Signs you have bed bugs in your Maine home
If you were to play a game of hide and seek with bed bugs, they’d probably win. In addition to being excellent hitchhikers, these insects are quite sneaky and will occupy areas you cannot see or reach. The only reason you may suspect they’re in residence is by the evidence they leave behind. They’ll also go about their business right out in the open which is gross but helpful in identifying a problem. So, without further ado, let’s go over a few of the more common signs of bed bug activity.
Live bed bugs
This is by far the most accurate way to confirm a bed bug problem in your space. If you see live bugs crawling on your mattress or hanging out on your headboard and other places we’ll discuss shortly, there’s a very good possibility it is bed bugs.
Bed bug bites
Bed bug bites are often confused with flea bites, carpet beetle rashes, and mosquito bites; they are small red bites that can appear singly, in groups or clumps, or in a line (sometimes referred to as breakfast, lunch, and dinner). The thing about bed bug bites that must be noted is that they can appear on the skin shortly after the bug has bit or up to two weeks later. What’s more they may produce an itch but there may be no reaction at all.
Because bed bugs are more active during the early morning hours when people are sleeping, you may not witness a bite in progress. One caveat, in severe infestations where there are lots of hungry bed bugs, you may see these pests active at any hour and when you’re awake. What’s more, unlike when mosquitoes bite, you will likely not feel any pain. That’s because their saliva numbs the bite area.
Reddish brown stains on bedding & other fabric
When bed bugs bite, they often leave behind blood marks on bedsheets, pillowcases, and other bedding or fabric. Those marks could be the result of bed bugs being crushed by their victim or from feeding.
If you wake up with stains, look yourself over to make sure there isn’t another reason for the blood (i.e., cuts, scabs, zits) and if not, pay attention the next morning. If bed bugs are present, there will likely be fresh stains.
Bed bug feces
In addition to blood stains, bed bugs will also leave behind feces. Smaller than blood spots and more prone to look like an ink-like stain, bed bug poop is black in color. Bed bugs do not digest their food quickly so you probably won’t find feces in the bedding (although it is possible). Instead, it is more common to find feces on the mattress itself where bed bugs are hiding when they’re not feeding.
Bed bug exoskeletons
From the bed bug life stage illustration on the pest identification page we mentioned above, you’ll see that bed bugs go through several stages of development and each time they do, they feed and then shed their exoskeletons. These abandoned exoskeletons, or shell casings, are often found on mattresses, upholstered furniture, and really any place these bugs breed and hatch.
Bed bug eggs
Often noted as grain-like or white dots, bed bug eggs are tiny and vary in color from translucent to milky white. They are typically found in areas where adult bed bugs are hiding and close to their food source.