Find out where bed bugs like to hide and the best ways to eradicate them from your home.
While you may think you can only find bed bugs at hotels, motels, college dormitories, and other widely used spaces, you may be surprised to learn they also can invade your home. Bed bug infestations affect one in five households each year. So what do you do if you feel one of these insects crawl across your pillow at night? How do you find these creepy critters and get rid of the infestation?
As a general rule, bed bugs hide in dark places where humans sleep so they can consume their blood at night. To find bed bugs during the day, search mattresses, box springs, and cracks and crevices throughout the home to help root out the infestation.
Keep on reading to learn how to identify bed bugs and other places they like to hide. You will also learn how to remove bed bugs and the best ways to treat your home to prevent future bed bug invasions.
Where Do Bed Bugs Usually Hide During the Day?
Bed bugs are one of the most annoying pests to deal with because they are nocturnal and hard to find during the day. These blood-feeding insects tend to hide in dark spaces as they do not like light or heat. They are also becoming increasingly more common.
Even though bed bugs have been around for centuries, after World War II, they almost became extinct. These pests, however, made a comeback in the 1970s and have been a growing problem in households around the world. Now bed bugs have become more adaptable and resistant to many pesticides and are better at hiding in homes.
As their name suggests, bed bugs typically hide in the bedroom area of a home. You can usually find them under your bed’s sheets, mattress, and box spring. They are found close to where people and pets sleep since they bite and feed off blood, so it is essential also to check furniture around your bed like dresser drawers, nightstands, bed frames, and headboards.
While you are most likely to find bed bugs in bedrooms, they can also move to other places in your home if you have a heavy infestation. It is important to check in-between the cushions of chairs and couches, picture frames, and cracks in wooden furniture.
In addition to furniture, you can even find bed bugs in cracks and crevices of floors and walls, electrical outlets, carpets, and peeling wallpaper.
How Do You Get Bed Bugs Out of Hiding?
Since bed bugs do not like daylight and stow away in hard-to-reach places, you may be wondering how it is possible to coax them out of hiding. One of the best ways to attract and make them come out during the day is using CO2 bed bug traps.
Bed bugs are attracted to both heat and carbon dioxide since that is what their primary feeding source, humans, emit into the air. CO2 bed bug traps work by releasing heat and carbon dioxide to lure bed bugs out of their hiding spots and into the trap. These traps are a great way to monitor infestations and prevent bed bugs from continuing to lay eggs and increasing their population in your home.
Steamers are also another way to push bed bugs out of their hiding spots. The high heat will make bed bugs want to find another location to conceal themselves, giving you the perfect opportunity to kill them. Steamers are great to use on beds, couches, and other furniture.
Do Bed Bugs Live on Pillows?
Pillows are one of the places bed bugs like to live since they can hide in pillowcases and are close to where people sleep to feed on them at night.
One sign bed bugs might be living in your pillows is if you wake up with red itchy bites on your face, neck, and shoulders. You should also check for egg clusters, blood stains, and small black spots, which are the bed bug’s feces, as these are signs bed bugs have infested your pillows. Bed bugs also have a distinct smell, so if your pillows or bedding smell musty, this could also indicate an infestation.
If you discover that bed bugs have infested your pillows, do not throw them out as that risks spreading them to other parts of your house. Bed bugs will also just spread to new pillows, so it is essential to treat the source of the problem.
Instead of tossing your pillows, put them in a garbage bag and tie it so that bed bugs cannot escape throughout your home. After you seal the bag, bring it to where your washer and dryer are located, take the pillows out, and wash and dry them. Ensure you wash and dry your pillows on high heat to drown and kill the bugs.
If One Room Has Bed Bugs, Do They All?
If bed bugs are living in your bedroom, then there is a good chance they have spread to other rooms throughout your house. Bed bugs multiply fast as female bed bugs can lay one to seven eggs a day, and these eggs can hatch in as little as six days. Female bed bugs will travel around your home looking for the perfect spot to hide and lay eggs.
Bed bugs are also great hitchhikers and will attach to people as they move around the house. While it is not as likely, pets can also carry bed bugs to different rooms, so make sure to check dogs and cats for these insects around their necks and collars.
For these reasons, it is essential to inspect every room for bed bugs and treat them if you suspect they may be present.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are notoriously hard to deal with in homes. My husband told me when he dealt with a bed bug infestation in his apartment, it was one of the worst experiences of his life, as it was tough to get rid of all the insects. Even worse, bed bugs have become resistant to many pesticides and are difficult to kill. Luckily, there are many solutions to rid your house of bed bugs.
It is important to note that the best way to get rid of bed bugs is by detecting them early. If you suspect that these insects are inside your home, treat the areas where they hide right away, as these bugs do not simply go away. Bed bugs can go months without feeding, so it will only worsen over time if you do not treat the infestation.
One of the best ways to detect and eliminate these nuisances is by using bed bug traps. These should be your first line of defense against bed bugs as they will help start to catch them and also let you know how big of an infestation you have in your house.
Another way to get rid of bed bugs is by using climbup interceptors. These products are plastic dishes that are placed on the legs of beds or furniture to trap the bed bugs when they try to come out at night.
In addition to using traps, you also want to make sure to take items like sheets, pillows, blankets, couch covers, and clothes and wash and dry them in the hottest settings possible to kill the bed bugs. It is also important to vacuum frequently and seal off any cracks or crevices in furniture, flooring, or walls during an infestation.
If you have tried all these solutions and still have bed bugs, it is best to hire an exterminator. In heavy infestations, harsh chemicals may have to be used to get rid of bed bugs, and professionals should only use these products.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs are not hard to spot as they are visible to the naked eye. Adult bed bugs resemble an apple seed and are around a quarter-inch in length though they appear larger after they feed since they expand. They are light to dark brown but turn reddish-brown after feeding on blood.
Bed bugs typically take five weeks to mature, but they can become adults in as soon as a month in warm temperatures. For these reasons, you will also want to be on the lookout for young bed bugs, also known as nymphs and bed bug eggs. While adult bed bugs are pretty easy to spot, immature bed bugs and their eggs are much harder to spot.
Bed bug eggs are white and barrel-shaped and are about the size of a grain of salt. To find the eggs, you need to look for white clusters on your mattress and furniture.
Nymphs are a lot smaller than adult bed bugs and tend to be a white-yellow color. You can usually only see young bed bugs after they eat since they expand and become a slightly reddish color. Nymphs and eggs are particularly hard to see on white and light-colored sheets, mattresses, and furniture.
Bed bugs are a nuisance and can be challenging to find since they are nocturnal and like to hide. With the tips in this article, you will know how to identify bed bugs and treat the infestation to eliminate these creepy critters from your home.