Most homeowners ignore their carpets and rugs while checking for bed bug infestations.
Because many of them don’t know that the home’s carpets and rugs are not just hiding places for carpet beetles, but also for bed bugs.
But like most bugs, bed bugs too leave their signs where they hide.
This guide will reveal the 5 signs of bed bugs in carpets that you must look out for while checking for bed bugs.
You’ll also find out the proven treatment methods to get rid of bed bugs from your carpet.
Adult Bed Bugs In The Carpet
There’s no glaring sign of bed bugs in carpets than the sighting of adult bed bugs crawling on the carpet.
Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, 3/16 inches in size, flat, oval-shaped, and they look like apple seeds.
However, bed bugs are sneaky insects. Bed bugs hide during the day, even when they’ve infested the carpets.
Bed bugs in the carpet will hide in the areas like corners and edges of the carpet meeting the floor’s baseboard.
You can also check the underside of the carpet by flipping over the carpet.
Bed bugs will also hide in the cracks and gaps on the hardwood floor. So, don’t forget to inspect the cracks on the floor underneath the carpet.
The crevices on the hardwood floor and in wooden furniture are also ideal places for the female bed bugs to lay and hide their eggs.
All bed bugs, including the baby bed bugs, emit pheromones. These are chemicals that they use to communicate with each other.
The pheromones have a scent like rusty iron.
If there’s a bed bug infestation on the carpet, then you’ll detect a musty smell from the carpet.
Bed Bug Eggs And Egg Shells
Bed bugs eggs are like pearly white dots when freshly laid by the female bed bugs.
Over time, bed bugs eggs develop a pale-yellow color with a black dot in the middle.
When the eggs hatch, bed bug nymphs, which are 1/16th of an inch in size, and translucent white, emerge out of the eggs. The eggshells look like transparent white casings.
If you’ve noticed any one of the first two signs of bed bugs in your carpet, then look for eggs and eggshells in the floor cracks and baseboard cracks.
You might be surprised to see that bed bugs are breeding and laying eggs in your carpet.
A female bed bug can lay 114 eggs in her lifetime. She’ll deposit the eggs in batches in the floor cracks and baseboard cracks.
Bed bug nymphs molt. They shed their exoskeletons to accommodate their growing exoskeletons.
The nymphs go through five in-star stages before they reach adulthood ready to breed and lay eggs.
The in-star stages are the lifecycle stages where the nymph grows with each molt.
You can also notice transparent brownish-white molted casings, or shed skin, of bed bugs on the carpet.
Bed Bug Stains
Bed bug stains are dark blackish spots. These are bed bugs’ feces.
As bed bugs feed only on human blood, their feces, which are digested blood, appear as tiny black dots.
You can notice these beg bug stains or fecal deposits on the carpet’s edges or in the gaps on the hardwood floor.
Bed bug stains on the carpet is a clear sign that bed bugs are easily getting their bloodmeals from their human hosts.
These are the five signs that you need to look out for while you’re checking your carpet for bed bugs.
Sightings of any one of these signs indicate that there are bed bugs in your carpet. And you need to get on the offensive to purge your carpet of bed bugs.
How To Kill Bed Bugs In The Carpet
Applying heat to your carpet with a steam cleaner is the best way to get rid of bed bugs in your carpet and rugs.
Steam cleaners produce heat to the level of 140 degrees F. That heat is lethal for bed bugs in all lifecycle stages.
Steam cleaning kill adult bed bugs, destroy their eggs, and will also kill the bed bug nymphs in all in-star stages.
But before that you’ll need to perform some extra steps to eliminate bed bugs in your carpet or rug.
Take The Carpet Off The Floor
Many people suggest that you start treating the carpet for bed bugs without taking it off the floor.
If you do, then you won’t be treating the bed bugs that are hiding in the floor cracks and baseboard cracks.
So, take the carpet off the floor. And take it outdoors.
Don’t take the carpet to other rooms in your home. If you do, then you’ll cause the bed bugs to spread.
You’ll treat the carpet outdoors. If you live in an apartment, then it’ll be best to roll over the carpet and keep it in the corner of your room.
You’ll deal with your carpet after treating the floor section underneath the carpet.
Scatter Diatomaceous Earth On The Floor And Baseboard
Use a generous amount of diatomaceous earth on the floor and the baseboards. Ensure that the dust enters the cracks and gaps on these places.
Diatomaceous earth is a proven bed bug killer. It contains diatoms (sharp particles that are plankton fossils) that penetrate the bed bugs’ exoskeleton and enter their bodies.
Upon entering their bodies, diatomaceous earth absorbs fatty acids and bodily fluids, triggering dehydration. That causes the bed bugs to die.
