How to Tell If Your House is Bugged (Devices and Methods)

by | Learn

Last Updated on January 19, 2023

Here are a few methods to tell you whether your house is bugged.

It could be a tiny microphone or a hidden spy camera; a criminal might be spying on you now, but how can you tell? There are a few techniques to identify a bugged house. Today, I’ll teach you everything I have learned to tell.

Generally, follow these three methods if you feel your house is bugged.

  1. Use counter-surveillance tools to detect hidden microphones or cameras.
  2. Carry out a physical inspection of your house.
  3. Hire a professional company or individual.

Let’s get started.


3 Methods That Can Tell if Your House is Bugged or Not

bug detector device

In this section, you’ll learn three methods to identify a bugged house. If you follow these methods correctly, you can detect hidden microphones, spy cameras, and any surveillance gear in your home.


Method 1 – Use Counter Surveillance Tools

Using bug detectors is the easiest and fastest way to detect a bugged house. But first, you should understand these counter-surveillance tools well.

Here are four counter-surveillance tools to detect hidden spy cameras or microphones.

  • Camera lens detectors
  • Infrared detectors
  • Radiofrequency detectors
  • Magnetic field detectors

These four detectors are more than enough to detect any hidden spy camera or microphone. Here’s how you can use them.


Camera Lens Detectors

camera lens detectors

These camera lens detectors are used to detect hidden cameras. They have multiple LED lights and a viewfinder. You can look through the viewfinder and press the button located below the viewfinder. Remember that you should aim at the suspected item.

hidden camera on coffee cup

After pressing the button, the LED lights will be activated. These lights will bounce back if the hidden camera lens is detectable. That means you’ll see a blinking light on the hidden camera surface.


Infrared Detectors

infrared detectors

Modern cameras use infrared radiation to produce images. This process is precious for night use. Or you can use these detectors in the daylight. So, if you have an infrared detector, you can detect a hidden camera easily. 

When a hidden security camera releases infrared radiation, these detectors will show you a red light on the camera lens. Remember that the naked eye cannot detect these lights.

hidden camera seen when scanned by infrared

Here’s an image of using a Xiaomi Smoovie ABS Infrared Detector. 

However, keep in mind that not all cameras use infrared technology.

RF Detectors

pro-10g rf detector

Video | Spy Geeks

RF detectors are great for detecting hidden cameras and microphones. These detectors will start beeping immediately after detecting radio frequencies. Most wireless cameras or microphones use RF to transmit video or audio. These RF detectors can detect those bugs and notify you by sounding an alarm or lighting up LEDs.


Magnetic Field Detectors

Using magnetic field detectors is an excellent way to detect any bugs. You can easily use these detectors to identify hidden cameras and microphones. Here’s a brief explanation of the working mechanism of magnetic field detectors.

The magnetic field detector scans the intensity level of the magnetic field around the suspected object. After that, it determines the location of the hidden camera or the microphone.

k-68 magnetic detector

Important: You don’t need to buy the above-described detectors one by one. Most modern bug detectors come with all four features. For instance, the K68 bug detector can detect camera lenses, infrared, RF signals, and magnetic fields.


Method 2 – Physical Inspection

Note: Detecting a hidden camera by yourself is not an easy task. But even with a high-quality bug detector, you should know where to look. So, this section can be useful for both physical inspection and using bug detectors. 

The second method is all about physical inspection.


Where to Look for a Hidden Spy Camera?

wireless hidden camera

Video | 11Alive

Hidden spy cameras come in all shapes and sizes. A tiny camera might be inside your USB charger, smoke detector, or lamp.

Here are some everyday items that criminals use to conceal spy cameras.

