Asking yourself “Do I have bed bugs?” is the first place to start if you suspect bed bugs. They will typically begin living on or very near the bed, and spread out as the population increases. Finding proof is necessary before treatment can be scheduled. You can inspect yourself, hire a pest company or use a bed bug sniffing dog.
If you think you have bed bugs you will need to either hire a pest company to inspect your home or workplace, or try to inspect on your own. Most competent pest professionals will not treat your home without a specimen or convincing evidence that bed bugs are in your home. If you can capture one, dead or alive, put it in a sandwich bag in the freezer.
Thinking about doing it yourself?
Before doing your own bed bug inspection it is very important that you not move furniture, boxes, or other items around your home. Inspect at the object and use a flashlight if needed. It is very likely that if you do have bed bugs, moving things will sprinkle bed bugs around your home, making the infestation worse. Part of an effective treatment is knowing where bed bugs are.
If you decide to inspect your own home, start at the bed. It’s closest to the source of food, you. Things you will need to inspect for bed bugs are; a flashlight, a magnifier, and a spray bottle of 90% or better rubbing alcohol to kill anything you do find. We’ve added an excellent detailed video at the bottom of the page that shows you how to inspect and what to look for.
Note: this will not kill eggs, which are the approximate size of a grain of salt. The magnifier will help identify that which is too small to see with your eyes. The sooner you determine you have bed bugs, the easier and faster it will be to get rid of them, because there will be fewer of them.
Inspect the entire bed, headboard, including screws, screw holes, mattress piping, tags, under the box spring (one of their favorite places to live and breed) and inside the pillow case. You are looking for either bed bugs, bed bug poop (looks like black felt tip marker spots), little bloody spots, or castings from molting (graduating) bed bugs.
If you do find bed bugs, kill them by spraying them with 90% rubbing alcohol.
Put the bug(s) in a ziplock bag in your freezer to show the pest company or public health office, that you do indeed have bed bugs.
You can also wait until after their inspection to see if the PCO (Pest Control Operator) can find them. If you have found them and they can’t, you might want to give that some weight in selecting your pest company.
By trapping any bugs that climb into the talc covered cups before they reach the mattress, you will know what’s crawliing around your house.