Is It Lint or Bed Bugs? {How To Identify Here}

Do you have black dirty looking specks on your bed and are wondering if it is lint or bed bug droppings? In this article I will help you to identify what it is and how to treat it.

Is it lint or bed bugs?

If the black specks on your bed are small and fluffy then it is lint, if the specs look like they are drawn onto the bed then it will be bed bug droppings.

If you have bed bugs you should spray your mattress with a bed bug killer spray Available On Amazon to kill the bugs, then scrub the mattress to remove the dead bugs.

What Is Lint?

Lint is a collection of small that or short and fine fibres that come together on the surfaces of cloths and form fluffy balls which can be mistaken for bed bug droppings.

Lint is usually white in colour back and also appear darker in colour in certain conditions, such as damp conditions and areas where there is a lot of dust.

Is It Lint or Bed Bugs

Are Bed Bugs Mistaken For Lint?

Bed bugs do not look anything like lint. A bed bug is dark in colour and oval shape whilst lint is usually light in colour and looks like a fluffy ball.

Young bed bugs are lighter in colour compared to adults and will look the same colour as Lint.

How To Identify If It Is Lint or Bed Bugs?

To identify if the stains are lint or bed bugs there are a few signs we can look out for which include

  1. Colour
  2. Shape
  3. Signs of Infestation


Typically lint will be white in colour and bed bug droppings will be dark or black in colour. Sometimes lint will be dark in colour in certain conditions.


If the dark marks look like they have been drawn on the mattress with a pen then the marks are bed bug droppings, if the marks look like balls of fluff then it will be lint.

Signs of Infestation

The best way to check for signs of infestation is to look at the creases in your mattress and sheets for bed bugs as this is where they will be hiding.

YouTube video

What Does Bed Bug Poop Look Like?

Bed bug poop will be dark in colour and will look like it has been drawn onto your mattress or sheets with a pen.

If the poop gets wet the stain will absorb the water and will expand in size.

The stains will typically all be in the same place as the bed bugs usually poop near their nests.  Below is what bed bug poop looks like.

Bed Bug Poop

You can see the dark marks look like they have been drawn on with a pen, the dark stains do not look like fluffy balls.

What Does Lint Look Like?

Now we know what bed bug poop looks like let’s take a look at what lint looks like so we can tell the difference between the two.

The picture below was taken a few years ago of my mattress where you can see lint build-up.

I can tell this is lint because the stains do not look like they had drawn on and they clearly look like balls of fluff.

lint bugs

Bed Bugs in Dryer Lint Filter

When you wash your clothes and bed sheets take a look at the lent filter to see if there are any bed bugs caught in there.

If you do have bed bugs your filter will look like below.

bed bugs in lint filter

Laundry detergent will kill most of your bed bugs but not all. Heat is what will kill the bed bugs, so wash your clothes and bed linen on the highest heat setting possible.

Make sure to clean your filter after every wash until the bed bugs are completely gone.

Do Bed Bug Eggs Look Like Lint

Bed bug eggs are small, oval-shaped, and typically about the size of a pinhead, measuring around 1 millimeter (mm) in length. They are not usually mistaken for lint because they have a distinct appearance and are typically found in specific locations associated with bed bug activity.

Here are some key characteristics of bed bug eggs:

  • Size and Shape: Bed bug eggs are tiny and have an elongated, oval shape. They are usually translucent or pearly white when freshly laid but can become progressively darker as they develop.
  • Clustered Together: Bed bug eggs are often found in clusters. Adult female bed bugs lay their eggs in secluded locations near where they hide, rest, or feed, such as in cracks and crevices, seams of mattresses, and the folds of upholstery.
  • Adherence: Bed bug eggs are coated with a sticky substance that helps them adhere to surfaces. This adherence prevents them from being easily dislodged, unlike lint, which is generally loose and can be removed more easily.
  • Presence of Females: Bed bug eggs are typically found near areas where bed bugs are actively living and breeding. If you find tiny, oval-shaped objects in or around your bedding or sleeping areas, it’s important to inspect further to determine whether they are bed bug eggs.

How Do I Know If It’s Bed Bugs or Something Else

Identifying whether you have a bed bug infestation or another type of pest problem or skin irritation can be challenging, as many pests or skin conditions may have similar symptoms. Here are some steps to help you determine whether you might have bed bugs:

  • Look for Physical Signs: Examine your bedding, mattress, and nearby areas for small reddish-brown bugs (adult bed bugs), tiny white or translucent eggs, shed skin casings, and dark fecal spots. Bed bugs often hide in seams, crevices, and folds.
  • Inspect Bites: If you’re experiencing skin irritations or bites, examine the bite patterns. Bed bug bites are often arranged in clusters or lines, and they may appear as small red welts, often with a characteristic “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” pattern.
  • Check Sleeping Areas: Inspect your mattress, box spring, and bed frame carefully. Look for telltale signs of bed bug activity, such as live bugs, eggs, or fecal spots.
  • Review Travel and Recent Exposures: Think about recent travel or any exposure to potentially infested areas. Bed bugs can hitchhike on luggage, clothing, or used furniture.
    Consult with a Pest Control Professional:


Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable