How to check for bed bugs?

However, finding them isn’t the hardest part of the war against bed bugs, it’s still a very important step to check for bed bugs. Because you want to be sure before you start a treatment. So, how to check for bed bugs easily and precisely?

15 steps to check for bed bugs

As any process, checking for bed bugs will need a plan too. We explained this plan step by step for making it more understandable.

Checking for bed bugs will have some goals and ways to achieve those goals. Here are those goals of a search of bed bugs:

  • Finding red stains on clothes or mattresses
  • Finding bed bug eggs
  • Seeing bedbugs itself with naked eyes

Those goals above are actually strong or certain evidences of bed bug existence. When you get those signs, then it means you have bed bugs.

Here are 15 steps that you must follow to get those 3 evidences above and do your work in safe:

  • Wear your gloves
  • Get your flashlight
  • Remove the sheets and check under
  • Search carefully mattress and bed frame
  • Check between and under furniture
  • Move your furniture
  • Check your curtains
  • Check under the desks and chairs
  • Look behind the electrical sockets
  • Search toys
  • Lift up rugs
  • Look behind torn wall papers
  • Search laundry basket
  • Look inside old books
  • Look at the drawer joint

Where to look for bed bugs?

The answer of this question is above. Maybe you can ask another question right now: Should I really check so much points for bed bugs?

Yes, you should! Because bed bugs can be hiding anywhere in your house and checking for bed bugs mean looking for them in their possible hosts.

So, for making a good search for bed bugs, you must be very patient and know that this will take a long time. This process will also be tiring for you. Let’s look at the steps one by one.

Check for bed bugs step by step

gloves for bed bugs

Step 1: Wear you gloves

You must wear gloves before starting to check for bed bugs, because you will touch almost anywhere in your house and these places will usually be dirty.

You can also contact with bed bugs while searching them and I’m sure you do not want to touch them with naked hands. Glove is very important and you shouldn’t miss this step.

Glove can protect your hands from being bitten by bed bugs and the it will protect you from contacting with blood of bed bugs.

how to check for bedbugs with a flashlight?

Step 2: Have a flashlight

Even if you check for bed bugs in daytime, you will still need light; because most of those points that you will check will be dark like holes, cracks or under furniture.

A small and strong flashlight will be very helpful to find bed bugs or see their signs with naked eyes.

Check sheet for bed bugs

Step 3: Remove sheets

Every bed has a sheet above the mattress and that closed area between the sheet and mattress is a good hidden option for bed bugs.

So, you must remove all sheets on the mattresses and check them carefully if there are any bed bug signs there.

Remove the bedspread and shake it carefully. Then pull off the mattress protector and sheet. Go slowly so bed bugs don’t spread around the room. So you can see any signs of bed bugs if they are there.

bed bugs in the mattress

Step 4: Search bed frame

After you remove sheets, you must now search mattress and bed frame. Every single corner of bed frame must be searched.

Bed bugs like to be close to their food sources. How close they become to you, so less they will be figured out by you. Because they don’t need to walk around to feed on you. They just move on your bed and suck you, then turn to their hosts easily and quickly.

Pull your bed away from the wall. Flip the mattress over. You can see bed bugs crawling at this time. Then lift the mattress up so you can search the bed frame.

how to check bed bugs in furniture

Step 5: Check furniture

I know you have a lot of furniture in your home and you wonder if you have to check them all or not! Yes, you have to check every single furniture at home without missing even one of them.

You must check under or between furniture, look behind them, search invisible parts of them like those on the wall side.

Search recliner and chairs. Look carefully to the folds between cushions and remove those large cushions so you see the furniture’s frame.

bed bugs in furniture

Step 6: Move your furniture

Even if you can’t see anything by checking your furniture, you must still move them. Especially those furniture which are very low on the floor will not allow you to see under them.

So, you must move your furniture from somewhere to another and control underneath. Push large furniture like bed or couch to the middle of the room. After that, get down to the floor and use a credit card to make a search along the baseboards. Bed bugs can hide into the space between the baseboards and walls so the credit card will help find them.

bed bugs on curtain

 Step 7: Don’t forget curtains

Curtains are not on the floor or attached to walls, but they are still near to floor and walls. Even it’s very hard for bed bugs to live on curtains, you can find some evidences on them.

Bed bugs can leave signs like red stains and eggs or you can find any bed bug while just hiding there for any reason.

Open the curtains completely, then you can look into the folds where they may keep hiding.

bed bugs on desk and chairs

Step 8: Check desk and chair leg

Those legs of chairs and desks which are attached to the floor may become an ideal host for bed bugs. Especially if there are any cracks or spaces between the leg and the floor, bed bugs can prefer to hide there.

