A visual inspection, like the one you should be doing when you enter a hotel room, is an essential first step, but there are other ways of detecting bed bugs that can help early on and make a big difference in the amount of treatment your home or apartment needs.

How to Do a Visual Inspection

Early detection of bed bugs is very difficult by visual inspection.  Signs of bed bug infestations are not visible until they have had a chance to reproduce and shed multiple skins.

Use a small flashlight to check mattresses and box springs, especially in the seams and corners, for oval, reddish-brown insects.  Also look for tiny black spots and light brown discarded skins.  Check behind the headboard, behind pictures on the walls and in side table drawers as well.

Just because you haven’t seen anything does not mean you don’t have an early bed bug infestation.  If your visual inspection hasn’t turned up any evidence, there are other ways to find out.

Bed Bug Detection Dogs

Professional inspectors are more and more training dogs to detect bed bugs by the pheromones, carbon dioxide and methane that they produce.  The smell of a bed bug infestation has been compared to the smell of old raspberries or moldy shoes.

Trained bed bug detection dogs can detect bed bugs within a few feet of the infestation and are especially useful for inspecting large buildings like apartment houses and dormitories before infestations can spread to the entire structure.

New Bed Bug Detection Technology

Bed bug detection dogs will not, however, tell you exactly where your bed bugs are lurking. A new detection device has been developed that can detect bed bugs within an inch of where they are hiding.

The Bed Bug Detective is a small electronic device that detects the odor, carbon dioxide and methane exuded by bed bugs just like a dog’s nose.  It even sucks in air in the same pattern as a dog!  It can also determine a bed bug’s gender, enabling people to find breeding females.

Detecting a bed bug infestation is only the first step.  Eradication is what you need once you have determined that you have bed bugs in your home.  Alliance Environmental Group provides ThermaPureHeat treatment for bed bugs, which kills them at every stage of development, egg, nymph and adult, and eliminates the infestation completely in one treatment without dangerous chemicals.

ThermaPureHeat raises the interior temperature of your area, room, or entire structure to over 140 degrees, high enough to kill these insidious pests, but not high enough do damage the contents of your home.

If you are suffering from bed bugs in California, don’t panic!  Call on Alliance Environmental Group for help!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions.  She welcomes your comments!  For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!  For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!