If you have bites, or have any other reason to suspect that your home may have bed bugs, the first place you should inspect is your bedroom. Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted into the air as we breathe. Bed bugs often feed on humans at night when they are staying stationary because bed bugs require approximately five to ten minutes to engorge themselves with blood. Because of this, the most common place to find a bed bug is in the bedroom.
The first place to inspect should be the bed. Start by carefully removing the sheet and mattress pad. This will allow you to inspect the four corners of the mattress and don’t forget about the box spring, a favorite hiding spot due to its many cracks and crevices for bed bugs. You may find actual bed bugs, or more likely, you will find evidence of bed bugs. Evidence of bed bugs includes their molted skins, white sticky eggs, or empty eggshells. Finding small red to reddish brown fecal spots (often described as looking like sprinkled pepper) on mattresses, upholstery, or even the walls near your bed, may be a sign that you have bed bugs. Another sign of bed bugs is finding small blood stains or crushed bed bugs or remnants of bed bugs in the sheets, on the mattress or in the folds of the mattress. In a very heavily infested area you may be able to smell a characteristically sweet odor from the infestation.
Although bed bugs are most commonly found on mattresses, bed bugs are opportunists and will therefore go to any room in which they can find a host. Bed bugs prefer to feed at night, but they will bite their host during the day as well. They prefer to feed on humans but will feed on other warm-blooded animals if necessary. Because of those reasons, you should inspect other areas of your home besides just your bedroom such as living rooms near couches and seating areas, pet areas and even closets.