You can also turn the drawers upside down and look under them. Then crouch down and open the flashlight at the bottom of the desk or table.

bed bugs in electric sockets

Step 9: Check the electric sockets

Electric sockets on the wall are maybe not so stable as you think they are. There can be spaces between the socket and the wall where bed bugs move in and out easily.

Just check all electrical sockets on your wall carefully and try to find if there are any spaces behind them.

Remove electrical covers and look behind of sockets. You must also check inside wall-mounted lamps. Remember that if you find bed bugs behind a socket, then they may be travelling among the electrical system so, you must check all electrical sockets very carefully.

Warning: Do not forget to shut down the electrical system completely before doing this step!

bed bugs in toys

Step 10: Check toys

I know it’s difficult to have bed bugs inside something that your kids play with regularly. But some toys just stay there behind the others and kids forget or leave playing with them.

A toy which doesn’t move for a long time and stays in a place away from people’s eyes can be a good option to hide for bed bugs.

You must check all toys in your house one by one and make sure that there aren’t any bed bugs inside or around them.

bed bugs under rugs

Step 11: Lift up rugs

However, most women keep cleaning their rugs regularly, they usually forget to check under them. If checking underneath of rugs and carpets is forgotten for a long time, there can live some bugs.

You must lift your rugs up and check what lives under them. If there are tears on the floor carpet, feel free to unpick it and look under.

If your rug is covering a wooden floor, control the tiny spaces between the floor for finding bed bugs.

bed bugs behind wall papers

Step 12: Torn wall papers

Normally, not only bed bugs but also any bug can move behind the wallpaper unless it’s torn. If you see a crack or torn piece on your wallpaper or wall, you must check to see what lies behind it.

Because if bed bugs can enter behind the wallpaper, then there will be an ideal place for bed bugs to keep away from your eyes.

You must also remove any pictures or mirrors and search behind them. Bed bugs can live in behind of mirrors or pictures.

bed bugs in laundry basket

Step 13: İnside the laundry basket

Laundries do not stay for a long time in a basket, because they will go to the laundry machine soon. But in some cases, for any reason, laundries in the basket can stay there for a long time. I suggest you take a look at it to not miss anything.

bed bugs in old books

Step 14: Check old books

One of the most common ways to carry bed bugs is second hand staff. Old book that you bought from a second-hand store can be the source of bed bugs.

So, you shouldn’t forget to search inside of old books or even every single book in your house.

bed bugs in drawer joints

Step 15: Don’t miss drawer joints

Sometimes bed bugs can hide very well and maybe you can’t see them inside your drawings. But you must also check drawer joints; because even if you can’t find bed bugs there, you can still find any signs of bed bugs.

Where can bed bugs live?

Additionally, bed bugs can be anywhere in your house. Bed bugs usually host anywhere within eight feet of their feeding point. That means that they could be hosting just in anywhere in your house. The most common places are those that you can’t see or disturb them often, like the corners of bookshelves, behind pictures, in your closet, or around bedside furniture. The more crowded or your home is, the more places bed bugs will have to keep hiding.

What is the first sign of bed bugs?

In this post, you can find how to check for bed bugs in your house. But the question is that what makes you start a search for them or what is the first sign of bed bugs?

Actually, there will be no first sign. Because signs of bed bugs are similar to other bugs’ signs just like very small eggs around or red spots around.

But it must the time to start a search when you find them together. You can also have no sign around but only being bitten, then this will be a very best reason to check for bed bugs.

How soon will you know if you have bed bugs?

There is not a certain time for this. In some cases, this happens in just the beginning of their visit. Unfortunately, some people realize a bed bug infestation only when they have it.

Consequently, if you’re lucky, you can see a bed  bug walking around by your eyes or you get bitten rapidly so, you an start a detailed search for bed bugs.


If you ask this question “How to check for bed bugs?”, then there are two odds: You have bed bugs or you may have them.

Whatever happens, you must check for bed bugs in every single corner of your house. Because bed bugs can hide very well and once you find them, you’ll probably find them all together with their eggs which will make it easier to get rid of them.

Bed bugs love to live in lots and they like to be close to their feeding sources. They also don’t want to be disturbed often so, you must lift every furniture and look inside every crack or hole while you’re checking for bed bugs.

Finding bed bugs isn’t easy but it’s not something impossible. You must be very patient, systematic and have a good plan for it. Prepare a to-do list which contains all points you have to check and search all those points very carefully.

If you have enough budget for it, my final advice for you is to hire a professional pest control company. Because they will have an experience of hundreds of cases and they will make this search better for you.

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