What to Do if You Found One Bed Bug but Can’t Find More

If you found one bed bug, are there more? Many of our clients find a single bed bug but can’t find any more signs of them.

Finding a bed bug can be a very frustrating and even scary experience. However, just because you find a single bed bug does mean you have an infestation.

Here are some pest expert tips to help you if you find one bed bug but can’t seem to find any more.

If You Found One Bed Bug; Here’s What to Do

What to Do if You Found One Bed Bug but Can't Find More

First and foremost, study and learn about bed bug hiding places. ➡️ Our quick guide on the top hiding spots will help you understand where to look for these parasites. Secondly, don’t panic.

  • Check all areas of your home where you spend time. This includes your bed, couch, chairs, and other furniture where you sit or sleep. Pay close attention to these items’ seams, tufts, and creases. Look for bed bug poop, shed skins, or eggs.

  • Use a bright flashlight to look for bed bugs in dim places like under your bed frame or furniture. You may see bed bug feces or a bed bug shell.

If you find a bed bug shell, you’ll know that you have a baby bed bug in the growth phase. Make sure you save any “bed bug shells” that you find and get them properly ID’d. Since they are typical things, people mistakenly identify them as “bed bug evidence.”

  • Another helpful tip is to use a magnifying glass. This will help you look closely at any potential bed bugs, their feces, and their shells.

  • Check any cracks and crevices in your home where bed bugs could hide. Especially including baseboards, electrical outlets, and picture frames.

  • If you do all this and don’t find any other evidence, hire a bed bug inspection company. Our NYC pest inspection company uses dogs to help us locate bed bugs.

Not only that, but we also bring microscopes and fecal test kits to help us discern evidence. Make sure you ask if the company in your area does the same.

“If I See One Bed Bug, Are There More?”

Finding one bed bug does not mean there are more. We have many clients who find a single bed bug, and we do not see any more. This is because they were transported into the home on something like luggage, clothing, or used furniture.

Although this is possible, it’s more likely that if you find one bed bug, there are more. Because it is unlikely that you happened to spot the only bed bug in the entire home. So, if you see one bed bug, chances are there are more.

If you are wondering “how do bed bugs start?” you’ll want to know that you can find one pregnant female and start a whole infestation.

WHERE you see this 1 bed bug will help predict the chances of there being more. Did you see one flat unfed bed bug on a random wall or floor, not near any beds or couches? If so, you have a greater chance of it being the only one. On the other hand, if you find one bed bug on a couch or bed, the chances of more are greater.

On average, a bed bug can live without feeding for 4-6 months. Which is why you may see a flat bed bug on a random wall if it’s been wandering for a while.

One of our clients found a bed bug crawling up his entryway wall last week. It was crawling right above his daughter’s backpack. More importantly, I went to his apartment for a thorough K9 and visual inspection and found no other bed bugs.

Therefore the moral of this story is to have an airtight plastic bin near your entryway that you place backpacks and school items into when your children come home.

We have many other stories like this, where a client finds a bed bug in their home, but we don’t find any others. If this happens to you, don’t panic; know that it is possible (but less likely) to find just one single bed bug in your home.

Some reasons why there might be just one single bed bug:

The places where you can pick up one single bed bug are endless. Here are a few ideas on why you might find one bed bug but no other signs.

  • A male bed bug or nymph crawled onto your backpack at school. There are differences between male and female bed bugs. Therefore, If you bring one male bed bug into your home, you will not get an infestation.

  • You picked up a bed bug from a movie theater, library, or other public places. If you frequently check books out from the library, you may want to purchase a small bed bug heater, like the Thermal Strike.

  • You have a locker at work, and perhaps someone in a nearby locker has a bed bug on their jacket. It can easily crawl off of their coat and into your locker.

  • A hitchhiking bed bug may have crawled onto your clothing while sitting in that Uber or Lyft car.

  • It came in a package or box.

  • If you find a bed bug in the bathroom, it may have traveled through a vent connected to a neighboring apartment.

What to Do if You Find More Bed Bugs

If you find more bed bugs, don’t panic. We know it can be a frightening experience, but it’s essential to keep a level head. The first thing you’ll want to do is contact a bed bug specialist company. Study and learn the answer to the question, “what do bed bugs hate?”

Professionals will know how to deal with the infestation and eliminate the bed bugs properly. Furthermore, it would help if you also started preparing your home for treatment.

Keep in mind that it will be harder for the exterminator to treat your home if you have a lot of clutter. Additionally, bed bug preparation includes decluttering. Don’t start to declutter and clean until you speak to a professional. You may end up spreading the bugs if you do this haphazardly.

If You Find One Bed Bug; But No Other Signs, Start Monitoring

If you search your entire home and don’t see any more signs of bed bugs, it’s time to start monitoring and deep cleaning. We advise that you put bed bug traps all over your bedroom and close to the area where you saw the bug.

Secondly, get some mattress and box spring covers for bed bugs. Encasements will help you monitor the situation and minimize seams and crevices on the mattress and box spring. 

Furthermore, just because you don’t have any bites does not mean there aren’t bed bugs. 30% of the population does not react to bed bug bites. A non-reaction implies that their skin does not manifest an itchy red bump even though a bed bug bites them.

Final Thoughts for What to Do if You Found One Bed Bug but Can’t Find More

If you’re lucky enough to find one bed bug in your home, it’s important not to panic! The fact that you did find one means now you know what to look for.

Chances are there are more lurking around waiting to suck your blood (or at least your happiness). Just remember that it IS POSSIBLE to have only one bed bug.

But before you go into full-blown extermination mode, try some tips we’ve provided to help you find them. If those fail or don’t have the time/energy/patience to do a comprehensive inspection, call a professional like Doctor Sniffs Bed Bug Dogs and let us take care of it for you.