But it takes a while for the process to work.
So, it’ll be best to let the DE sit for at least 30 minutes.
Ensure that you use generous amounts of Diatomaceous earth. And it enters in the cracks.
Vacuum Clean The Floor
Take your vacuum cleaner and remove the diatomaceous earth. Vacuum cleaning will remove the DE and the dead bed bugs.
Scatter Diatomaceous Earth On Your Carpet
If the carpet is outdoors, don’t bring it inside. Scatter generous amounts of diatomaceous earth on the carpet.
Ensure that the diatomaceous earth is reaching the carpet’s edges, labels, and the stitching that are in the corner of the carpet. Bed bugs hide in these areas of the carpet too.
If the carpet is indoors, then unroll the carpet and sprinkle diatomaceous earth.
Pro Tip: Most people will only use diatomaceous earth on the upper side of the carpet. That’s half-baked measure. Flip over the carpet and sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the carpet’s underside too.
Leave the carpet for 30 minutes before you vacuum clean it.
Vacuum Clean The Carpet
Vacuum clean the carpet to remove diatomaceous earth and dead bed bugs. Don’t skip over cleaning the edges, corners, and the labels on the carpet.
Also clean the carpet’s underside too.
Steam Clean Your Carpet
Take a steam cleaner and slowly steam clean your carpet to kill any bed bugs that might be alive.
Heat is the only proven bed bug killer. That’s why exterminators use heat treatment to purge severe bed bug infestation.
Repeat The Steps At Least Twice
While using DIY ways of bed bug removal, it’s vital to perform the steps at least twice, or till you stop noticing bed bugs.
It’s because bed bugs are sneaky creatures. They can escape the treatment and come back.
So, repeat the steps above, at least twice a week, before you stop noticing bed bugs in your carpet.
Hire Pest Control Professional
Bed bugs in carpets is a clear sign that the bed bug infestation has gotten severe. It is spreading or has spread in other parts of the house.
Leaving it without any professional intervention will make the bed bug infestation worse.
Sighting even one bed bug can mean there’s an infestation. And if you’ve noticed all the signs of bed bugs in your carpet, then it’s a given thing that the infestation is peaking up.
So, hire a pest controller or a reliable bed bug exterminator to inspect and treat your home for bed bugs.
Caution: Do not use any bug bombs or sprays to get rid of bed bugs. That worsens the infestation.
Can Bed Bugs Live In Carpet?
Yes, bed bugs can live in the carpet and rugs of your bedroom. Bed bugs tend to hide on things that are within 6-8 feet radius from the bed.
Bed bugs in the bed hide in the crevices on the bed frame and headboard.
Not to mention, the most common hiding places for bed bugs in the bed are mattress, mattress seams, pillowcases, and box springs.
But in case of a severe bed bug infestation, bed bugs will hide in the carpets, couches, curtains, and other soft furnishings of other areas of your home, such as the living room.
It’s not only your bedroom’s carpet that is a hiding place for bed bugs.
Bed bugs can also hide in the furniture cracks. So, furniture like dresser drawers, closets and wardrobes are also hiding places for bed bugs.
In case of a sever bed bug infestation, bed bugs can also hide in books, luggage bags, wallpaper, and wall cracks.
Carpet Beetle Larvae Allergic Reactions Vs. Bed Bug Bites
It’s a known fact that carpet bugs like carpet beetle larvae infest carpets, especially carpets made from natural fabric like fur, wool, and silk.
Carpet beetle larvae are tiny brownish worms with hairy bristles and yellowish or tan markings on their bodies.
The carpet beetle larva doesn’t bite. But when it contacts your skin, the hairy bristles can cause allergic reactions like itchy red welts and rashes.
The bed bugs in the carpet can bite you too if they get access to your skin.
However, there’s a difference between carpet beetle allergic reaction and bed bug bites.
The allergic reaction that carpet beetle larva cause is a red welt, and it can be only one area of your skin. However, the bed bug bites are in the form of red lumps that appear in clusters or in a straight line.
Bed bugs infesting carpets is a high possibility if there’s a bed bug infestation in your house.
Bed bugs, which are parasitic insects, that feed only on human blood will hide in the carpets of your bedroom.
But they can also spread to the areas of your home when your entire house is in the grips of bed bug infestation.
The five signs of bed bugs in carpet can be easy to miss because not many people believe that bed bugs can infest carpets till, they get bed bug bites, or, they see an adult bed bug crawling on the carpet.
So, did you notice any other signs of bed bugs in your carpet? If yes, I’d love to hear that from you in the comments section below.