6 tell-tale signs of bedbugs – and how to avoid bringing them back from holiday with you


Bedbugs are the stuff of nightmares for millions of Brits, so knowing what to look out for can help you deal with any unwanted infestations – especially on holiday

Bed bugs appear as dark spots in the mattress
Bed bugs appear as dark spots in the mattress

Bedbugs are horrible. Nobody wants to deal with them, especially after a holiday.

Sadly though, thousands of Brits coming home from abroad have to deal with brings the little critters back with them.

They can be a real pain to get rid of and clean away, so understand the early signs that you have them is essential.

There are plenty of things to look out for, with signs of an infestation becoming more prevalent the longer you have them. It’s unsightly, can cause pain, smells and of course, it’s gross.

Here are all the signs you need to look out for, including how to avoid bringing them back from a holiday abroad, according to the NHS.

waking up itchy

Bed bugs bite you in lines across the body



This can be one of the first things you notice, waking up in the morning and inexplicably itching all over.

Bites are usually small and red and could also be inflamed.

It you see little red dots like this across your body, but may not be itchy, this could still be a sign of an infection, as not everyone will find them to cause an itch.

Bites in lines

The small red dots may be a bite from another critter in the night, so it is important to understand exactly what they look like.

If they are in lines across the body, this is usually a sign a bedbug was involved.

As stated by the NHS, this is the easiest way to determine if a bedbug caused it.

Blood stains

Nobody wants to wake up with bloodstains in their bed, but it may be a sign of the bugs.

It is unlikely the blood is directly from you though, as it is often caused by people squishing the bugs in their sleep after they have bitten you.

If there are little spots of blood on the bedsheets, it is a tell-tale sign of bedbugs.

dark spots

Bed bugs are visible with the naked eye


Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

Dark or brown spots, especially in the seams of the bed can be a sign of bedbugs.

This is the really gross part; these dark patches are caused when the bedbugs leave faecal matter on the mattress.

This happens when the bugs gather in large quantities, leaving them excrement in such massive quantities that it stains your bed.

Egg shells

This can be one of the more obvious ones.

Bedbugs can leave egg shells that appear as white specks and are husks left over from when the bugs outgrow their previous skin.

These are also often found outside of the bed, especially on sofas and even on hardwood like shelves and nightstands.

musty smell

If you start noticing an unfamiliar and musty odor in your bedroom, it may be an early sign of an infestation.

The NHS notes that if your room starts smelling this way, with no other explanation, then it is crucial to check your bed immediately for signs of the critters.

The bugs release pheromones that only get stronger the more bugs there are.

If you have a large infestation, the smell can be quite overpowering.

How to stop bringing bedbugs back with you from holiday

Keep luggage away from the hotel bedroom when you arrive on holiday

Whenever you arrive in a new hotel, keep your luggage away from the bedroom, this means everything, even items sealed in cases.

Keep your luggage away from the bed and place them in the bathroom immediately as this is the least likely room the bugs will be found in.

The next thing you’ll want to do is check the bed by peeling away the sheets and looking at the mattress.

Be sure to check the seams, as this is often where the bedbugs hide away.

They will be nothing more than little black dots and any signs of them could mean there is an infestation.

Also check the hardboard, nightstands, chairs, desks and shelves around the bed, as some bugs may be found in those areas.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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