Bed Bugs Help

My Story with Yucky Bed Bugs!

7 Ways to know if you have Bed Bugs

Are you being Hunted by Bed Bugs? Here’s how I found out I was….

Do you remember that saying, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite?” I remember my mom saying that to me when I was a kid and then saying the same thing to my kids at bedtime. In my wildest dreams, I NEVER thought I would be the one actually getting bit by the bed bugs! If you just want to know how I got rid of bed bugs click here.

My Story….

To this day, I still can’t believe it actually happened to us. I was devastated and completely embarrassed. At first I thought the bites were from fleas. I was so angry because all of our animals were treated for fleas each month, including in the winter.

It did not make any sense, but that is all I could figure out. It was disgusting and all I wanted to do was throw the cats and dog outside. Don’t get me wrong, I really love my animals. They have always been spoiled and they were inside animals; however, I just couldn’t stand being around them thinking they had to be the culprits.

It was not long before I realized my animals were being falsely accused. I started seeing dark spots on our mattresses. This totally freaked me out! What was going on? It was not only me that was being bitten, but my husband and children. I felt so powerless and just didn’t know what to do.

Once I saw the dark spots and realized it was not fleas, I started to do some research. That is when I discovered I had bed bugs. How could this be possible? I assumed people that had bed bugs were poor, lived in dirty homes, or lived in run-down neighborhoods. But, there it was. My family was being hunted by bed bugs regardless of the fact that we lived in a good neighborhood and a nice, clean house. This is not to say my house does not get a little messy here and there, but it is to say that it is clean.

Do you have bed bugs?

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs can be seen from the naked eye. An adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed. Therefore, you can see them. Here are 7 ways to help you determine if you have been invaded:

#1 – Check for Bites

This is what you will most likely notice first. However, don’t do what we did and assume they are bites from fleas. Immediately look for the dark spots on your mattresses so you can start the elimination process much sooner.  Read my post on how to get rid of them!

#2 – Check for Dark Spots

Do you see dark spots on your mattress, in the box spring, or in your linens? This totally grossed me out! These dark spots are the waste of bed bugs. They consist of blood, feces, shed skin, eggs, dead bed bugs, etc. Nasty!

#3 – Check for Red Spots

Inspect your bed sheets for blood. This is your blood they are feasting on. Yuck!

#4 – Hunt them before they Hunt you!

They are great at hiding. Make sure to check the mattress seam and the area around the mattress buttons. Use a flashlight to check corners. Check along and behind the headboard. Check where two pieces of wood join. They like to hide here.

#5 – Watch for them at Hunting Time

About an hour before dawn, turn on a flashlight and watch your sheets for movement. This is about the time they like to come out. Don’t get up because they will go back into hiding. The problem is that if you only have a few, they only come out once a week. Therefore, just because you don’t see them does not mean you don’t have them.

#6 – Lay out Double-Sided Carpet Tape

Lay this out in strips around your bed and on the sides of the mattress. Keep it out for a couple of days. Eventually, at least a few will be captured.

#7 – Check Areas around the Bed

Look at nightstands, inside any drawers, alarm clocks, lamps and lampshades, picture frames, and behind hanging pictures. Check the baseboard and electrical sockets, as well as any cracks in the walls. Don’t forget the drapes.

Remember, they are excellent hiders. Trust me on this one. We found them in many different places, but the one that shocked me was finding one behind the frame of my hanging wedding picture. That just made me sick and angry!

We did most of the above. The bites were our first sign; however, we mistook them for fleas. So, I would say the dark spots are what clued us in that something was not right. We tried the double sided tape trick and captured a few. Then we did a thorough search.

Click here to read my post on how I got rid of these pests!

Next Post

I hope these tips help you to determine you DO NOT have bed bugs! Before you start looking, you might want to know what the bed bug looks like and the different types you could come across. My next post will cover this so you know exactly what you are up against!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

26 Responses to “7 Ways to know if you have Bed Bugs”

  • Rachel says:

    I just moved into an old 1977 RV, we live in MT with it’s extreme weather. last night I got bite 13 times by a mystery bug, I still cannot tell if I have them, I have a dark maroon bed sheet unfortunately.Making it impossible to really tell. I have cleaned and cleaned more of the RV before and after my first sleep-in. I haven’t tried the double sided tape that of yet but I will do a more deeper search for them as well. thank you for your advice!

