How To Spot Bed Bug Poop

looking for bed bugs

Bed bugs feed every five to 10 days. In some situations, you may not notice bed bug bites right away, but you may notice a few drops of bed bug poop in and around your bed. Finding bed bug feces can also help indicate where they’re hiding in your mattress. Identifying bed bug poop is easy once you know what to look for.

Also Read: What’s The Difference Between a Bed Bug vs Flea Bite

What Bed Bug Poop Looks Like

Bed bugs need blood to survive. If you’ve found some blood in your bed, it’s likely that bed bug poop is very close by. Droppings are often far too small to be picked up by hand, instead, they will generally leave stains on your sheets. Bed bug poop generally looks the same every time. Here are some things to look out for.

  • Shape: Stains look like a small stain from a ballpoint pen. They will either be small and circular or leave a small streak. Bed bugs have a slight drag in their bodies when they walk, which is where the streaky look comes from.
  • Color: Dark rusty red to blackish brown. Bed bug poop stains are generally much darker than just a normal blood stain or a stain from another pest, such as a flea.
  • Size: As mentioned earlier, the size will generally be the same as a ballpoint pen. Droppings will literally look like dark crumbs on your sheets if they’re solid enough. However, bed bug poop absorbs very quickly, so it’s rare you’ll find solid feces in your sheets.
  • Smell: Bed bugs are notorious for leaving a musty sweet odor. This is because their poop releases a hormone called histamine. Even after eliminating an infestation, you may still smell leftover histamine in your home.
  • Consistency: bed bug poop is more liquid than other pests. We don’t recommend picking up the fecal matter, but it should feel like a paste-like consistency.    

The easiest way to confirm if what you found is bed bug poop is to dab the fecal matter with a wet cloth. If the fecal matter is from a bed bug, the stain should smudge and the stain will turn red on the wet cloth. The red color comes from digested blood. 

Where To Find Bed Bug Poop

After you’ve identified that your droppings are from bed bugs, it’s time to see where else the bed bugs are hiding. If you find feces, bed bugs are generally very close by. This can help you find their favorite hiding spots, effectively allowing you to eliminate them sooner.

You can find bed bug poop just about anywhere. The most common places to look are bed sheets, pillowcases, cushions, throw pillows, baseboards, and even electrical outlets. 

On harder and non-absorbent surfaces, the feces should harden and dry. However, on sheets, pillowcases, and cushions, the fecal matter will generally be absorbed into the fabric. 

Be sure to take as many pictures of evidence as possible. This will help an expert identify how bad your infestation is and find other unexpected places they may be hiding. 

Also Read: Detecting The Early Signs of Bed Bugs

How To Get Rid of Bed Bug Stains

Throwing your sheets into a regular wash cycle should kill most of your bed bugs. Use the hottest setting on your dryer and washer. Bed bugs die at around 113°F (45°C). 

With your favorite stain remover, spot treat any leftover stains. If there are still stains leftover, make a paste with equal parts hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Leave the mixture on the stain for 30 minutes and wash thoroughly. 

If you find bed bugs in your home and need help eliminating them, call Pest Brigade to talk to a local partner near you.