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Bed Bug Signs On Pillow To Look Out For

As you prepare to head off to bed for a peaceful night’s sleep, it’s important to make sure that your sleeping area is free from any uninvited visitors.

Bed bugs can be notoriously difficult to identify, so now is the time to become familiar with some of the common signs and warning signs of bed bugs may have invaded your pillow. So, keep on reading to see how your pillow can help you identify bed bugs.

Bed bug stains on a pillowcase

Why is it Important to Check Pillows For Bed Bugs?

You need to regularly inspect your pillows for bed bugs to ensure a good night’s sleep and to prevent potential health risks.

You’ve probably heard of these little pests, but you may not understand why it’s so important to check pillows for bed bugs.

Well, here’s the deal: bed bugs are tiny, nocturnal insects that feed on blood. They’re sneaky, and they love to hide in places like your pillows, where they have easy access to their food source – you!

If bed bugs are present, you’ll likely find bed bug signs on your pillow, such as tiny red or brown spots (which are their droppings), shed skins, or even the bugs themselves.

When you sleep on a bed bug-infested pillow, you risk getting bitten. These bites can cause itching, swelling, redness, and even allergic reactions in some people.

The thought of sharing your bed with these pests can cause significant stress and anxiety, disrupting your sleep and overall well-being.

With the consistent checking of your pillows, you can spot the signs early and take action before the infestation gets out of hand.

It’s much easier and less costly to tackle a small bed bug problem than it’s to deal with a full-blown infestation.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like on Pillows?

Knowing what to look for, you’ll find bed bugs on your pillow appearing as tiny, flat, oval-shaped insects that are brownish-red in color.

They’re about the size of an apple seed, easily seen by the naked eye if you know what you’re looking for.

When searching, bear in mind that bed bugs on pillows can be elusive, often hiding in crevices during the day and coming out to feed at night.

Bed bug signs on pillow to look out for include blood stains or tiny black spots (bed bug excrement), which may be present on your pillowcase or bedsheets.

If you notice these signs, it’s a strong indication that there may be bed bugs present. Another sign to watch out for is the presence of shed skins or eggshells, which bed bugs discard as they mature.

When trying to identify what do bed bugs look like on pillows, remember that they change in appearance after feeding.

They’ll become larger and more elongated, with a darker red color due to the blood they’ve consumed. Also, their bodies become more rounded rather than flat.

Plus, an unpleasant, musty odor could also be a sign of a bed bug infestation. This scent is released by their scent glands and can be quite distinct if you have many bugs.

Stains left on a pillowcase by a bed bug infestation

Bed Bug Signs On Pillow To Look Out For

Common Stains Left By Bed Bugs

The common stains bed bugs leave behind on your pillow, which can serve as tell-tale signs of an infestation.

These stains are the bed bug signs on the pillow to look out for and can clue you in on their unwelcome presence.

The common stains left by bed bugs are usually dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement. These can also occur on your sheets and mattress. The stains can be:

  • Small, dark spots which are:
  • Usually, the size of a dot from a marker
  • Most likely bed bug excrement or dried blood
  • Larger, rust-colored stains which are:
  • Often smeared or streaky
  • Typically, a result of a bug being crushed after feeding
  • Smaller, yellowish stains which are:
  • Fairly uncommon, but possible
  • Likely bed bug eggs or eggshells

The presence of these stains doesn’t always mean you have an infestation, but they’re a good indicator. If you’re seeing these bed bug signs on your pillow, it’s essential to take action.

You might also notice a sweet, musty odor if the infestation is severe. This smell is from the bed bugs’ scent glands and is another sign to look out for.

bed bugs crawling over the top of a bed spread in a bedroom

Can Bed Bug Bites be Seen on Pillows?

It is not the bites themselves you’d see on your pillow, but rather signs of bed bug activity. Bed bug bites most often appear on your body, not on the pillow.

If you’re suspecting bed bugs in your pillow, look out for minuscule black or brown stains which are their droppings, or small red stains which could be blood spots caused by crushed bugs.

These are the most common signs of bed bugs’ presence. Also, bed bugs shed their skin as they grow, and these tiny translucent shells can accumulate on your pillow.

However, if you wake up with unexplained bites, it’s a strong indication of bed bugs. The bites usually appear in a line or a cluster, often on exposed skin while you sleep.

They look like small red bumps, sometimes surrounded by redness or hives, and can be itchy.

To confirm your suspicion, it’s best to inspect your entire bedding and headboard for signs of bed bug infestation, not just your pillow.

Bed bugs are nocturnal and elusive; they can hide in the smallest corners and crevices. So, it’s essential to be thorough in your search.

How to Spot Bed Bug Eggs

How to Spot Bed Bug Eggs

Where should you look for bed bug eggs on your pillow, and what do they look like?

