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Bed Bugs

Can Exterminators Find Bed Bugs? Do You Have Bed Bugs

Can exterminators find bed bugs? Exterminators are trained to find pests like bed bugs living in your home. They use a few methods to locate these pests. Exterminators may use any of the following methods to determine whether or not you have bed bugs:

Visual bed bug inspection
Bed bug detection devices
Bed bug attractants
Canine scent detection

How Exterminators Find Bed Bugs

One of the most disturbing things about having pesky critters in your house is that you may know that they are there, but you never see them. When it comes to bed bugs, you can see traces of bed bugs inhabiting your home; you may wake up with bites or find feces in your bed; however, catching a glimpse of one of these nuisances is rare. Luckily, exterminators have methods they use to find bed bugs and rid them from your house.

Can exterminators find bed bugs? Exterminators are trained to find pests like bed bugs living in your home. They use a few methods to locate these pests. Exterminators may use any of the following methods to determine whether or not you have bed bugs:

  • Visual bed bug inspection
  • Bed bug detection devices
  • Bed bug attractants
  • Canine scent detection


Bed bugs are masters of disguise; they can fit into tiny and narrow cracks that you didn’t know were possible to fit through. They will only come out at night, so you’ll never see them because you’ll be sleeping. Hiring a trained exterminator to come out and see whether or not bed bugs are living in your home can help you treat the problem quickly before the bed bugs have time to reproduce. Keep reading to learn more about how your exterminator will find bed bugs.

Bed bug being detected

Finding Bed Bugs Through Visual Inspection

Like termites, (click here to read about killing termites naturally) bed bugs tend to leave behind visual signs of their presence. While it can be hard to catch a glimpse of one of these critters, they do leave behind signs of their presence. The first thing an exterminator will do when inspecting for bed bugs is that they’ll do a visual inspection of your home. To do this, the exterminator may use a magnifying tool or a special UV light to see signs of bed bugs.

If you believe one area of your house is infested, it’s important to get the entire house checked by your exterminator. Bed bugs are small and can spread quickly across an area. Just because there aren’t signs that there is a bed bug somewhere doesn’t mean that there isn’t a presence. Keep reading to learn about some visual signs your exterminator will look for when inspecting for bed bugs.

Can you use a black light to find bed bug?

Yes, you can use a black light to find bed bugs trails. Bed bugs leave a trail of waste and blood. If you have bed bug trails you have bed bugs. When looking for bed bug trails with a black light turn it on and check the seams of your mattress. This is typically where they will be. As you shine the black light across the seam you will see a glowing trail. As you remove the sheets, if you have bed bugs, you will find trails on the mattress. A Black light is nothing but UVA light, while UV light is basically composed out of UVA, UVB and UVC. If you use a UV light you can also see the trails. There are a variety of options out there to help you detect bed bugs.

uv light for bed bugsproduct pricing

Blood Spots on Your Bed

The most active time for bed bugs is at night as you sleep in your bed. As parasites, these bugs will come out once you’re asleep to bite you and feast. This tends to leave small blood spots on your sheets or your mattress. These spots can look rusty in color and be so small that, at first, you don’t notice them. The exterminator may use a magnifying tool to better check the sheets on your bed or even your mattress.

Bed bugs are so small that they can bed down in your mattress and never be seen. The exterminator may ask that you remove the sheets on the bed so that they can review the mattress for blood spots and other signs of bed bugs.

Feces and Exoskeletons in Your Sheets

Other signs of bed bugs that can be found in bed sheets are feces and exoskeletons. Like any living thing, bed bugs have to remove waste from their bodies, which can end up as feces all over your bed. Bed bugs will also molt and shed their skin, so their molted exoskeleton can be more evidence of their presence.

The exterminator will look over your bed and upholstery to see if any of these signs are evident. If you ever see tiny dark ovals in your sheets, that can be the bed bug’s molted skin. This is one of the most noticeable signs of bed bug presence, and the exterminator will be sure to keep his eyes open for these things.

Musty Smell

Bed bugs secrete a very specific smell due to the glands they have in their body. If your bed, room, or closet has a musty smell, this could be a sign of a bed bug infestation. Exterminators will be able to define this smell and determine whether or not it’s coming from bed bugs.

