An ability to hide makes bed bugs as versatile as they are. They can be just about anywhere and will travel 20 feet or more to find a host. Feeding takes place whenever the bug is hungry. It might even venture out in daylight. Even if you get bitten, it can be hard to prove you have bed bugs unless you actually see one. Start looking if you suspect a problem. First, knowing just where do bed bugs hide is essential.
Hiding Spots in Heavily Infested Rooms
Live insects can be found in many different places. Any dark, sheltered area is a safe haven and it is not only mattresses and bedding where these pests reside. In a heavy infestation, you will find bed bugs in:
- The cushions and seams of couches, chairs, and other upholstered furniture.
- Behind baseboards, wallpaper, and picture frames.
- Inside electrical appliances and behind switchplates.
- In ceiling corners meeting with the wall.
- Inside drawers and the corners of drawers and desks, chairs, and tables.
- Bedding, linens, curtains, rugs, and carpets.
Bed bugs can even hide in clothing. If you see them there or suspect exposure, it’s important to wash your clothes and dry them at high temperatures. Heat above 113°F kills them while soap and water will remove any contamination.
Other Hiding Spots
A bed bug can crawl through any space as wide as a credit card. This gives them the versatility to go just about anywhere. The tiniest of cracks and crevices whether in wood, walls, furniture, or clothing or bedding allows these insects to remain concealed.
They can hide in suitcases and backpacks, which provide a safe haven for when hitching a ride with travelers. Any kind of box is a great refuge. Even shoes will do. It’s not only homes and on people bed bugs can be found. They’re also right at home in car seats, on buses, and even on trains. As long as the temperatures are not too hot and above 46°F, bed bugs are alive and active wherever they can access their human hosts.
Bed Bugs Can Be Anywhere
Any kind of dwelling will suit the bed bug’s needs. Single family homes, apartments, multi-family housing projects, and even hotels have been infested. There have been reports of problems in hospitals and schools. Even office buildings, college campuses, and five-store hotels have been impacted. This not only makes for a disruptive clean up; bed bugs can ruin a business’ reputation and drive away customers. Stores and movie theaters have also been targets as of late.
Once they hide inside mattresses, the insects can remain concealed for some time. This is by far not the only place you’ll find them. Bed bugs like bedding because of the shelter and proximity to people. Blood is the only thing that they can feed on. If you find them here, wipe away the creatures and eggs with a stiff brush and apply a waterproof zippered cover and keep it closed for at least a year. This covers their lifecycle and feeding limits so once uncovered, the bugs will be dead.
Nightstands are another convenient hiding place. Bugs could be underneath or hiding within. Wall moldings are common spots as well while anywhere there’s a crack or a break in a partition should be considered suspect. Peeling plaster, paint, or wallpaper give bed bugs a chance to go unseen too.
Toys, stuffed animals, or any bags and boxes are perfect for bed bugs to hide. Unnecessary items should be cleaned up. Clutter is almost like an invitation. In case the insects find their way here, throw these things away or seal them up for at least a year.
Discarded furniture can harbor bed bugs. Anything found on the street could have been easily exposed, or someone may have gotten rid of it because of an infestation. They could also be hitchhiking on used items or even within something you rent. More details are available from a New Jersey Department of Health fact sheet.
Knowing where do bed bugs hide is an important step in eliminating the problem if you have one. Look carefully and use the best product to resolve the issue.
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