Bed bugs are blood-sucking insects that crawl out at night and bite exposed skin.
During the day they hide away in cracks and crevices in beds and furniture.
Adult bed bugs can grow up to 5mm long, so they are visible to the human eye.
However, due to their ability to hide in tight spaces, they can be hard to spot.
Here’s how to tell if you might have a bed bug infestation in your home.
Bed bug bites
When bed bugs bite, they leave itchy, red bumps on the skin.
As bed bugs are crawling insects, they usually bite in lines or clusters on the skin as they crawl.
Bites usually appear on exposed areas such as the face, neck, hands or arms.
The bugs themselves
You may be able to spot the bugs themselves by shining a torch into the cracks and crevices in and around your bed.
Or, you may find tiny white eggs in the crevices and joints.
Evidence on the bed sheets and mattress
If you can’t see any actual bugs, you may find evidence of them on your bed sheets and mattress.
Evidence can include tiny brown or black spots, which could be their dried poo.
You may also notice blood spots, which can occur if you squash a bug while sleeping after it has fed.
Bed bugs shed their skin as they grow, so you might also notice mottled bed bug shells on and around the bed.
A strange smell in your room
A bed bug infestation can cause an unpleasant, musty scent in the infested room.
“Bedbugs tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic and metal, and often hide near to where you sleep – for example, under the mattress or along the headboard,” said the NHS.
“But they can be found away from the bed in other furniture, along the edges of carpets and even behind mirrors or inside smoke alarms.”