Itchy Bite Marks

If you’ve gone to sleep to awake with itchy bite marks all over you, then you may have a bed bug problem. Bed bug bites can be red and itchy, and you’ll usually have more than just one on your body. If you notice a cluster of bite marks or marks that are in a general area, like your leg or arm, then you may have bed bugs.

Many exterminators can look at the bite marks you have and be able to tell whether or not they come from bed bugs. If this is something you’ve experienced, be sure to show the bite to the exterminator when they do the visual inspection.

Can you find bed bugs using detection devices?

If your exterminator finds clear visual signs of a bed bug problem, they may go ahead and treat your home. If they don’t find clear signs or if they treated your home and just want to make sure the bed bugs stay away, they’ll put down detection devices.

Another way your inspector can find bed bugs is by using detection devices. Your exterminator can find bed bugs using a detection device. These devices may look like a tray or a bowl, and they can be placed in the areas of your home that the bed bugs most likely inhabit. One of these devices may be placed under the feet of your bed while another may be placed close to a crack in the wall or even in your closet.

The device will be placed in such a way that the bed bug will have to crawl over the device to get to their destination. In doing so, they’ll become trapped in the device. These detection devices can help prove the presence of bed bugs, which the exterminator will then treat to rid them from your home.

Can you find bed bugs during the day?

An exterminator can find bed bugs during the day by using attractants. Attractants are another method an exterminator may use to first lure the bed bugs out of their hiding places and then trap them in a device. An attractant is exactly what it sounds like, something that bed bugs are naturally attracted to that will make them crawl out of the cracks and crevices of your home.

Bed bugs are naturally attracted to heat and carbon dioxide. By following these two things, bed bugs can find their hosts; humans breathe out carbon dioxide and their bodies naturally produce heat. Your exterminator will use a device that produces both carbon dioxide that will draw the bed bugs out even during the day.

Finding Bed Bugs By Canine Scent Detection

One less popular method used by exterminators to find bed bugs is canine scent detection. A dog will be used to recognize the scent of the bed bugs and whether or not there is a presence in your home. Dogs have an incredible smell and can notice things in the air that humans cannot. While this isn’t a method widely used, it can be incredibly effective.

Can bed bugs survive extermination?

Yes, some bed bugs can survive an initial extermination treatment. That’s why it’s important to use an exterminator that will return to finish off any stragglers. When your exterminator uses a pesticide spray it will kill bed bugs on contact or within minutes of being sprayed. It will take time for all of the bed bugs to die and can take weeks. It also may take multiple treatments to fully kill the bed bugs. Even in the most comprehensive applications some bed bugs can avoid the treatment and survive. The eggs can also be in places that are untouched with the treatment and can survive for 20-30 days. It’s important to choose and exterminator that will return to remedy the problem for the bed bugs that do survive the initial pesticide treatment.

Can bed bugs survive in water?

Yes, bed bugs can float on water and have been known to survive in a sink or bucket of water. They are very light and flat and will float on the top of the water. It is possible to drown them if they are forced under the water and don’t have access to air for a significant amount of time. If the bed bug is full after a big meal it is possible that it could drown due to not being as flat and going under the water.

An increase in the temperature could kill the bed bugs. Hot water will effect the vital functions of the bed bug and cause them to die. Bed bugs are most likely to die if the temperature of the water is above 120 degrees Fahrenheit for over 20 minutes. Typically if you wash something with bed bugs on the hottest setting for an extend period of time it is likely that you will kill the bed bugs and their eggs.

bed bugs in waterWhy is it important to find the bed bug infestation as soon as possible?

Are you debating whether or not you should call an exterminator? You think you may have bed bugs but you’re unsure since you haven’t seen any. Yes, you get paranoid at night when you’re trying to sleep. If you think you may have a bed bug problem, it’s important to contact an exterminator as soon as possible.

One reason you should call your exterminator as soon as you can is that bed bugs go through life cycles very quickly. This means that in just a few short months, bed bugs can make their home, reproduce, and grow to repeat the process. Before you know it, you’ll be dealing with an infestation!

Bed bugs are notoriously tedious to get rid of. You have to bag up all your belongings and wash anything made up of fabric. It can be a pretty miserable process, all on top of the disturbing fact that bugs are living in your home.

If you call the exterminator as soon as you start noticing a problem, they may be able to catch it before it becomes a full-fledged infestation.

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.