How to know if you have bedbugs

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How do you know if you have bedbugs? Got an itch? Seen a bug you don't recognize? Bedbug expert Lou Sorkin from the American Museum of Natural History and two very busy pest control operators join Howdini's Kimberly Austin with everything you need to know how to tell if you have bedbugs.

How to know if you have bedbugs

How do you know if you have bedbugs? Got an itch? Seen a bug you don't recognize? Here is how to figure out if you have bedbugs.

Bedbugs hide in or on wood, fabric, metal, phones, even electronics.

They are good hitchhikers, so be particularly careful when traveling.

Look for the following in your home 4 times a year (unless you suspect a problem):

  • Silvery white eggs
  • Reddish or brown bugs up to a quarter of an inch long
  • Bedbug droppings, which look like small brown spots
  • Bedbug skins, which they shed and are translucent
  • Speckles or smears of blood
Look for the following on your body:
  • Small red bite marks
  • Welts
  • Note: not all people react to bedbug bites

Check the following bedbug prone areas:
  • Seams of fabric (every layer)
  • Mattress (seams, sides, vents and grommets)
  • Box Spring (especially under)
  • Headboard
  • Bed frame
  • Any storage under your bed
  • Everything on the floor near your bed (the legs of bed stand)

Also check the other places you spend long amounts of time, such as couches, easy chairs and office areas.

If you feel you may have bedbugs but are not sure, try calling in a bedbug-sniffing dog, but realize false-positives can occur. Try to choose a company not associated with an exterminator who could benefit from your business if the dog detects the sent of bedbugs.
meet theexpert
  • Louis Sorkin

    Louis Sorkin Entomologist, American Museum of Natural History Louis Sorkin began his career in arachnid studies during his graduate work at the University of Connecticut where he researched arthropod parasites of spiders and mite work. more about this expert »

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