If you see an insect you think might be a bed bug, try to capture it and take a photo. Try not to crush it which may make it impossible to identify. You can put it in a sealed plastic pill bottle or small sealed snack container. If you are really nervous about it getting out, put some tape (duct/shipping) around the lid to seal it.
One way to know if a very small insect is a bed bug is to use a lighted magnifier. That’s what a lighted magnifier does for you.
I probably used mine too much back then, but it did bring me some peace of mind playing what’s not a bed bug, which is almost everything. I did learn that my house sometimes has carpet beetles and occasionally bird ticks, and at that time, bed bugs.
Most county departments of public health have an Entomologist that can try and identify your insect. Try not to mangle it so it’s easier to identify.
You can send a photo of your insect (actual insects only please) and submit a photo using this form. I will let you know what I think, remembering I am not an entomologist or a pest control operator. But I do know what bed bugs look like, and I can always confer with the two frozen dead hostages (bed bugs) in my freezer. I use them for workshops I sometimes conduct for Public Health and other private companies.Bed Bug Intercepter Traps
It’s common among sufferers to become hyper-vigilant about seeing bed bugs in your home. It’s also common for people with bed bugs to confuse a flax seed for a bed bug. You will know the difference if you see a bed bug. You will know! But if you need more help you can learn how to identify bed bugs.