What To Do If You Find Dead Bed Bugs

You were minding your own business and suddenly you come across a dead bed bugs. Finding dead bed bugs after treatment can be scary but only until you’re certain that the insects are truly dead.

What do you do if you find dead bed bugs? In this article, I will make sure you learn about the following:

  • What a dead bed bug looks like/pictures of dead bed bugs
  • What it means if you find a dead bed bug
  • What to do when you find dead bed bugs
  • How do you find them
  • Tips to prevent bed bug infestation

So, without wasting more time, let’s jump straight into it and begin by what they look like.

How do dead bed bugs look like?

The following are pictures of dead bed bugs.

picture of a dead bed bug

How do you know it is dead?

When they are dead, you will likely find them lying on their back. No live bed bug stays on their back. Even if you turn it, it does not have the limitations of a cockroach.

Also, if they are in a large group like below, they’re most likely dead. Bed bugs do not live in large groups and you can never spot more than 10 of them together on one spot.

dead bed bug shells on the floor

The other way to know if a bed bug is dead is inspecting it in a bright light. Usually, you will notice its legs and mouth moving. If that is not happening, it is dead because these insect do not know how to play dead.

In a well-lit room or white surfaces, bed bugs will always keep moving. They never stay in one spot until they locate a hiding place or stay on a dark place.

These images were sent to me by random people who I met online complaining about infestation.

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

It usually means there could be an infestation either in your place or in a place you recently visited. That is why it is recommend that you act swiftly immediately find even a baby bed bug in your home. If you recently exterminated, finding a dead bed bug simply means that the treatment is working.

A dried out dead bed bug could also mean that there was an infestation in the past and the bugs were successfully eliminated. However, bed bug shells can stay for up to 5 years in a dry hidden place especially if the bug died before feeding.

Finding dead bed bugs

After treatment, it is pretty much expected that you will find shells all over. The dead insects will look something like this.

finding dead bed bugs

You might want to wait for a few hours after treatment to start looking for them. Here are

Is it normal to find bed bugs after treatment?

Yes, it is normal and common to find bed bugs after treatment. This usually happens if the extermination was not done properly and the exterminator did not consider all the places where bed bugs hide. Heat treatment also happens to reach only limited areas and that can leave some bed bugs alive.

Although this is something normal, bed bugs are also increasingly becoming resistant to insecticides and even heat. So, you might have to do the treatment repeatedly before you can completely eliminate all the bugs.

What to do when you find dead bed bugs?

  • Begin by inspecting everything around the area where you found the dead bed bug.
  • Check all the locations you’ve sat or laid down over the past hour for signs of infestation.
  • If you recently traveled, inspect all the items you brought back with you and take them out.
  • Monitor your environment carefully for a few days and watch out for disturbed sleep at night due to itchy skin.
  • Should there be a second bed bug, seek professional help to come and inspect your house. Some of them know how to locate the insects fast.
  • You may also begin a DIY extermination using Temprid FX.

It is also possible that you encountered a dead bed bug and carried it to a different location. It does not necessarily mean there could be more of them in your house.

Therefore, do not panic and rip everything apart before inspecting thoroughly.

What does it mean if you found a dead bed bug? It could mean several things. One is that you encountered a dead bed bug and there is nothing more. Two is that you could be dealing with bed bug infestation, and lastly, it might mean you traveled and picked a few dead ones from your location.

If you recently travelled, it is perhaps a good idea to recheck everything you carried.

So, where can you find dead bed bugs?

  • Headboard and footboard
  • Corners of blanket
  • Box springs
  • Mattresses and box springs
  • Night stands
  • Crack and crevices in bed frames (hot spots)
  • Pillow cases
  • Comforters
  • Bedroom rugs and carpet
  • Couches and all upholstered furniture
  • Luggage
  • Wall décor  
  • Bedroom electronics such as alarm clocks or gaming consoles
  • Drawer joints

How long should I keep finding dead bed bugs after treatment?

You should expect to find dead bugs after treatment for about 3 months if you used a residual insecticide. It may take shorter if you did not have a very heavy infestation.

How to kill bed bugs

Studies have found the heat treatment is the most effective way to kill bed bugs.

Heat treatment

Bed bugs possess limited ability to develop heat resistance. Therefore, it will take many years for them to resist heat treatment.