  • Suzanne says:

    A friend just called an told me that they found bed bugs in their child’s bed….my child layed in that bed for about 10 minutes during the day and we came home afterwards. I haven’t seen anything on him, but should I be worried? Is that long enough to catch any?

  • admin says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    Did you follow the 7 steps in here to make sure?

  • Tony says:

    Can you find Black or red spots on your clothes

  • hill, jackie says:

    My friend just purchased a new RV Camper (5th wheel) beautiful…first owner about two weeks ago. He has only slept in it twice and both times woke up with little bites on his body. He think they are spider bites, but another camper mentioned to him they maybe bed bugs. This has him so upset, he loves camping, the outdoors and overly excited about his new “Toy.”

    Last week him and his grandson went camping – his grandson slep out in the other sleeping area and did not have any signs of insect bites. So, it seems like it is only in the bedroom of the RV…

    Could this be bed bugs in his new camper (RV)? Should he take the RV back to the dealer?

  • Josie says:

    I woke up I morning with bites, but I don’t actually know whether they r bites or spots cos I do hav spots. The dark ones r on my back nearer to my neck and the itchy skin colour ones r in different places ie:
    Finger, hand, arms, leg, and occasionally tummy. Pls can someone give me some advise. My mum does say “maybe you have bed bugs”, but she is always laughing when she says that, so she doesn’t sound serious. Btw I can’t use anything like tape cos my mum will notice. Thanks.

  • John says:

    Hi our house has recently got fleas and were trying to get rid of them but every morning only I wake up with bites and I only really see new bites wen I wake up so I am thinking I also have bed bugs and suggestions

  • johna89 says:

    If you have any question what so ever in your mind that you have bedbugs call a PROFESSIONAL ASAP you CANNOT rid these nasty burdens yourself. About 6 months ago I wasbitten and I even found one and killed it. The next day I bought a fogger for bedbugs and fleas. No bites for 6 months until 2 Weeks ago now I’m paying $800 for treatment cuz I didn’t tell my apartments the 1st time. They can live up to 18 months without a host aka YOU. If you travel and stay in hotels ALWAYS check under the matress, behind the headboard as well as shelfs and never place your bags on the floor.

  • Helena says:

    Thank you SOOOO much for consolidating all of this information in one place. I’m very grateful for your research and your willingness to share it. My son and I have been waking up with bites every once in a while, but just recently it became worse so I started research this morning. Although I originally thought they were spider bites, I searched his bed and actually caught a bed bug. It’s the middle of the day and that bugger was just crawling in a seam. It will be a long haul now, to see how far the infestation has gone, but at least I know what they are and have some ideas on how to take care of them. May God bless you for your wisdom and your willingness to share it!

    • admin says:

      Hi Helena,

      You are welcome and I hope you can get rid of them. They are nasty little things. Let us know.

    • Helena says:

      Update: I found the one live bug in the kids room and one dead one in our room. I dumped both of the kids really old mattresses, steam cleaned both rooms and our bed/mattresses. Eventually I called in the bug dogs because I needed peace of mind. They found no traces and doubted that we had them until I showed them the dead one. We’ve been bite free for 3 months now.

  • Cindy Lopez says:

    I too want to THANK YOU for taking the time to make this post! My son has been complaining for a few weeks that ‘something’ has been biting him during the night, but says he never feels the bites, but he has small red marks on his back and arms. Since we live in the country and have cats I assumed at first it was fleas even though we use frontline plus. But when I checked all the cats and they were flea-less I assumed he was getting bitten when he was outside in the early evening and there was just a delay in the bite marks erupting. Now I am going to go through the entire process you outlined since his story is almost identical to yours. Then I’ll be checking the entire house! MANY, MANY THANKS!

