How to find bed bugs during the day

Did you know? It’s estimated 1 in 5 Americans has either had a bed bug infestation or knows someone who has had one.
 
Data from NYC showed that the number of bed bug complaints to the city council increased from 537 in 2004, to 10,985 as of 2009.
 
This rapid increase of cases shows that bed bugs have become a widespread pest throughout the USA. The risk of exposure through daily life appears to be increasing each year.
 
These cases were not only within hotels and homes, but also within office & retail spaces, and even in movie theatres.
 
Bed bugs are active during the night, and these little critters will bite you when you’re fast asleep.
 
These nocturnal bugs are on a feeding frenzy at night time, on the lookout for an unsuspecting host to leave them with a cluster of bite marks and red welts to wake up to in the morning.
 
During the day, bed bugs choose to hide in various places. But, this doesn’t mean that these blood-sucking parasites can’t be found during daylight.

Signs of bed bugs:

  • Bed bug presence
  • Small empty bed bug skins and shells
  • Rust colored spots or stains on bedding and furniture

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide During The Day?

To deal with a bed bug infestation, it is important to identify the source of the problem. Identification is the first step in the process.
 
Once you’re sure you have a bed bug infestation you can begin to look for them during the day.
 
But due to bedbugs being nocturnal parasites, they tend to avoid light and hide during the day, becoming a game of hide and seek for the homeowner attempting to remove these insects.
 
Bed bug can be found in the seams and linings of infested beds and will bite you while you’re asleep. Not only will they hide within beds, but also other furniture within the same room. Yet, bed bugs will infest any area where humans visit, as this is their main food source.
 
This is why it’s a good idea to learn how to find bed bugs during the day. It’ll be much trickier to find these insects at night time!
 

Can You See Bed Bugs with the Human Eye?

Due to their size, they can be difficult to spot. Especially if your suspected bedding and furniture is a dark color.
 
One of our recommendations is to use a light colored bed sheet such as white to help identify these critters before you get into bed
 
Here’s a description of what bed bugs look like:
 
  • The average bed bug is the size of a lady bug or an apple seed.
  • They are a reddish dark brown color. As bed bugs age, their shell becomes darker.
  • Bed bugs do not fly
  • Their bodies expand when they feed
  • Bed bugs have six legs and two antennae on each side of their heads
  • Bed bugs have a long flat body, a small stomach, and a tiny head.
 
That being said, these little insects are visible with the human eye. However, since they are nocturnal feeders, seeing them during the day is quite unlikely. They will be hiding.
 

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide During the Day?

They are able to hide in areas that are dark and difficult to access. One of the most popular examples of this are mattress seams and crevices.

Most people don’t flip their mattresses that often, so bed bugs are able to spread without being disturbed.

Below are a few examples of other areas you might find bed bugs:

  • In the seams, stitching, or piping of your mattress. Bed bugs will burrow as far into the gaps as possible.
  • Behind loose wallpaper
  • Underneath furniture, more than likely within the cracks and crevices of the wood. Prime areas will be near your bed, but can also include sofas or dining areas. Really anything that people regularly come into contact with. Second hand furniture is a common hiding spot for bed bugs.
  • Within the cracks in the wall or floorboards. It has also been reported for bed bugs to be found in your carpet, however this isn’t that common.

These bugs are most commonly found in areas such as beds, bedroom furniture, mattresses, and bed linen. However bed bugs may also be found in the seams and crevices of bed frames, dressers, and loosened wallpaper. 

Second hand furniture is an especially prime hotspot for bed bugs and should be thoroughly cleaned before use. 

It turns out bedbugs don’t need beds to survive. They can catch a ride to work on people’s coats, clothing, and handbags, and live in office furniture or even files, and they can live for a full year on just one feeding.

It may come as a surprise that bed bugs do not actually need beds to survive. There have been reports of bed bugs found within retail companies such as JP Morgan Chase and even a case at Victoria’s Secret where the store had to close for several days.

How To Find Bed Bugs During The Day

The first step to finding bed bugs during the day is by looking underneath your mattress. Few people think about looking underneath their mattress for traces of bed bugs. Most cases of bed bugs are found living in mattresses, even though there are plenty of reports within other objects.
 
It’s important to know how to find bed bugs during the day as it can be pretty difficult to find them at night time.
 
Here’s our step by step process to identify bed bugs underneath your mattress:
 
  • Like most insects, bed bugs are disgusting. We’d recommend wearing gloves.
  • Remove the bed sheets and place them in a plastic bag. Empty the bag straight into your washing machine. 
  • Using a flashlight, check the sides, seems, stitching, and piping of your mattress.
  • Keep an eye out for: bed bug shells, dead bed bugs, rust colored spots, blood stains, or fecal matter.
  • Lift each corner of the mattress, looking for any signs of bed bug life. Pay close attention to the corners and edges of the mattress 
 
Remember, you’re not only looking for bed bugs! You’re also looking for signs of their presence.
 
Bed bug traps
 
If you’ve setup bed bug traps under your bed using a mixture of water, sugar, and yeast – this is the first place to check. The bed bug trap produces carbon dioxide which attracts the bed bugs and traps them. If you find a few bed bugs inside the trap, this is the first indicator of a problem.
 
Mattress seams
 
Mattress seams are a popular place for bed bugs to hide, as they are able to stay close to their food source and remain hidden.
 
A mattress seam is that extra fine stitching that joins two fabrics together. The final stitch provides an excellent hiding space for bed bugs.
 
Headboards
 
When bed bugs are full or taking a break, they will stay in near to their food source. So be sure to check your headboards. These parts of the bed provide optimal hiding areas due to the cracks and gaps in the frame
 
Duvet covers and bedding 
 
Bed bugs are champions at hide and seek, they will hide in the folds and seams of your bedding.
 
We recommend using a light colored bed sheet, duvet, and any bedding for that matter to help spot these annoying insects.
 
Electric outlet covers
 
Outlet plates are another common hiding place for bedbugs. If you find some bed bugs within these outlets, it means that there is an infestation.
 
Power outlets create a tunnel system throughout the property, allowing bed bugs to spread from room to room. Unscrew the outlet plates and remove them, then use a flashlight to search for bed bugs.
 

What to do when you find them?

Don’t crush the bed bugs when you find them, as not only will it leave a red stain on your bedding or furniture, it’ll also disturb the remaining bed bugs, causing them to scatter.

It is advisable to use a vacuum cleaner on the targeted area to collect all the bed bugs as well as their eggs, droppings, and nymphs. 

Learn more about Bed Bugs 

We have numerous other bed bug guides. Each of these guides are written by our specialists to help you live a pest free life.