You might wonder what these red pinpricks are and how to get rid of them if you’ve woken up to them on your sheets. The mess might be caused by bedbugs, unfortunately!
It is not uncommon for these tiny parasites to infest even the cleanest homes and hotels. Various problems can result from their presence, including itchy bites, sleepless nights, and allergic reactions.
Whether you spot bed bug stains on sheets in your home, you might be wondering what to do, how to identify them, and why they occur. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about them.
What Do Bed Bug Stains Look Like On Sheets?
Stains left behind by bed bugs are one of the most obvious signs of an infestation.
As a result of bug excrement or their crushed bodies, these stains are often rust-colored or dark brown in color. There are two types of smears: those that look like fresh ink spots and those that look like dried, dark spots.
Due to their preference to hide during the day in tight spaces and crevices, these stains generally form clusters or lines on your mattress.
The presence of shed skins, eggshells, and even live bed bugs may also be observed during severe infestations. It is important to know what these signs look like so that you can stay vigilant and spot an infestation at the earliest possible time.
Early Bed Bug Stains On Sheets
It is possible that bed bug stains are less noticeable at the beginning of an infestation. Your sheets and pillowcases might only have small specks or faint streaks of brown or black.
It is most likely that these early signs will be found near the mattress’ edges or corners, since bed bugs prefer to stay close to their food source.
It is easier to deal with an infestation if you inspect your sheets regularly, before it develops into a full-blown infestation.
It is especially important to perform these inspections in low light, so a magnifying glass and a bright flashlight are recommended.
How To Get Bed Bug Stains Out Of Sheets?
Despite their stubbornness, bed bug stains are not invincible. You can remove these stains by following these steps:
Pre-soak in cold water: Soak the stained sheets for about an hour in cold water. Protein-based stains can be more difficult to remove when heated.
Apply a stain remover: Apply a stain remover or enzyme-based laundry detergent directly to the stain after presoaking. The stain should be left on for at least 15 minutes to break down the proteins.
Wash the sheets: Use the highest temperature setting your fabric can handle when washing your sheets. Be sure to check the fabric care label for this information.
Check the stain: Make sure the stain is completely gone before drying the sheets. A stain that is still present can be permanently set by the heat of the dryer.
It may be necessary to repeat this process if the stain persists.
How To Wash Bed Bug Sheets
The correct washing procedure becomes imperative when dealing with bed bug-infested sheets. It is difficult for bed bugs and their eggs to withstand extreme heat, but they are resilient nonetheless.
Make sure your sheets are bagged before transporting them to the laundry area. You can prevent bed bugs from spreading to other areas of your home by taking this precaution.
Once your sheets have been washed, dry them at a high heat using the hottest water setting you can, usually over 120°F.
Once the sheets are dry, you can place them in the dryer on high heat for 20 more minutes to further eliminate any bugs or eggs that may remain.
Removing Mattress Stains
Make sure the spots on your mattress are dry by using a dry washcloth. Dry washcloths (or, better yet, microfiber cloths) will remove moisture from fresh stains.
Aside from moisture, bedbug feces will also accompany the moisture, causing the stains to be easier to clean.
Hand soap and cold water can be used to clean light stains. By blotting light stains with a clean cloth dampened with cold water and a dab of hand soap, you may be able to remove them.
As the stains lift, switch to a clean portion of the rag to prevent them from spreading. Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia can be used to remove stubborn stains.
A spray bottle containing equal parts peroxide and ammonia should be used to thoroughly mist stains. A clean terrycloth rag should then be used to blot the stains.
Make sure the mattress is protected from damage by limiting peroxide/ammonia treatments to a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes.
On stains that remain after your spray treatment, sprinkle a fine layer of dry borax. A clean terrycloth rag can be used to rub the borax into the stains.
The cleaning process should be repeated as needed. In a shaded, well-ventilated area, allow the mattress to air dry completely.
Afterward, spot clean the mattress with cold water and hand soap, then use ammonia and peroxide until the stains disappear.
It is not recommended to clean the stains in this manner more than twice as it could lead to the fabric losing its color or becoming distorted.
In addition to reducing the amount of time it takes to dry, good airflow will help your mattress avoid acquiring a musty odor.
The best way to get rid of bed bug stains is to avoid heat. To dry your mattress quickly, use a fan or a blow dryer set to “Cool.”
Controlling and eliminating bed bug infestations becomes easier the sooner you identify them. Infestations that are small are easier to deal with, and fewer bugs will spread throughout your house as a result.
You should inspect your sheets and mattress regularly to prevent this from happening. You should also check for molted skins and bugs themselves to see if bed bugs are present.
To prevent a bed bug infestation from spreading, contact a pest control professional as soon as you notice any signs of the insects.