Bed bug eggs are tiny, about the size of a pinhead. They’re white or off-white and have a pearlescent sheen, which makes them difficult to spot on light-colored pillows.

However, you can train your eyes to spot bed bug eggs by looking out for these signs on your pillow.

Here are some steps to guide you:

  1. Examine your pillow: Begin by examining the entire surface of your pillow. Look for tiny white specks clustered together. These clusters could be bed bug eggs. They may be found in the following places:
  2. Seams or crevices: Bed bugs often lay their eggs in hidden spots. Check the seams of your pillowcase or any crevices on the pillow itself.
  3. Underneath the pillow: Don’t forget to check the underside. Bed bugs can crawl, and they might lay eggs underneath your pillow.
  4. Use a flashlight: To spot bed bug eggs, you’ll need good lighting. A flashlight can help you identify those tiny white specks against the fabric of your pillow.
  5. Use a magnifying glass: If you’re struggling to see, a magnifying glass can make the job easier. Bed bug eggs are tiny, remember.

The Distinct Bed Bugs Scent

Smelling a sweet, musty odor in your bedroom, especially near your pillow, could be a clear sign you’re dealing with bed bugs.

This distinct scent is one of the common early signs of bed bugs that often gets overlooked.

You see, bed bugs release pheromones, and when their population grows, these pheromones become more concentrated, leading to a scent that’s quite noticeable.

If you’re getting a whiff of something that resembles a moldy locker room or a dirty towel, you might’ve a bed bug infestation on your hands.

But don’t panic just yet. This scent alone isn’t conclusive proof of bed bug activity. Other factors, like dampness or mold, can also produce a similar smell.

So, while a musty odor can be a strong indicator, you’ll need to keep an eye out for other signs of bed bug activity to confirm your suspicions.

Look for tiny rust-colored stains on your pillowcases or sheets, which are left behind when bed bugs get crushed.

Other visible signs include small black dots (bed bug excrement), shed skins, and of course, the bugs themselves. If these signs are accompanied by that sweet, musty smell, it’s time to take action.

Woman with a magnifying glass examining bed bugs crawling on a mattress and pillow

Tips On How to Identify Live Bed Bugs

In your quest to identify a possible bed bug infestation, there are several key characteristics you should be on the lookout for.

These signs of bed bug infestations can be subtle, but if you know what to look for, you’ll be able to spot them before they become a major issue.

Seeing bed bug signs on a pillow mightn’t be the only indication that you’re dealing with these pesky pests.

When you’re trying to identify live bed bugs, remember these three main traits:

  • Size and Color: Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and are reddish-brown in color. Younger bugs, or nymphs, are smaller and lighter in color. Nymphs may be hard to spot due to their size, but they can still leave signs. Look for tiny smears or spots on your sheets. Adult bugs are easier to see, especially after they’ve fed. They might leave behind a rust-colored stain on your sheets or pillow.
  • Shape: Bed bugs have a distinct oval shape with a flattened body. From above, they look wide and oval. From the side, they appear flat unless they’ve recently fed. You should also look for their antennae and six legs, which are key identifiers.
  • Habitat: Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures that prefer to hide close to their food source – you. Check your bed, including your sheets, pillowcases, and mattress seams, especially if you’ve noticed bed bug signs on your pillow. Also, inspect your bed frame and headboard, as these can be popular hiding spots.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs On Your Pillows

Firstly, maintain a clean environment. Regular vacuuming and washing of your bed linens, including your pillows, can prevent bed bugs.

Make sure to use the hottest water setting as bed bugs can’t survive high temperatures. As a precaution, you may also consider using bed bug-proof pillow covers.

These are specially designed to prevent bed bugs from getting to your pillows.

Secondly, be cautious when bringing secondhand furniture or luggage into your home. Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers, and they can easily cling onto these items.

If you notice any bed bug signs on pillow or any furniture, avoid bringing them into your house.

Thirdly, consider professional pest control services if you’re dealing with a severe bed bug infestation.

They have the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively exterminate bed bugs and prevent future infestations.

Lastly, be vigilant. Regular inspections of your living space, especially your bedroom, can help detect an infestation early before it becomes a major problem.

Look for bed bug signs on pillow cases, sheets, and mattress seams. If you spot any signs, act promptly.


Bed bugs are common household pests that can cause stress and anxiety. Knowing the signs of bed bug infestation will help you get rid of them quickly before they become a problem.

Pay special attention to your pillow for bed bug signs, such as blood stains, tiny black spots (bedbug excrement), shed skins, or even the bugs themselves.

Also look out for musty odors caused by pheromones being released by these tiny pests. If you spot any unusual bed bug activity around your pillow, act promptly and take appropriate measures to get rid of them.

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