Written by A O’Neill, Licensed Pest Management Professional
Bed bugs have many hiding spots but like to live close to where we sleep, which is on the mattress and bed. But they also live in many other hiding places that will typically be within 3-6 feet of the bed.
They are attracted to the warmth and CO2 emitted from our bodies, so it explains why an estimated 70 – 85% of the bed bug infestation is found in the mattress, on mattress seams, box spring, and bed frame, as they like to stay close to their food source.
Where do bed bugs like to hide?
Evidence of bed bugs are bloodstains on the bedding, bed bug eggs, casings, dark fecal stains, and live bed bugs. Another sign is the smell from bed bugs which is an unpleasant musty odor from their scent glands.
The remaining 15 – 30% of the infestation is found in cabinets, underneath wallpaper, in carpets and upholstered furniture, baseboards, and behind electrical switch plates, as well as many other places.
Bed bugs are literally the width of your credit card, so if a crack in a wall can hold your card then it can certainly be a hiding place and breeding area for them to lay eggs.
Where do bed bugs hide during the day?
As they like to stay close to their host, you will find them hiding in all of the above places during the day as well.
Bed bugs are mainly active at night as they are nocturnal pests. They leave their hiding places when they detect the CO2 from a sleeping person and crawl over to take a blood meal.
They flatten their bodies and hide in dark places during the day, such as the smallest cracks and crevices, floorboards, and as I said above, even behind small torn areas of wallpaper.
You can see photos of where they hide on our bed bugs pictures page.
You typically won’t see them during the day. However, if they are hungry or if a person usually sleeps in the daytime, they will take their chances and come out to feed, especially if the room is heavily infested. They only feed for between 5-10 minutes and you don’t feel them feeding.
Bed bugs do not hide on your body or infest your hair. The only time they attach themselves to a person is to bite and feed. After feeding they become completely engorged and immediately crawl back to their harborage sites (hiding places) where they digest the blood, mate, and the females lay their eggs.
Other bed bug hiding spots
There are so many more places where bed bugs hide but start by checking the bed for signs of bed bugs first.
Here are some other example areas of where bed bugs like to hide:
- Couches and any upholstered furniture
- Furniture seams
- Furniture screw heads. This image shows just how small they are as there are multiple bed bugs hiding inside this screw head.
- Laundry basket
- Pet bedding
- Mattress and box spring
- Picture frames
- Mirrors on walls
- Inside, behind and underneath dresser and nightstands
- Cracks and crevices
- Along and under carpet edging
- Ceiling fixtures
- Light fittings
- Book spines
- Smoke detectors
- Electrical outlets and switch plates.
Bed bugs likely get their name from their feeding on people when asleep in bed. But they can be found hiding other places where people gather, they then find their way into your home through hitch-hiking in a person’s backpack, suitcase, or other belongings or on their clothes.
Bed bugs hide in dark and tiny spaces in the room and can be hard to detect, so proper pest control is extremely important to prevent a bed bug infestation.