Bed bugs may be tiny, but they can do incredible damage as youll see in our massive photo collection! They are excellent at hiding in tiny spaces where they wait for you and your loved ones to fall asleep and attack when youre most vulnerable.
This website is full of images that show you exactly what they look like, what can happen when they attack you in numbers, how to treat bites and most importantly, how to locate and kill these blood suckers yourself using inexpensive all-natural products.
We also have a very popular checklist that will walk you through the process of identifying infestations in hotel rooms. A few simple precautions can help you find these elusive bugs and prevent the nightmare from ever happening in the first place!
We receive a number of complaints about infants being attacked while sleeping as shown in the photo at the top of this page. That poor baby was taken to the doctor, and unlike many doctors, it was correctly determined that the bites were from bed bugs. Note: Many inexperienced doctors misdiagnose such bites.
The mother of the child shown above searched the crib and found the frame was infested with bed bugs (see more pictures of bed bug bites). Rather than do it herself, she called out a professional pest control company to eliminate the infestation. It is believed that the infestation started with baby cloths found at a garage sale.
Bed bug bites tend to have a pattern and this photo shows the perfect example of what they look like. If this were an attack by many bugs or by a few that are not as hungry, the pattern may not be noticeable.
People from around the world bitten by bed bugs have submitted photos for you to view, some are simple bites while other are horrible attacks that not only left physical scarring, but emotional scars as well.
It cant be said with absolute certainty that a bite was caused by a particular bug, but by viewing our collection of images and matching the pattern, it can give you a good start!
Weve got an impressive collection of bed bugs pictures that Im sure youll find very helpful in identifying the bug you found.
Finding bed bugs in your home has nothing to do with poor hygiene! It takes only one bed bug to hitch a ride on your clothing (furniture, suitcase, etc) and infest your residence. Whats worse is that they can live up to one year without drinking a drop of your blood. Feeding takes about 10 to 15 minutes for adults and less for the nymphs; they feed about every three days. Depending on the conditions, bed bug nymphs can survive for months without feeding.
Bed Bugs are insects, more specifically, True Bugs, which have piercing mouthparts that in most species are used for feeding on plants. Unfortunately, there are some species of bugs with mouthparts that have been adapted to feed on human blood while inflicting very little pain (most never feel the blood feeding).
The eggs are white and about 1mm long. The nymphs look like adults but are smaller. Complete development from egg to adult takes from four weeks to several months depending on the temperature and amount of feed available, see the bed bug life cycle chart on your left.
On average, females begins to lay eggs 4 days after mating and produces 260 eggs throughout their year long lifespan; eggs take 7 to 10 days to hatch. On average, bed bugs lay 5 eggs per week with populations reaching into the thousands in only 30 days!
They DO NOT have wings but that doesnt slow them down, they move at 4 feet per minute and usually are within 20 feet of their victim, however, motivated bed bugs may reach up to 60 feet! When hunting for food, they pick up bits of CO2 until they get close to the source, then follow the heat your body gives off.
NOTE: Although bed bugs dont have wings, it doesnt mean they cant fly 🙂 Believe it or not, some bed bugs can enter your home by riding on bats!
The grouping and number of bites shown on Monica earlier is a good sign that an infestation may be close by. A telltale sign would be mold like spots on your mattress. The picture to your right is of a mattress infested with bed bugs which was missed during an inspection! (click to enlarge) Its a great example of what you might see in a hotel room because it shows eggs, shells, feces and the bedbug itself.
Notice the shell that was shed in the left side of the photo and then again below and to the right? They are very hard to spot, as are the fecal stains (black mold like dots). These are just some of the signs youll look for when trying spot an infestation.
I should also mention that the visitor who submitted this image (her name is V) had an inspection and this slipped through. She left comments complaining of bites and couldnt find any sign of bugs, but we worked with her and through patience and determination, she was able to spot the source of the infestation, performed her own treatment and is now bed bug free!
So how do you know if you have an infestation? Its easy, and we created a bed bug checklist to help you find them in your home it works great for a hotel room as well 🙂
My page on how to get rid of bed bugs will walk you through the extermination process step-by-step, but in general, youll do a lot of cleaning and then apply the mixtures I provide on that page and apply it everywhere bugs might hide.
Uninterrupted, a bed bug can fill up in little as 5 minutes and do this about once every 6 days.
If youre going to be your own exterminator, then youll find everything you need to be successful right here on this site; however, you should be aware of things that can make matters worse often, uneducated landlords will suggest some of these items! Ill list them below:
The first thing you should do is make sure your hotel is bed bug free!
Understand that ANY hotel, 5 star or not, can get bed bugs so check for signs BEFORE you spend the night regardless of how clean it looks! Ive got an entire checklist at the top of this page that will show you where to look in detail this is extremely important!
