Dead Bed Bugs: What to Do If You Found One?

If you have found dead bed bugs in your room, don’t worry! There may be several simple explanations for this. The first one is that the treatment went well, the second is that you have to start treatment immediately.

You have to check the dead bug and find the source of its appearance. Moreover, we will develop a working strategy that’ll help you to get rid of these pests for good.

No matter what, believe me, it is better to find the dead bed bug than the one that is alive. It means that this insect was killed by something, now you have to turn into a detective and solve the mystery of its death.

Dead Bed Bugs in Your House: Detailed Guide

If you have found dead bed bugs in your apartment, it means that they either were in your house or still are. No matter what, you need to keep looking for them.

Search for the places they came from and prevent further infestation. If you notice live creatures, use specific bed bug sprays. Once they are killed, you have to clean the house.

big bed bugs and eggs

Everything You Need to Know About Dead Insects

Once you find an insect in your room, you have to carefully inspect its body. Is it one of dead baby bed bugs or an adult? Is it a bed bug or an insect that looks similar?

The first step is to find out whether this is the bed bug. The second thing you have to do is to understand where this creature came from and the last step is to find the cause of death.

What do dead bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs do not really look like many other insects and can rarely be mistaken for anything else. Their bodies are flat, wingless, and light-brown.

Once they drink blood, their color reddens. The size of the adult body is somewhere close to 1/4 – 3/8 inches long. Female bugs have round abdomen, while males have pointed.

dead bed bug paws up

As for the nymphs or bed bug babies, they are much smaller. They can grow up to 1 inch before they turn into adults. They constantly need blood to turn into adults. Once they feed’ their normally colorless bodies become dark.

Don’t mistake the bed bug for the roach. While both of them have brown bodies, they are different. Roaches are faster with longer antennae. They have longer bodies as well.

What does it mean if you found a dead bed bug?

It still matters whether you found a dried out dead bed bug or just a “fresh” corpse. You have to make sure that dead bed bug does not play “dead.” If you have not sprayed the territory against bugs before you found it, there may be two explanations:

  • The bed bug was a loner who accidentally crawled into your apartment;
  • The bed bug was a part of the big happy community, and there are more of them somewhere nearby.

Since you can’t ask about the bed bug itself, I suggest thinking about a worthy scenario and being ready for it. My recommendation is to set a trap and make sure that there are no bugs in your home.

You have to act immediately because bed bugs are quick to spread around the house. They can crawl into your bed, on your clothes, and in the cracks inside the walls. Bed bugs can even survive in closed spaces for several weeks. Yet, don’t worry, you can still get rid of them.

big dark bed bug

If you have found dead bed bugs after treatment, it means that the process was successful. You have to clean your room and gather all the bodies. After that, you can set traps again to make sure that no one is left.

What to do when you find dead bed bugs?

Once you found one creature, you have to find out whether there are others. Even one small bed bug may be a big deal since they don’t usually travel alone.

You can also pay attention to whether this is a female creature with a round belly since female bed bugs usually mean babies are somewhere near.

The female bed bug can produce up to 250 eggs during the lifespan. Despite the fact that these creatures live from 4 to 6 months, they have plenty of time to produce more children. Don’t underestimate your enemy. Only when you see dead bed bug shells, you can partly relax. Your steps:

  • Inspect the territory. I recommend starting with your bed, mainly because these insects feel the most comfortable there. Search for small blood stains or shells. Check out bedding, clothing, any fabric, furniture, carpet, and even cracks in the walls, floor, and ceiling;
  • Look for signs. You may not notice a live creature since it moves fast. Yet, you can notice stains and old shells. Bed bugs also leave feces. They are simple to find on fabric, as they look like tiny black spots. Use flashlights to find them. If you have sharp eyes, you may even notice small eggs. Although they are small, you will easily notice several of them together;
  • Use the trap. You may put the small container under each leg of your bed. Make sure that the container has walls. Once bed bugs are there, they will not be able to get out. Another option is to use double-sided tape on the floor, near the bed, near the carpet, and the door. If you have bed bugs they will be stuck there trying to crawl to their destination.

Tips to prevent bed bug infestation

There is a helpful guide on EPA that teaches you how to prevent bed bug infestation. I will provide you with my own recommendations. They are simple to follow:

  • You have to keep your apartment clean. Vacuum cleaning is the procedure you have to repeat at least two times per week. When you do laundry of your bedding, it has to be on high temperatures;
  • Wash your carpet with a specific shampoo at least once a month;
  • Check out your apartment for bugs once in a while;
  • Fix the cracks where bed bugs can hide;
  • If you travel somewhere, don’t forget to check your clothes carefully after coming back;
  • Always change bedding after your guests.

If you have bed bugs already, don’t panic. You need to act quickly. Remove everything you can from the room, and make sure there are no bed bugs. Put all your clothes, bedding, and fabrics in the laundry.

Spray the entire room with diatomaceous earth or use silica gel. Both remedies will kill bugs by drying them out. Use tea tree oil everywhere, since it also kills bed bugs.

Once it is done, wait for a day and use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dead bodies. You have to use a vacuum cleaner with bags since some bed bugs can survive and hide in the cleaner for months. Don’t forget to wash it after you finish bed bug treatment.

FAQ

dead bed bug on skin

Here is the list of most popular questions from users on the Internet. I will provide you with my own answers. I hope it will help you to fight bed bugs for good.

Is it good to find dead bed bugs?

To find a dead bed bug is always better than being alive. It means that something killed it. However, it is better not to find bed bugs at all. Yet, if you have found it, you need to search for other insects in the room.

Search for the possible place of appearance. Make sure there are no other bed bugs. You can spray the room and do laundry in advance. This is how you make sure that bed bugs are dead.

Are dead bed bugs flat?

No, they are not necessarily flat. Of course, if they were dried up by some insecticide, they would be flat. However, you can understand that the bed bug is dead by other symptoms.

For example, a bed bug is lying on its back and does not move. You can watch the creature for some time to make sure it is dead. If the bug is only dying, it will try to move.

You can kill it then. Usually, they are bodies curled up since the muscles contracted before they died. After some time, the body gets wrinkled. The legs can fall off.

Are dead bed bugs black?

No, this is not necessarily true. If the bed bug was black before it died, the color may slightly lighten. It does not get black. You can find brown bed bugs or light-colored insects.

Don’t forget that there also may be larvae, which are colorless. The color changes based on the amount of blood insects drank before death.

Recommendations for Dead Bed Bugs Situation

No matter whether you accidentally found a dead bed bug or noticed it after you have fought an infestation, dead bed bugs are better than alive ones.

It is important to search for other insects nearby since they usually travel in groups. If you have not found any creature after all the searches, you can relax.

If you have found it, you need to act immediately, getting rid of them until they double their numbers. Follow my recommendations for that. If you have more to add, you can do it in the comments. Have you ever found bed bugs? Share your thoughts with us.

Also read:

References

  • How Do I Know If A Bed Bug Treatment Has Been Successful? (Amelia Shindelar and Dr. Stephen Kells)
    https://www.bedbugs.umn.edu/sites/bedbugs.umn.edu/files/y2014m06d30_how_do_i_know_if_a_bed_bug_treatment_has_been_succesful.pdf
  • Top Ten Tips to Prevent or Control Bed Bugs (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
    https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/top-ten-tips-prevent-or-control-bed-bugs
  • Bed Bugs Bed Bugs (Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist University of Kentucky College of Agriculture)
    https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef636
Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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