Call us for a free quote at 1-877-690-2115  or contact us

Signs of bed bug infestations

Many people do not realize they have a bed bug infestation until they start noticing bites. Even then, bites may go unnoticed as people react to bed bug bites in different ways. Due to their elusive nature, professional expertise is necessary to spot the signs of bed bugs.

Bed bugs are notorious travellers. Nearly every part of the planet has some presence of bed bugs. They love to hitchhike in suitcases and on clothing. Once they find a new home, they look for places to hide that has access to a undisturbed blood meal.

Bed bugs can hide in mattresses, headboards, box springs, couches, chairs, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets and other areas.

Rentokil: your bed bug identification experts

If you even think that you might have bed bugs in your home, don't waste another minute. Find out for sure by calling for a free bed bug inspection from an Rentokil Technician by calling 1-800-837-5520 or contact us online.

Bed bug infestations: what to look for

There are several signs that your home or business might have a full on bed bug infestation, including the following:

  • Shed skins - Bed bugs will molt and shed their skin before each new life stage. Often you can find these shedded skins lying around areas of infestation such as in the creases, edges and crevices of the mattress that serve as hiding places.

  • Fecal matter - Bed bugs leave fecal deposits after they consume a blood meal. They are often black dots as small as the tip of a pen, that you can see on fabrics like a mattress or mattress cover.

  • Blood - Since bed bugs insert an anesthetic and an anti-coagulant into their host’s skin when they feed, a person may bleed a bit. You can also find smears of blood or spots of blood on your mattress, sofa or chair.

  • Eggs - Although very small and hard to see, you can see the small, whitish eggs. They are translucent and narrow. They can be found in mattress creases and other places where the insects can be found

  • Nymphs - Bed bugs go through several life cycle stages. Until they reach adulthood they are known as nymphs. During their first cycle these nymphs are white colored, but they get darker as they grow.

  • Live adult insects - Although they prefer to be active at night when you're sleeping, you can see live bed bugs if you search for them. They can be tough to find, however, which is why it is highly recommended to contact a pest control professional.

  • Odour - In a building that has a heavy bed bug infestation there is often a telltale odour. Although bed bug dogs can detect a small number of bed bugs, a heavy infestation leaves an odour that many describe as like coriander.

Where do bed bugs hide?

Bed bugs are flat and can easily hide in almost any crevice or space. They can hide in the creases in your mattress and within the mattress covers. Other than the bed, there are other hiding places where they rest between blood meals, including:

  • Headboards - They can hide behind them, on the wall, and if the headboard is wood there can be cracks where they squeeze in. Eggs, fecal matter, nymphs and shed skins can also be found there.

  • Behind picture frames - A good quiet place to hide. So check anything that is hanging on the wall, especially above beds, sofas and chairs, where the little insects can gather. Some of the signs listed above might be on the floor beneath the picture. 

  • Electrical outlets - Remove the faceplates and check behind them.

  • Sofas and chairs - Just because they are called “bed” bugs doesn’t mean they only hide out in the bedroom. If you spend time in a favorite chair or on the sofa, you might find them in the creases and around cushions and beneath the cushions.

  • Piles of clothes - Bed bugs can hide in piles of clothes on the floor, in drawers or on the floor of the closet. A dirty house does not mean you will automatically get bed bugs, but one that is cluttered may hide them more easily.

  • Dresser drawers - Check all of the nooks and crevices inside dresser drawers.

  • Luggage - bed bugs are notorious travelers and if you stay in a hotel and put your luggage on the bed, there’s a chance one could hitch a ride and end up at your home.

Call the experts in bed bug removal

If you spot any of these bed bug signs, the best thing you can do is call in a Rentokil bed bug control Technician.

Our Technicians will show up to your home or business to conduct an inspection and survey all of the potential bed bug infestation sites. We will recommend the best bed bug elimination method for your property.

The first step is to call us for a FREE bed bug inspection by calling 1-877-690-2115 or contact us online.

How to prevent bed bugs

Bed bugs can be transported to your residence or business by attaching themselves to clothing, furniture or suitcases. As they are small and like to hide in cracks and crevices during the day, it can be very easy for bed bugs to move into your property.

Bed bug prevention tips

There are some preventative steps you can take, especially if you are a frequent traveller, to prevent this pest from invading your home or business.

In your home

If you are worried you have brought bed bugs back home after your travels, there are a few things you can do to reduce them from spreading to your home:

  • Leave your luggage in your garage or in the bathroom. Bed bugs don’t like the tiles or concrete!
  • (If you’re REALLY worried), take your clothes off in the garage or bathroom and put them straight into the washing machine.
  • Wash and dry clothes at the highest possible temperatures.
  • Professional bed bug treatments are always the best solution to get rid of bed bugs. However, as a precaution, put your suitcase in the sun, away from the house for a couple of days, to help eradicate any bed bugs.
  • Vacuuming can greatly reduce the size of the bed bug population, but only when they’re clearly visible. It cannot guarantee total elimination. (Empty and clean the vacuum to avoid transferring eggs to other rooms.)

In your hotel or dorm

With the number of guests moving in and out of your hotel or dorm rooms, it is impossible to completely prevent bed bugs. However, there are ways you can prevent an infestation taking hold and moving from room to room and that is via early detection:

  • Train your staff on how to identify common signs of bed bugs.
  • Ensure thorough checking for bed bugs is written into your room cleaning processes.
  • Have a procedure in place for handling bed bug complaints.
  • Inspect adjacent rooms to identify if the bed bugs have spread (although Rentokil will do this as part of our emergency response survey).
  • Immediately contact Rentokil to arrange a thorough inspection and bed bug control program.

Call Rentokil at 1-877-690-2115 or contact us for expert bed bug treatment and prevention for your home or business.

Next steps

Find your local branch


Find your local agency

British Columbia

Prince Edward Island



New Brunswick

Nova Scotia




Call your local branch

Residential: 1-877-690-2115
Commercial: 1-877-690-2115

or fill out your details and we will call you back