Bed Bug Identification

We receive many calls from people that think they are getting bites, but are not sure if they have bed bugs or not. Bites on their own can be a poor indicator – everyone reacts differently to bites. Some people don’t react at all and others have severe allergic reactions. Some people show bites in clusters, and other people show bites that are spaced out. 

The only way to tell for sure is to find the bugs or the evidence they leave behind. Bed bugs are usually found first in the folds of the mattress seams, the underside of the box spring or in the plastic corner pieces, the bedframe, and furniture nearby the bed.  They can also be found on couches or chairs if you sleep on them or spend long periods of time there. If no bugs or evidence is found in any of these areas, an infestation is unlikely unless it is extremely recent. Look first for bugs in these areas – an adult bed bug is about the size and shape of a lentil. They are usually brown or tan in colour, but can be dark red after feeding. Young bed bugs can be much smaller and nearly translucent. They are yellowish in colour but can be bright red after feeding. If you don’t find bugs, look for evidence in the same areas:

Droppings – Bed bug excrement is dark reddish-brown to black. It kind of looks like coffee grounds or like someone took a fine felt tip marker and have spotted up the edges of the mattress or bedframe. Droppings are most visible on light surfaces such as white mattresses or wooden bed frames.

Casings – Bed bugs shed their skin as they grow. You can find these yellowish skin casings in most established infestations.

Eggs – Bed bug eggs are quite tiny, but are visible to the naked eye. They are most visible on dark surfaces, such as a dark bed frames or underside of the boxspring.


If you have been getting bites for more than 2 weeks, you should be able to see some sort of evidence if you do have a bed bug infestation. If you are still unsure, you can have an X-Terminator come in to look for you. Call us at 604-639-5268 to book an appointment. We have seen thousands of infestations and can spot them quite quickly if you have them. If you have found a bug but aren’t sure if it’s a bed bug, send us a picture so we can ID it for you.