A few ways to prevent bed bugs from getting into your home after youve used our checklist above include:
Why isnt the Government doing more to prevent infestations? Actually, they are and according to the EPA on bed bugs and infestations, have awarded more than half a million dollars to universities and agencies in hopes a way to eliminate these bugs once and for all will be discovered.
They have also created the Inter-agency Bed Bug Task Force that includes the CDC, Department of Health, USDA, Housing and of course, the EPA which created an entire site dedicated to educating people about bed bugs; however, they are limited on DIY information and lean toward hiring professional exterminators.
Bedbugs do damage, not only to the body from attacks, but also in the form of mental fatigue. Living with an infestation for too long may cause a paranoia that leads the victim into believing they are being bitten when in fact, they are not.
The Cost of Extermination There are thousands of comments on this site and many complain of outrageous costs, some of up to $5,000 for serious home infestations. The average fee reported by visitors for heat treatment is around $1,800 per visit and often, there are no guarantees.
Weve also had an incredible number of complaints where pest control companies took the victims cash and left the bed bugs; when the victim complained, they were told the bed bugs where killed but that the home owner must have brought bugs back into the home.
There are other methods of professional bed bug treatment which we cover in detail, but the most important point when hiring a professional is to make sure they are certified with specialized training on killing bed bugs!
If an exterminator tells you they can remove an infestation in one visit then keep looking. It takes at the very least two visits to make sure the treatment worked.
Below is just one of the many stories visitors have shared about being covered in bites after a deep sleep. In this case, an embarrassed mother who has been fighting bedbugs took the time to share only asking that we change her name to Restless, this is her story:
I Never knew anything about bedbugs until now. They have truly ruined my life. I cant have friends or family over and I cant sleep anymore. I live in a building that consists of 16 units. I discovered the problem a couple of weeks ago.
I woke up itching very bad and saw five bugs in my bed. I looked the bug up online and found out what it was. I started crying and didnt know what to do. I went to the hardware and bought bedbug sprays and also set off bedbug bombs. My daughter came to me crying because her face was swollen from a bite. I flipped over her box spring and tore the fabric off the bottom, there I found the problem. Bedbugs nesting and sleeping. I threw up from the sight of it. I continued to do the same for all the beds in the house, found the exact same thing. Then it was on to the couches. The bugs lie dormant in the wood of the couches. I immediately discarded everything in my apartment. Did my research and found out that I had to contact my landlord. He sent an inspector out the very next day. The inspector told me to bag up everything in plastic bags real tight and throw out old books and paper that I didnt need and said I needed three treatments and he said he would be back on Monday.
While standing in the neighborhood store I overheard neighbors saying that all of the landlords other buildings were infested with bedbugs as well. Why didnt the landlord treat all of the units just in case to avoid the spread of bedbugs? In my opinion, I think that the maintenance workers were transporting the bugs, seeing how the people with the bugs live in different buildings, and have never stepped a foot inside any of the other units. My landlord was careless not to inform all of his tenants about the infestations.
I have nothing now. Everything I own has gone to the garbage. I only had the furniture for one year and a half. I spent thousands of dollars on my furniture, and Im not working now and cant afford to replace anything. I really feel helpless with no-one to trust. Im going crazy. Im so sick of living out of plastic bags. I dont know what to do anymore. The third treatment was completed 2 days ago and this morning I found a bedbug on my sheet.
Its been awhile since then, and Ive learned there is no short cut! My advise to those reading this is, do not use sprays! Many act as a repellent and can cause bed bugs to travel to other areas not being treated. If you want to get rid of bed bugs, then you need to use DE and follow the instructions on this website. It will take time but in the end, its the only DIY method that works.
Want to read more? A LOT of people have shared their experience with bed bug bites!
A ton of people ask me that question and Im happy to help you determine if you have one of these little blood suckers, just use this form to upload your pictures of the suspected bed bug and/or bite.
Do It Yourself Pest Control Youll find great information on how to identify kill these bugs yourself and prevent another infestation. In fact, youll find a large number of success stories by people who took the time to do it right; however, if you have a big infestation but dont have the time and patience to treat it properly, then paying for a professional exterminator may be a better than doing it wrong and causing them to spread. You CAN do it yourself, but there is no quick fix. (unless your like some of the lucky visitors to this site that happened to find and kill the bug before it could multiply).
Not sure where to start? Then read our page on pest control / bed bug treatment or jump right to the bed bug dust solution and see comments left by visitors that now enjoy a bug free life.
Perhaps you can help identify the bug bite left by a visitor, know of pest control method not mentioned, or have a story to share? If so, please leave a comment and help out. Bedbug infestation is a frightening experience and knowing that others have been down the same road can really help, so please comment whenever possible.
Looking for Consumer information on getting rid of bed bugs? The FTC has a nice page on battling these blood suckers; most of it is centered around using pesticides and providing a list of products approved by the EPA.
Take a look around and enjoy the site!