There’s nothing that can make your heart skip a beat like spotting one small but dreadful bed bug in your bedroom. It’s kind of ominous and anxiety-inducing because it gets you thinking—are there more of them in your bed about to feed on your blood like vampires as you sleep?
If you’re lucky, finding just one bed bug won’t mean an infestation on your mattress or bedding. It’s important to assess where you found one bed bug—wall? Floor? Right on top of your bed? Then, search the area for more bed bugs right away near the area.
Today, we’ll talk you through everything you need to do if you’ve found one bed bug on the wall. We’ll tackle the likelihood of there being more bed bugs around, and what you should do next if this is the case. Keep reading to learn more.
All About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are the stuff of nightmares. Imagine waking up from a peaceful sleep only to find painful or itchy bites all over your body because of these tiny but terrible creatures! But what are bed bugs in the first place, and why do they bite humans?
These insects are incredibly small at just a quarter of an inch long. Their size is comparable to that of a grain of rice or an apple seed, but they do get bigger after feeding. They have a red-brown color and six little legs that allow them to crawl around quickly. Thankfully, they can’t fly.
Both nymph and adult bed bugs feed on human blood, although they can also feed on animals’ blood. They use their antennae to sense where you are while you sleep. Then, they inject an anesthetic into your skin so you don’t feel them bite and suck your blood.
Bed bugs love warmth. By hanging out on a bed, they can get this warmth from the mattress and its bedding as well as our bodies when we sleep at night. And because they can’t fly, they need to stay where they get their food—yet another reason why they live in beds.
A tell-tale sign that you have a bed bug infestation is if you wake up to lots of tiny, red bed bug bites all over your face, arms, and body. These bite marks look red and blistered and can be painful.
Scarily enough, some people don’t even develop visible signs of having been bitten. So, you always need to be on the lookout for these bugs.
Learn more about bed bugs, their characteristics, and how bad their attacks can be through this educational video:
If I Find One Bed Bug, Are There More Hiding Somewhere?
If you find just one bed bug hanging out on your bedroom wall, it might give you a mini panic attack. But try your best to calm down. Although finding one bed bug could be a sign of an infestation, it doesn’t always mean that your mattress and bedding are doomed.
Realistically, there is a high chance that you have an infestation if you find this sole bed bug at home. What are the odds of finding one and there not being a whole group of them hiding in the crevices of your room, right?
But it’s also possible that this one bed bug happened to find its way into your things while you were outside. Maybe it got inside your handbag or luggage while you were traveling. Perhaps it crawled into your hoodie while you were at someone else’s place and crawled out when you got home.
Where you find this one bed bug will speak volumes about whether you might have an infestation. Seeing it on a wall far away from your bed decreases the likelihood of an infestation. But if you see it on your mattress, blanket, or pillow, or other parts of the bed like the bed frame, it’s a bad sign.
First Thing’s First: Search the Area for More Bed Bugs
As soon as you find that one bed bug on your call, you have to take a deep breath and spring into action. The first thing you want to do is to clear out the clutter from your room to look for other bed bugs that might be hiding somewhere in your room.
Here are the four things you should search to ensure there aren’t any other bed bugs around:
1. Your bed and mattress
First, check their favorite spot—the bed. Strip down each layer of your bedding, from the blanket to the duvet to the pillowcases before getting to the mattress. Look through every bedding to see if there are any bed bugs in it. Check all the seams of your bed so you don’t miss a spot.
2. Your headboard and bed accessories
If they aren’t in your bed, they may be hiding in your bed’s accessories. Lift your mattress and look at your box spring, headboard, and bed frame to see if any of them have made a home in these areas.
3. Wooden furniture in your bedroom
Bed bugs love to hide in wood because it has many cracks and crevices for them to crawl into and hide in during the day. So, do a quick sweep of any wooden furniture near your bed. This can include nightstands, drawers, baseboards, and even chairs and desks within your bed’s vicinity.
4. Other signs of bed bugs
Aside from looking for live bed bugs in the areas mentioned above, you should also look for other clues that point to bed bugs. You might need a flashlight to look for these.
These signs include bed bug eggs tucked away in crevices, which are white and oval-shaped. You might also find blood stains on your blanket—another sign of the bugs feeding on your blood.
Why There’s Only One Bed Bug in Your Home
If you’ve searched high and low for other bed bugs and found no signs of an infestation at all, it might mean that the bug you found was a one-off bug that found its way into your home by accident. There are plenty of reasons why this might have happened, like the following:
- It moved from the apartment or dorm room next to yours.
- You accidentally picked it up from a library, hospital, classroom, movie theater, or any other public space. It could have been stuck in your clothes or bag.
- You got it from someone else’s car or when taking public transportation.
- It’s a lone bed bug that survived an infestation from a year ago. Bed bugs can survive without feeding for up to 400 days. Just pray it’s the only one that survived!
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you’re lucky, your journey ends there and you don’t find any other bed bugs in your home. But if you do, it’s best to call pest control to help you figure out your next steps.
Don’t try to kill the bed bugs at home with any home remedies. You may end up just spreading the infestation even more. Pest control professionals will conduct a comprehensive inspection of your home to see what treatment options will be best.
Before the professionals get to your home, try to declutter your space already. A clean, tidy room will help them spot bed bugs better and make the treatment process easier.
It goes without saying, but do not sleep in the infested bed again. Sleep in a spare bedroom or on your living room couch until treatment is done. Wash your sheets, blankets, and all other bedding in hot water to kill the insects. Only put the sheets back when the exterminator says it’s safe.
Now, you can let out the breath you’ve been holding. You’re finally bed bug-free! Your next job is to ensure you never find a bed bug infestation in your home again. Here are some things you can do to prevent bed bugs from coming back:
- Vacuum your mattress and bedding Not only will this clean your bed, but it will also catch tiny insects making a home there.
- Seal the cracks and crevices in your wooden bed posts and frames. This gives bed bugs no areas to hide in.
- Invest in encasements and covers for your mattress and box springs.
If you found one bed bug on the wall, don’t panic. It doesn’t automatically mean you have an infestation. There are many reasons why a single bed bug has found its way to you. You could have picked it up from public transport or your next-door neighbor.
Of course, it makes sense to want to be very sure that you don’t have a bed bug infestation in your home. Assess the nearby area right away after finding a bed bug on your wall and call pest control for an inspection to be extra sure that you don’t have more bed bugs in hiding spaces.
You may be told that you have no infestation despite the bed bug sightings. You could also be asked to do treatment to get rid of these nasty insects. As long as you follow what the pest control professionals suggest, you’ll be bed bug-free in no time. Good luck, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!