blood stains on mattresses indicate a bedbug presence?

Unexplained blood stains on mattresses and sheets often result from bedbugs being crushed after feeding. These stains are direct signs of an active bedbug infestation.

Why are behavioral signs important in recognizing bedbug infestations?

Behavioral signs like sleep disruptions and patterns of itchy bites are vital because they directly affect your comfort and can indicate an active bedbug problem, especially if nocturnal bite marks are observed.