Every year it seems we hear more and more horror stories about the spread of bed bugs as these critters multiply in urban centres.

So how do you get a leg up on these nefarious pests?

Let’s look at 5 things you can do to determine if you have a bed bug problem:

1. Check the online registries. The Bed Bug Registry of Vancouver will tell you where the problem spots are in the city. Or try the Bed Bug Pest Control site. These registries will let you know if your street or apartment block has already made the news.

2. The “good” news. Bed bugs don’t carry diseases like other insects, so they are considered a nuisance rather than a health hazard. Contrary to popular opinion, they are not a sign of dirtiness—they can live in immaculate homes, hotels and cruise ships, as well as student dorms and hostels. But they do bite, and that is one of the first signs of a bed bug problem. The bites can resemble those of a mosquito, but can also look like a rash or hives. People react to them in different ways—in fact, some have no reaction at all! But if you wake in the morning scratching at bites you swear weren’t there when you went to bed, you could have a bed bug infestation.

3. Get out the magnifying glass. Bed bugs are tiny, dark oval insects, and very flat. In other words, anyplace you can insert the corner of a credit card is a place a bed bug can hide. Start with your mattress and box spring. Look under the fitted sheet. During the day bed bugs love to hide along piping, seams and tags. They can also be found under the plastic box spring corner guards. Flip the box spring over and examine the area where the dust cover is stapled to the frame. Minutely examine the bed posts and cracks and joints in the bed frame.

4. Look for secondary signs. If you don’t find a living specimen you might be able to see the secondary signs. Tiny black or dark red spots that don’t flake off but smear when you wipe them with a moist rag could be their fecal matter. You might also find rust-coloured spots on sheets and mattresses where bed bugs were crushed, or tiny eggs and eggshells (about 1mm across). Other clues include tiny, pale yellow skins left behind as nymphs shed their exoskeletons.

5. When all else fails. Bed bug interception devices have proven to be excellent detectors of low-level infestations that might otherwise escape detection. They are small, specially-designed cup-like devices that are placed around beds and trap bed bugs as they approach during the night. You might feel a little queasy knowing you are serving as bait in this little experiment, but it is one of the most effective ways to determine once and for all if you have bed bugs in your home. Interception devices are available online or in department stores.

For more information, read our Bed Bug FAQ to get answers to 8 common questions about bed bugs.

If you have any doubts about bed bugs, or you have found signs of them in your home, call Pest Detective for bed bug extermination in Vancouver. We have nearly 30 years of pest removal experience in BC and we are your bed bug exterminator in Vancouver.

At Pest Detective we pride ourselves on our safety-first approach to pest control in Vancouver. Regardless of the pest extermination you require, we can do it—safely and ecologically.

Contact us for bed bug extermination in Vancouver.