Bed Bug Inspection

Bed Bugs may not be readily identified, allowing their numbers to grow over time.

A bed bug infestation is something no one wants. Whether at home or while traveling, vigilance is key to ensuring this unwanted pest and hitchhiker doesn’t claim a place in your life. Bed bugs aren’t like other pests that thrive in squalor; they can easily take hold in the pristine conditions of home, hotel, or other lodging. While infesting a location, they may not be readily identified, allowing their numbers to grow over time.

Bed bugs are small, oval, flat, and wingless pests reach approximately 3/16” (4-5mm) long as an adult. The young (called nymphs) are much smaller at 1/16” (1.6mm) upon hatching and almost colorless with the exception of post-feeding. Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish brown (after feeding) which can serve as camouflage when hiding. In addition to their challenging size, bed bugs are hearty pests. Adults are documented as surviving for over one year without feeding, and nymphs (young bed bugs) are known to survive for months.

Bed bugs want to reside close to where they feed. They don’t have wings, but are agile when it’s time to leave protective surroundings and seek nourishment. Due to their small size and desire for protective, dark hiding places, bed bugs are tough to find. The first places to look for an infestation are mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, and items stored under the bed. A thorough inspection demands dismantling the bed and examining each component. As well, bed bugs often hide within seams, tufts, folds, beading, buttons, and any small recess of bedding and furniture upholstery. In heavier infestations, additional time may be needed during the inspection. Bed bugs can spread away from feeding areas to loose wallpaper, within picture frames, between the glass and frame of a picture, behind the plate of a light switch, and even under carpeting. Adjacent rooms should be inspected. Ensure the laundry room and bathrooms are thoroughly inspected. And surprising place you don’t want to neglect is the luggage and its storage room.

While traveling, guests don’t have the time or ability to do a detailed inspection for bed bugs. Be sure to check the key areas around the bed and look for signs of infestation. In addition, give your luggage and clothing a thorough, detailed check. Bed bugs are skilled hitchhikers and enjoy traveling. Many home infestations start abroad when bed bugs find their way into belongings and are transported back to the host’s domicile. Once an infestation is either suspected or confirmed, contact your pest control provider immediately. Bed bugs will change location if they feel compromised, so try not to disturb their hiding place once found.

The professional has many tools available to help with detection. Some are electronic monitoring devices and some are physical traps which help determine whether an infestation exists and to what extent. Specially trained dogs can also detect bed bugs provided that the bed bugs are alive or that there are viable eggs. The dogs (bed bug detecting canines), are used to zero in on infestation points and are not used in a typical inspection for most companies. They are typically an option for an additional fee if the company offers the use of canines.

Inspectors use a flashlight to examine a mattress for bed bugs.
image of a mattress being inspected