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Bed Bug Identification Process

Halton Region Health Department provides a free bed bug identification service for Halton residents to assist in confirming bed bug infestations.

When to submit a sample:

Bed bug lifecycle

Photo used with permission from Stephen L. Doggett

1) If the insect resembles one of the larger stages in the bed bug lifecycle (the adult is approximately the size of an apple seed and easiest to identify):

Bed bugs in a mattress

Photo used with permission from Stephen L. Doggett

2) Blood stains and black fecal marks may be visible on bedding and/or the mattress:


closeup of torso with bed bug bites on it3) In some cases, itchy bite marks or welts may be noticed, especially around the face, neck, upper torso, arms and hands.

How to submit a sample:

  • Collect an adult if possible – they are easier to identify 
  • Do not squish or stick the insect to tape 
  • Put insect in a clear, watertight container with 70% alcohol (e.g. rubbing alcohol) to kill and preserve it. 
  • LIVE INSECTS will not be accepted! 
  • Complete the Bed Bug Identification Form pdf document 94KB (also available at the Health Protection reception desk)
The sample, together with the Bed Bug Identification Form , can be dropped off weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to the Health Protection desk at:

Halton Region
1151 Bronte Road
Oakville, Ontario, Canada, L6M 3L1 view map external link