If you are reading this article, chances are you have already treated your home or office for bed bugs. However, bed bugs also leave behind visible signs of infestation; primary ones being blood stains and poop or fecal stains all over your bed, sheets, wooden furniture and even the walls. If you are looking for ways to get rid of bed bug blood stains and fecal stains, then this guide covers it all. Read on to find out how you can easily remove annoying pesky stains left behind by annoying pesky bed bugs:
Why do bed bugs leave stains behind?
One of the main signs of bed bugs is rust colored or brownish reddish stains. You will see these in corners of your mattresses, on the bed’s wooden frames, on your upholstered furniture, curtains, fabric couches and futons, carpets and even on the walls. No matter how much cleaning, washing, vacuuming you do, you will continue seeing these stains as long as you have bed bugs. Bed bugs leave these stains behind due to following reasons:
- Bedbugs need large blood meals to complete their life cycle stages.
- After feeding, they leave behind fecal matter on the surfaces they hide in.
- The fecal matter and digested blood cause brownish reddish stains on the linen.
- Bed bugs also discard their shells and molt through different life stages leaving behind rust colored debris or discarded exoskeleton on your bed, furniture and even inside electric outlets.
- The hatched bed bug eggs also leave behind discarded shells. Bed bug eggs are also coated with sticky material that helps them remain glued to the surfaces and that can also stain sheets, bed clothes and upholstery.
How many blood stains do bed bugs produce?
According to Paul J Bello’s The Bed Bug Combat Manual, one isolated and fully engorged bed bug can leave behind almost six blood stains in a fourteen-day time period. This means that the larger the number of stains you notice, the greater the infestation. The number of stains more or less indicates the number of bed bugs and also the duration of infestation. Dried, dark stains also indicate that the bugs have had plenty of time to reproduce and create new populations. Based on current research by entomologists, a single well fed bed bug can, on an average, produce at least one fecal stain per day. Likewise, a fully engorged and isolated well fed bed bug nymph could produce nearly 26 stains over a period of sixty days.
What can you do to get rid of bed bug blood stains on sheets?
Here are some things you can do to get rid of blood stains on fabrics:
- The best thing to completely remove bed bug stains is to be as proactive as possible. This is because; the longer the stains sit, the deeper it penetrates and the harder it will be to get rid of.
- Cold water is your best defense against blood stains of any kind. Never use hot water on fresh blood stains.
- Do not apply heat to stained materials. This is because; heat will set the stains and dry up the blood making their removal even more difficult.
- Bed bug stains are organic protein based stains. So you can use an enzyme based cleaner to remove it. Look for products that list blood stain removal in their features or targeted stain removal lists.Note that each type of enzyme has a different action and is usually effective at breaking down only one kind of stain. Some enzymes, for example, may be listing urine and feces stain removal. These may not be effective in treating bed bug blood stains.
- Rinse the fabric under cool water. Brush the fabric gently. This should remove most of the stain.
- Apply the enzyme based stain remover. Wait for a few minutes before rinsing it out.
- You can also rinse out blood stains using club soda/baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.
- When using bleach or hydrogen peroxide to remove bed bug stains from sheets, always test a small area first. If the color fades, discontinue use. You could spot treat the fabric with diluted bleach/hydrogen peroxide.
- Wash the fabric as usual in detergent and water in your washer.
- Air-dry the fabric in sun.
How to get rid of bed bug stains from carpets and upholstery (items you cannot wash in the washer)
When the bed bug blood or poop stain is on the carpets, rugs, curtains or other items that cannot be washed, take the following measures to clean them out:
- Use a clean sponge and cool water and dab as much of the stain as you can.
- Do not scrub as that will only cause the stains to go deeper into the fibers.
- Spray some diluted laundry detergent on the stains. Let the detergent sit for a few minutes.
- Dab the mixture gently. Clean the stained surface with an old, wet rag.
- You can also use hydrogen peroxide but test a small area first to ensure that the fabric is not damaged.
How to remove stains from fabrics
- Mix one quart water, 1 tsp liquid dishwashing detergent and 1 tablespoon ammonia.
- Soak the fabric in the mixture. In case of bed bug poop stains or rust colored stains on upholstered furniture, rugs or carpets, spray the mixture over the stains.
- Rinse with cold water.
- If stains persist, spray or soak in a mixture of water and vinegar and let sit/soak for an hour.
- Wash as usual.
- Dry in dryer or let it air dry.
How to remove bed bug fecal stains from walls and wood
Bed bugs prefer wood and textile over plastic and metal as they can easily hide in cracks and crevices in these surfaces. Here are some ways to clean the bed bug poop on walls:
- Spray water over the stain. In case of the walls, this is bound to run down. Gently scrub with a rag.
- Many commercial stain removers can help remove stains from wood. Products like Klean Strip which contain hydrogen peroxide can also be useful for cleaning bed bug poop or fecal stains from walls. Be careful; hydrogen peroxide can discolor the walls. So treat a small area first before use.
- A mixture of oxalic acid and water can help remove rust colored bed bug stains. Oxalic acid is caustic, so always use gloves when handling the mixture. The solution will also lighten the wood so you may have to use sandpaper to sand the area and match the surrounding color.
- For treating bed bug poop stains or blood stains on walls, mix together baking soda and water to make a paste. Apply the paste on the wall stains. Dab with tissue and let air dry.
One of the best ways to check for bed bugs is to watch out for bed bug shells and blood spots on sheets. You can also see bed bug stains on walls, headboards and mattresses. These can be extremely annoying but once you have tackled the infestation, you can use the above methods to clean the stains out. Make sure you repeat the bed bug treatment within a few days and again after a few weeks to completely eliminate newly hatched bed bugs.