What Do Bed Bugs Look Like on a Mattress?

There is no other place that hides bed bugs than the mattress and bed frames. Though you may notice itching at night due to bed bug bites, it’s often challenging tell whether bugs are the main cause.

When the infestation is just starting, it is even more challenging to identify the bugs if you don’t look carefully. That is because mattresses do a good job of hiding bed bugs in its ribbons, edges, and logo stickers.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like on a Mattress?

Bed bugs on a mattress look like tiny apple seeds gathered in one spot and can appear as brown or black depending on maturity level. Newly hatched baby bed bugs will be identifiable to milky-white rice grains while mature ones will be dark in color.

When squished, bed bugs on a mattress leave dark stains that are often perceived to be disgusting.

Bed bugs under mattress

They like to hide underneath the sheets and along the fringes of a mattress. They also hide under the box springs.

Baby Bed Bugs on a Mattress

Another frequent problem that people report is identifying baby bed bugs on a mattress. These newborn bugs can slip your eye and can even get through spaces in some fibers used to make mattress topers.

Baby bed bugs on a mattress

To see baby bed bugs on a mattress, use the same routine you would use for adult ones. This time, you may need to take your time and look a little closer.

Any sign of whitish objects looking like wood saw should be treated with caution as they usually suggest infestation.

Bed bugs hiding in a mattress corner

Bed Bug Eggs on Mattress

The eggs are quite tiny, only a few millimeters long and can be impossible to see with naked eye if the mattress is white. Bed bug eggs are whitish and are often laid by female bugs in hidden spots where they can hatch before being noticed.

Bed bug eggs on a mattress

Whenever you locate adult bed bugs, examine those places carefully and you will spot their eggs.

Bed Bug Poop on Mattress

Bed bug poop on a mattress look the same as droppings on sheets. A grey or black mattress cover makes it difficult to spot their droppings, especially when they dry up. You will easily see their poop on a white mattress as their feces appear in clusters.

Bed bug poop on a mattress

In most cases, they will be noticeable close to harborage.

Bed bug feces do not smell but they make an ugly spot on your mattress. Sometimes, the staining left behind may be impossible to remove. That means two options are usually recommended.

  1. Get a new mattress cover to hide the poop stains.
  2. Replace the infested mattress with a new one.

It’s easy to confuse their poop with blood stains.

When bed bugs feed, they may run around the bed and you could crush some of them as you turn in your sleep. This will leave behind blood stains on the mattress and could be confused for droppings.

How to Inspect a mattress for Bed Bugs

Visual inspection for bed bugs can be quite unreliable for identifying bed bugs. The insects hide very well and it may require a lot more effort to detect them. If there are actual bed bugs, you will often detect them without moving the mattress.

How do you detect bed bugs on the mattress?

  • Remove the sheets on the mattress slowly to avoid flinging bugs all over.
  • Slowly open the ribbon that goes around the mattress all the way around it to see if there are bed bugs
  • Check the corners where the mattress ribbon falls over because it usually hides a lot of bugs.
  • Rip off the mattress label because it usually contains holes where bed bugs can hide.
  • Typically, bed bugs do not like to be bothered and are sensitive to light. So, they will hide on the underside of the mattress.
  • Turn the mattress to reveal the underside.
  • Inspect the lower mattress ribbon the same way you did for the upper one.
  • Do not forget about the box spring, bed frame joints, seats in the bedroom, and picture frames in the room.
How to inspect bed bugs on a mattress

This is after spraying and they are dead. Begin treatment as soon as you see one bed bug.

Dead ones will scatter randomly over the mattress rather than hide in the mattress seams and bed edges.