Bed bugs are tiny bugs that live in your bed and other upholstered items. You can spot them by looking for specks of blood on them, especially near the seams and upholstered furniture. You can also look for their shell casings (also known as husks and shed skins). These are an early indicator that you might have an infestation.
Bed bugs produce alarm pheromones, which are odors that are emitted by their bodies. These odors can be similar to those of raspberries, coriander, cilantro, or almonds. This can help you determine whether or not you have a bed bug infestation.
You might also see blood stains on your bed or clothing. These may be the results of a bed bug bite. Blood stains are not actually blood; they are excrement left behind by the insects. If there is a large population of bed bugs, a musty or moldy smell may also be present. If you look closely around the seams of your mattress, you may see small, black or yellow specks and rusty stains. In addition to blood stains, you may see eggs, shed skins, and nymphs, which are tiny insect nymphs that hide in folds in the fabric.
While bed bugs feed on many warm-blooded animals, their main diet is humans. Their bites are nearly painless, although they can cause itchy welts on the skin. These bites are not contagious and do not require medical attention. If you have severe bites, topical steroid creams can provide some relief.