Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Where Bed Bugs Hide During the Day

It is well known that bed bugs are nocturnal and only come out at night to feed on their human host. This causes many people to wonder where they hide during the day. Before getting into the details, it is worth noting that the bed bugs don’t have a preferred hiding place during the day vs. at night. The critters only need to feed once a week and will spend the rest of their ‘free’ time in their hideaway, day or night. There are also rare occasions when the pests will attack during the day such as when the host works night shift and there is no alternative source of nourishment during the night.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

Bed bugs are hiding in the mattress
Bed bugs are hiding in the mattress

Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and have a flat back which minimizes height. This construction allows them to hide extremely well. Despite what the name might imply, bed bugs are not confined to the bed and will hide almost anywhere they can feel safe. However, the critters will rarely nest more than 5 feet from where the host spends most of his time such as;

  • Bed: this one is obvious. The bed offers easy access to a blood meal since the average person spends 6-8 hours in bed. This includes the mattress, headboard and box spring. This is the obvious place to start your inspection.
  • Couches and Chairs: this is another common hiding place for bed bugs especially if the host spends a lot of time lounging on the sofa. The bugs like upholstered chairs and couch which have many services where they can hide.
  • Dressers and Nightstands: these offer plenty of dark cracks, gaps and services for bed bugs to hide in. Dressers and nightstands are also conveniently located close to the bed and to an easy blood meal.
  • Carpet edges and Baseboards: again, there are plenty of potential hiding spots here. The area where the carpet meets the walls is especially attractive to bed bugs.
  • Clothing: this isn’t a top choice for bed bugs but they will infest clothes if they get the chance. Finding bed bugs in your clothing may mean you have a huge infestation or they are living in your closet. This isn’t a big problem for most people because they wash and –heat dry clothes regularly, which kills bed bugs.
  • Ceilings and walls: bed bugs on your walls and ceilings are another sign of a severe infestation. The bed bugs can easily spread to other rooms through cracks, gaps, holes and services.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but just some of the typical hiding places. The critters will live inside books, inside appliances, under wallpaper and many other possible locations.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide in Your Bed

Bed bugs are hiding in the box spring
Bed bugs are hiding in the box spring

Bed bugs commonly take up residence in your bed, hence their name. By residing in your bed, it puts them closer to their source of food…which is you! These little bloodsuckers prefer to stay as close to a warm human body as possible so they do not have to travel far for food. That does not mean they will not take up residence in other areas, too, but your bed is the first place to look. Knowing how to inspect your box spring for bed bugs is a huge help.

What to Watch For

First, make sure you know what to look for when searching for signs of bed bugs. Search the thing material covering the box spring for reddish or rust coloured stains. When you sleep and move around at night, it is likely that you crush a bed bug or two, so they will leave telling stains behind.

If you see dark spots on the material or around the edge of the box spring, it is also an indication of a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs feed on blood, so their feces will leave a dark brown stain. Since their excrement is so thin, the stain bleeds onto fabric. You should also search every corner and seam of the box spring for eggshells. Egg shells are very small at only 1 mm in length.

Finally, look for nymph skins. Nymphs shed several times before they reach maturity, so you may notice pale yellow shells, or skins, belonging to them on or around your box spring. Finally, keep an eye out for live bed bugs. Although bed bugs hide rather well, you may spot a live bed bug crawling around. Typically, if you see a live bug, it is either by luck or because you have a big infestation issue on your hands.

Survivability

A bed bug can survive as long as it has a host that it can feed on, which is you. That does not mean you can starve a bed bug to death. They can go without food for quite some time. It is not likely that you can freeze them out, either. Bed bugs stay active in temperatures as cold as 46 degrees. However, if the temperature exceeds 113 degrees, their body cannot handle it and they will die off.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide in Furniture

Bed bug eggs on the leather sofa bed
Bed bug eggs on the leather sofa bed

Bed bugs are shrewd travellers and are able to hitchhike their way from one location to another on shoes, clothes, luggage and boxes. These pests are small, nocturnal and prefer to stay out of sight in cracks, cervices and behind baseboards when they are not feeding which is why they are so difficult to detect. Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood so it makes sense for them to infest the bed. The bugs, however, have many other hiding places. Bed bugs in Toronto are effective breeders and a small infestation can grow quickly if it is not addressed immediately by a professional bed bug exterminator.

Common Bed Bugs Hiding Places

Because bed bugs feed on human blood, they prefer to be near humans as much as possible. You will typically find them within 5 feet of where you spend extended periods of such the beds and sofa. The pests only come out to feed before returning to their hiding spot.

The most likely hiding place is, of course, your box spring. Couches and mattresses are also common hiding spots and so are headboards and bed frames. The pest will occasionally hide in your walls and ceilings, under the baseboard and in the dresser or nightstand.

Bed bugs also like to hide in the fabric so upholstery, bedding, backpacks, luggage, handbags, clothing and curtains offer good hiding spots. They may hide in the vicinity of other infested furniture if the population is large. You may find more bed bugs under the coffee table or in the closet adjacent to an already infested sofa or bed respectively.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

The best way to get rid of bed bugs is to treat with insecticide. As many homeowners find out, over-the-counter insecticides are rarely used. Strict pesticide regulations in Canada mean that only licensed exterminator have access to the most effective chemicals. The only way you can be assured of permanent bed bug removal in Toronto is to call a licensed exterminator. Bed bugs are immune to most household pesticides available over-the-counter. There are also too many possible hiding places for you to do an effective job on your own. An exterminator will first inspect the infestation before deciding on the best pesticide and method to use. Most infestations require multiple treatments and painstaking work. Ask for a warranty of at least six months to ensure the exterminator has done a good job.

Bed bugs are also very good at hiding so it is highly unlikely that you are able to treat the infestation properly. You may also need special equipment to get into gaps, cracks and services. It is best to leave the job with a licensed exterminator in Toronto.

Article Updated: October 4th, 2018 

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.