  • Before school started I had these extremely irritating bites all over my legs. The first time this happened I did not tell my Mum because I was too embarrised. Over the weeks I keep on getting them and I told her that, and now my brother has the same thing as me she’s not doing anythingabout it and I don’t know what to do, mind you this has been happening for quite a while. Please help.

  • admin says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    You need to read through this blog for advice on what to do. It is all there. If your mom won’t help I suggest talking to a relative? That is a tough spot!

  • bejat says:

    Hello, we went on vacation during theThanksgiving holiday. On the way to our destination, we had to spend a night in a hotel in this little town. That was the only remotely acceptable place, and we were the only people in that hotel. Trying to explain what the place was like.Every time we stay in a hotel,I clean the entire place before we unpack and settle in. Unfortunately, I didn’t think of bed bugs. At our destination, we stayed in a very upscale and clean place, but the top of my feet were itching all night, and I thought they were sunburned. After returning home, I was having the same problem off and on, and last night, my husband asked if I was getting bites in bed because he was, and we looked at each other and said bedbugs at the same time. I’m almost compulsive about cleanliness, all of our bedding and most everything in my house is white. I can’t see any evidence of those disgusting bugs anywhere. As I am writing this, I’m sick to my stomach, and itching all over. Is it possible that they are only bitting the top of my feet, and finally after two months they have started bitting my husband too? This is only happening in our bed. Our children were here for Christmas and nobody has complained. We are having company coming again and I don’t know what to do. If we can’t see anything anywhere, and the itching happens in bed, can it still be bed bugs? Feeling terrible and grossed out.

    • Helena says:

      I found that the $100 for the bed bug dogs was well worth the money. (you can read my experience in the previous comments)

  • Rosie says:

    Can bed bugs be brown with small yellow dotts on them? And hook onto bedding?

  • Anne says:

    I have a cat that sometimes sleeps with me. Can she get them too? She’s 12 and I don’t think she can survive a flea …or bed bug… bath. We received the bed from a little old (but nosey) lady who lives next door. If we have bed bugs, I will just throw the whole thing out. But I could never do that to her. I have a strange skin rash that prevents me from distinguishing bed bug bites from my usual sores and wear a black t-shirt to bed. But I feel small pricks (or maybe something crawling) on my neck and face all night (the pillows and sheets are BRAND new). I already have trouble sleeping. This is making it worse.

  • Thank you for this extremely helpful advice. My parents have bed bugs, do not know where they came from and are having a professional treat their house. Every time I visit their house I seem to get bitten and now I am very concerned that I have bed bugs in my house. We will be checking our house with your 7 ways to know if you have bed bugs! They are disgusting bugs and very hard to eliminate but my parents waited too long to have treatment done but I am not going to fool around with my own house. Thank you for your practical advice!

  • wendy says:

    if im getting bit by something at night on my couch, does that necessarily mean its bed bugs? im freaking out as well and am even moving the hell out. gggrrrooose!

  • I just crawled out of bed a while ago. I saw a really skinny black bug on my pillow. I grabbed a Kleenex and had to really pinch and pinch and pull to get it off. I immediately flushed him. I guess I have been getting bit because I have been finding a little bit of blood. I also have sores on my left arm and shoulder. They bleed because I have been scratching them in my sleep. It is hard to see the spots on my body because I use the heating pad all day long on my back (bad arthritis, fibromyalgia and bad disks) the almost constant heat had make my skin really red all the time. I guess I will assume I have been bitten there as well. I have a steamer I can use on my mattress to see if it will have any effect and will get a fogger some mentioned in above comments. I have a very clean house as well. My sons (24 and 20) call me OCD. Only the 20 yr old lives here so I guess I will have to deal with his room as well.

Leave a Reply

About Me

Hi! My name is Amanda and I created this blog based on my experience with bed bugs (gross). I hope you never ever have to go through what I did but if you do, I hope the information I wrote will help you out. If you wish to comment on your own experience, please do so below the posts.


I really needed help and found it. Visit here for help with treating bed bugs.

This is a great site to check reports on bedbugs for Hotels and Apartments - The Bedbug Registry