How to tell if you have bed bugs

In 2005 when we started to focus on bedbugs there was a significant lack of quality information and standards in the world. As the problem grew it became apparent that all sorts of “get rich quick schemes” and “rogue traders” were appearing.

To stop some of these cowboys appearing legitimate through their domain names we decided to register a significant number to keep them in safe and ethical hands.

Despite being offered sizable sums of money over the years few people meet our strict ethical criteria to be able to use them. In the meantime, some of them are used as this one is, to point to important information about bedbugs to help educate and avoid costly mistakes.

How can you tell if you have bedbugs?

Although most people focus on bites and assume the myths such as the ones below, it is not an accurate and reliable way to diagnose:

  • Bedbug bites always itch
  • They always occur in rows of three
  • You can tell that a bite is from a bedbug based on its appearance

To confirm bedbugs you MUST find one of the following three signs:

  • Live samples
  • Cast skins
  • Faecal traces

The only reliable ways to do this are:

  • Inspection by someone familiar with the signs of bedbugs with faecal traces confirmed with Bed Bug Blue faecal trace confirmation kit – this most reliably means a qualified pest controller who should be selected based on experience of dealing with bedbugs.
  • Inspection with a K9 scent detection until with the “scent alert” confirmed with visual confirmation as above – if they K9 handler does not offer confirmation they are not considered reliable or professional.
  • Monitoring using a reliable technology – sadly glue based devices have an extremely low efficiency with regards bedbugs with barrier tapes being regarded as completely useless.

The most cost effective way that we know to reliably work out if you have bedbugs is to use the Passive Monitoring technology that we have developed which is available as The PackTite Passive Monitor and BedBugMonitors.com (our own branding). If you follow this simple procedure below you can confirm if you have bedbugs in as short as one day from installation:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the visual signs of bedbugs using the image galleries online.
  2. Using a vacuum cleaner and sticky tape inspect and clean your sleeping and seating areas, capturing anything you are concerned about onto the tape. Remember to clean your vacuum cleaner afterward.
  3. Remove any tapes and isolation devices from your beds and seating areas (they may delay the results and may add the to the dispersal of an issue if it is present).
  4. Install the Passive Monitor as per the instructions.
  5. Keep a daily log of skin reactions and any signs on the Passive Monitor.
  1. If you do find signs of bedbugs on the Passive Monitor and the level of activity if low consult our Treatment by Passive Monitor Replacement protocol for the best self-treatment option or consult a qualified and insured pest management professional if the activity is medium to advanced.

Through regular home inspection and monitoring you can ensure that you can live life as normally possible without the fear of bedbugs coming out of the walls or lurking on street corners. We always advise that you check a location when you stay away overnight as avoidance and early detections are the most powerful tools in fighting bedbugs.

David Cain
Founder
Bed Bugs Limited

To ensure full disclosure I openly declare that I am both the author of this article and the patent holder of multiple patents covering Passive Monitoring of bedbugs.