How Can I Tell If I Have Bed Bugs? Answering The Bed Bug Questions Keeping You Up at Night

A bed bug-free bedroom.

Nothing can upset your sleep routine and household like a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are incredibly common throughout the United States, and Compass Pest has dealt with its fair share of infestations in Georgia and South Carolina. Find answers to common questions about bed bugs.

How do I know if I have bed bugs?

You may have a bed bug infestation if you see any of the following signs:

  • Bites that are usually, but not always, in a line pattern
  • Small specks of blood and brown droppings on bed sheets, mattresses, and box springs
  • Exoskeleton remains left by nymphs advancing into the adult stage
  • Small whitish eggs (about 1mm long) attached to mattresses and box springs

What do bed bugs look like?bed bug

Adult bed bugs are small, about the size of a tick, but vary in size. They are flat and oval-shaped, reddish-brown in color, and can grow to ¼” in size. Bed bug eggs are whitish in color and are 1mm in length; newly hatched nymphs are cream colored.

Where do bed bugs come from?

Bed bugs hitchhike in luggage, furniture, bags, and clothing. They are in hospitals, hotels, airplanes, malls, taxis, buses, and almost any public place with high human traffic. People who travel and stay overnight in hotels, Airbnbs, or VrBos, particularly overseas, or use public transportation are more likely to encounter bed bugs.

Where would bed bugs be in my home?

Once they are in your home, they may be found in bed frames, mattresses, box springs, bed linens, carpet, furniture, sofas, baseboards, wall voids, or any small crack or crevice.

Do bed bugs carry disease?

Even though bed bugs are not known to transmit or carry disease, infections can develop in broken skin from scratching bites. The presence of bed bug activity can lead not only to physical discomfort, but also anxiety, emotional discomfort, stress, and loss of rest and sleep.

Chris Brooks, bed bug expert & branch manager at Compass Pest in Anderson, South Carolina"It’s heartbreaking that when many people call us they are at their wits' end. They have tried all kinds of remedies (sprays, dusts, etc.) and have thrown out--sometimes multiple--sets of bedding and furniture. If you suspect that you have bedbugs, call a professional to inspect and treat before the infestation gets ahead of you."

-- Chris Brooks, Compass Pest Branch Manager
Anderson, SC

Will discarding mattresses and furniture eliminate my bed bug problem?

Unfortunately, no. Bed bugs are not only found in bedding and mattresses in bedrooms, but they can also move throughout the home, hiding in most cracks or crevices. Your home needs to be safely and thoroughly treated by pest control technicians to completely eradicate all stages of bed bugs.

What is the best way to treat bed bugs?

Heat treatment and liquid treatment are some of the best ways to treat bed bugs; some infestations require both. High heat will kill bugs and their eggs, leading to an immediate reduction in the bed bug population in your home. Many pest control companies may also use a liquid treatment such as Apprehend, a fungicide that can be sprayed along baseboards and furniture to kill bed bugs.

While both approaches are effective treatments, especially egregious infestations may require multiple rounds of treatment. Choose a pest control company that will come back and inspect after their initial treatment.

Does bed bug treatment destroy electronics?

Yes, treatment may damage electronics. In bed bug heat treatment, the affected room is heated to 125 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and sustains that temperature for three hours. Your pest control technician should provide instructions on how to prepare your home for treatment, including the relocation of electronics to other parts of the house.  

How can I prevent bed bugs?

Preventing a bed bug infestation isn’t top of mind for most people; however, bed bug infestations are very common in the United States and there are small things you can do to prevent a bed bug problem in your home:

  • Inspect your luggage and thrifted finds. Bed bugs are big enough to see. If you travel frequently or enjoy thrifting, make it a habit to inspect your items before bringing them into your home. Putting your clothes through a hot wash cycle can also help eliminate bed bug problems before they start.
  • Use a mattress cover. Mattress and box spring covers can reduce the number of bed bug hiding places.
  • Avoid storing loose clothes, linens, or backpacks under your bed. Bed bugs will hitch a ride on almost any fabric item. Invest in plastic under-the-bed storage containers to keep them at bay.

About Compass Pest Management

Compass Pest Management is a full-service pest control company serving north Georgia and Upstate South Carolina. We offer residential and commercial pest control services for termites, ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, bed bugs, and more. We also offer wildlife removal services and TAP insulation, an insulation product that doubles as built-in pest control. We’re committed to using the safest, EPA-approved products to keep you and your family safe, healthy, and comfortable. Contact us for effective, local pest control services you can trust.

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