Benefits of heat

  • There are numerous benefits of thermal remediation. First, it can be used not only to remove all stages of bed bug life inside a home, but also in areas or on items where insecticides cannot be used.
  • Safe in terms of your health and the environment
  • Second, setting up a heat treatment needs less planning on the part of the occupants and provides them with more immediate relief.
  • Work quickly, usually between 8-24 hours
  • Great for small, medium or spread out infestations
  • No need to pre-treat any items or rooms

Using heat has a number of drawbacks.


  • It is difficult to achieve lethal temperature in all the harborage areas for long enough to kill all bed bugs and their eggs
  • Some insects can move to cooler areas and survive leading to infestations
  • Heat treatments on a large scale of heavy infestation are time consuming, expensive, and provide little long-term residual protection against bed bugs.
  • Temperature-sensitive objects can be harmed by heat exposure.
  • Finally, reaching the required lethal temperatures in thermally insulated areas where bed bugs prefer to hide, such as cracks and crevices in walls or furniture, can be difficult.

Chemical insecticides

To avoid the difficulties of identifying all insects in an infestation, pesticide label limits on where a chemical may be applied inside a home, and the possibility of an insecticide-resistant population.


  • Budget-friendly (over 68 percent of people choose chemical treatments due to the affordability)
  • Treatments are done rapidly in the beginning.
  • Excellent as a follow-up to heat and in combination with other treatments.


  • Chemicals don’t kill the larvae, so infestations keep coming back…time and time again
  • Sometimes, multiple specialist treatments are needed before the infestation is eradicated.
  • Many chemicals are ineffective against bed bugs (and their resistance is always growing)
  • Chemicals, especially over-the-counter varieties, can be hazardous, causing allergic reactions, sickness, and other serious health consequences.
  • Chemical procedures, if not used correctly, will disperse an infestation rather than destroying it.

Tips to prevent bed bug infestation

Power outlets should be protected. Bed bugs use power outlets to avoid being exterminated, so make sure they’re covered. They hide in the outlet holes until it is safe to travel elsewhere. Bed bugs will pass through walls through electrical outlets in severe infestations, effectively spreading the infestation to other areas of your home or company.

Invest in bed bug monitors. Bed bug monitors, such as ClimbUp Monitors, are designed to go under the foot of the bed frame to help deter bed bugs from getting into the bed (though that doesn’t mean they can’t get to you by other means!). It’s also a good way to keep an eye on your bedroom if you’re worried about bed bugs.

Vacuum-sealed bags are ideal for storing clothing. This is particularly important while traveling, as bed bugs are often spread from hotel rooms. When traveling, purchase regular vacuum-sealed bags and store your clothes in these airtight vacuum bags. This would make your possessions less open to rodents and discourage bed bugs from following you home. Find out more about how bed bugs spread.

Check for Bed Bugs in Your Pets. Bed bugs are drawn to warm crevices in your pet’s bed, much like they are to human bedding, where they can lay eggs and eat.

How To Prevent Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bug infestations can be avoided in your home if you take a few basic precautions:

  • Inspect the hotel room’s luggage rack for bed bugs.
  • Before taking secondhand chairs, beds, and couches home, inspect them for signs of bed bug infestation.
  • To remove many hiding spaces, use a waterproof cover that encases mattresses and box springs. Because of the light color of the encasement, bed bugs are easier to spot. Purchase a high-quality encasement that will not crack, and inspect it for holes on a regular basis, or a cover that has been pre-treated with pesticide to keep bed bugs at bay.
  • Get rid of clutter in your home to make it harder for bed bugs to hide.
  • Vacuum periodically to get rid of any hitchhikers.
  • When using shared laundry services, be cautious. Plastic bags are used to transport products to be washed (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Place straight from the dryer into the bag and fold at home. (Bed bugs can be killed by using a high-heat dryer.)
  • If you live in a multi-family residence, try to isolate your unit by doing the following:
  • Installing door sweeps on the bottoms of doors to prevent people from walking down hallways.
  • Sealing holes and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, and other wall voids to prevent movement.
  • Consider investing in a portable heating chamber to handle any products suspected of harboring bed bugs.
  • If you use one of these units, be sure to read and carefully follow the instructions, and be mindful that they are not supervised by the EPA or other federal agencies.

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