  • Smoke detectors: Some smoke detectors may contain hidden cameras, so it’s worth checking these for any unusual attachments or wires.
  • Clock radios: Clock radios can contain hidden cameras, so it’s worth checking these for any unusual attachments or wires.
  • Wall outlets can be a common place to hide cameras.
  • Electronics: Electronics such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Plants: Some hidden cameras are designed to blend in with their surroundings.
  • Ceiling tiles: Hidden cameras can sometimes be hidden in ceiling tiles.
  • Air fresheners: Some air fresheners may contain hidden cameras.
  • USB chargers
  • Screws
  • Mirrors
  • Routers
  • Photo frames
hidden camera on philips dvr box

Video | 11Alive

You’ll have to search your house properly and inspect any suspected items.

smoke detector as hidden camera

Video | KCRA News

Imagine you want to check the smoke detector for a hidden camera. Take a flashlight and closely examine the smoke detector. If you detect any camera lenses on the smoke alarm, there might be a hidden camera.

USB chargers are another common item you should check for a hidden camera. The compact design of these chargers is excellent for hiding a tiny spy camera.

So, take the USB charger and check it for a hole. An ordinary USB charger shouldn’t have any holes in it.


Where to Look for a Hidden Microphone?

hidden camera device like smoke detector

Telephones, radios, and televisions are the most common places to look for a hidden microphone in your home.

There are two types of listening devices.


Audio Bugs
audio recording device

Audio bugs are tiny microphones that can easily be concealed inside your house. They can listen, record, and transmit your private conversations. Criminals might choose your sofa, closet, TV, radio, or ceiling to hide listening devices.

These eavesdropping devices need a mini station to grab your conversations. If you can detect a suspicious vehicle outside the home, that vehicle might use a mini station.


Wiretapping Devices
wiretapping device
Wiretaps also can be categorized as small microphones. However, they connect to your home telephone. That way, a criminal can listen to your private conversation.

Some wiretaps can transmit your conversations to the listening post. And some come with auto-recording features.


Tips for Carrying Out a Physical Inspection Properly

Here are some pointers to detect these hidden surveillance devices.


Strange Sound and Volume Changes

If you notice volume changes or strange sounds while using your telephone, it could signify a bugged telephone.

To investigate this:

Take a screwdriver and remove the cover of the telephone. Then, check for any wiretaps inside your telephone.


Check the Furniture Imprints

If you detect any furniture location changes, that might indicate a criminal moving them to hide a spy camera or audio bug. So, check all the furniture imprints. The furniture should cover them. If the marks are visible to you, that means someone has changed the location of the furniture.

For instance, criminals can use sofas to hide these cameras and microphones. Remember to check the suspected sofa for any holes. Also, check the empty spaces on the sofa.

Quick Tip: The above methods can be applied to all the furniture at your home.


Check Outlets, Sockets, and Light Switches

outlets and switches

Video | Spy Geeks

Outlets, sockets, and light switches are excellent targets for criminals. Criminals can easily hide a microphone or tiny spy camera inside these objects.

Here are a few simple steps for detecting hidden cameras or microphones in an outlet.

  1. Cut the power to the suspected outlet.
  2. Unscrew the outlet.
  3. Check the outlet for any camera or microphone.


Method 3 – Hire a Professional

If none of the above methods doesn’t give positive results, there is one other option for you. Hiring a qualified individual or a company to detect hidden cameras and microphones is one of the easiest ways to find one, but it can get expensive.

  1. Check credentials and certifications: Look for professionals or companies with the appropriate credentials and certifications, such as a private investigator’s license or certification from a relevant industry association.

  2. Ask about their experience: Find out how much experience the professional or company has in detecting and removing hidden cameras. Look for professionals or companies with a track record of completing similar projects.

  3. Get references: Ask for references or case studies from past clients. This can give you an idea of the professional or company’s level of expertise and customer satisfaction.

Video References

My Gadgets


Spy Associates

Xiaomi Mijia Life

Spy Geeks

Daytona Spy Shop

Daytona Spy Shop



Rating ARK Gadgets

Associated Press

How useful was this post?

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

About Gadgets Spy

Hi, I’m Michael, a security and surveillance expert. I co-founded and write for GadetsSpy and help teach people about new tech and Gadgets.