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How And Where To Find Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny, nocturnal insects that require blood to survive and reproduce. Because of their small size and elusive nature, they can be difficult to find and eradicate. Knowing how to find bed bugs and where to look can help you decide whether to contact a professional bed bug exterminator. In this article, we discuss the living habits of bed bugs, their most common hiding places, and the tools and ways to detect them.

Bed Bug Living Habits

Bed bugs thrive in warm environments and in places where a food source is nearby. Barely visible to the naked eye, these elusive and cunning creatures depend on blood to survive, grow and reproduce. Their small size allows them to squeeze into the smallest spaces and cracks, making them difficult to detect. Additionally, bed bugs are nocturnal creatures that avoid light, making them difficult to spot during the day.

Tools You Need for a Proper Bed Bug Inspection

Aside from obvious signs such as rust-colored stains on your sheets and bite marks on your skin, a visual inspection will confirm the presence of bed bugs. In addition to adult insects, you may also find juveniles, eggs, and shell casings.

Here are some of the essential tools you will need to conduct your own bed bug inspection:

  • A flashlight: A flashlight will help you see bed bugs hiding in dark crevices and spaces that are difficult to access. They will stop moving for a few minutes when exposed to the light.
  • A flat, thin object: Using a tool like an old credit card or a thin putty knife can help you get bed bugs out of their hiding place and into view.
  • A magnifying glass: A magnifying glass can make it easier to identify and confirm the presence of bed bugs.
  • Gloves: Wear vinyl or latex gloves to avoid direct contact with bed bugs during the inspection process.
  • Cleaning supplies: If you find living bed bugs during your inspection, it’s important to have cleaning supplies on hand to remove them. This may include plastic bags for bed bugs disposal, a vacuum (make sure to empty it immediately and put the content in a sealed garbage bag), paper towels, soap, and a sponge.

Note that cleaning alone won’t permanently rid your home of bed bugs. If you suspect an infestation, it’s best to call in a professional exterminator.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide In Your Home?

As mentioned earlier, bed bugs need blood to survive. That’s why they are found primarily near their food source – you. So you’ll find them primarily in your bedroom. However, if you don’t find any evidence of bed bugs in this room, try looking in other rooms where you spend a lot of time, such as your living room or your home office.

Spots, where you are likely to find bed bugs, include:

  • Mattresses, box springs, linens, and other bedroom furniture.
  • Upholstered furniture such as sofas, recliners, office chairs, etc.
  • In artwork, drapery, pet beds, bookshelves, tables, desks, rugs, etc.
  • Around the perimeter of a room, such as in wall outlets, baseboards, light fixtures, wallpaper, window, and door frames.
  • In personal belongings such as luggage, purses, and clothing.

This is not to say that bed bugs won’t infiltrate other areas of the home. When you travel, it is also a good habit to check your hotel for bed bugs before settling in. The safest place to protect your belongings during your hotel stay, is in the bathroom, away from the common bed bug hiding spots. Performing a close room examination can save you from potentially bringing a bed bug infestation home.

How to Check for Bed Bugs

Before you start, find out what bed bugs look like and what their eggs, droppings, and shell casings look like. This will allow you to identify them more easily and not confuse them with other insects.

Once you are familiar with their appearance and the traces left by bed bugs, look for the various signs of an infestation that are noticeable during the day. These may include a musty odour, shell casings, feces, eggs, bloodstains, and of course, bites on your own person. But to determine with certainty the presence of an infestation, the following rooms should be thoroughly inspected for live bed bugs:

In the bedroom

  • Remove your bedding and verify the edges and seams of your mattress. Then lift your mattress and, using your flashlight, inspect the frame, headboard and footboard of your bed, paying particular attention to the screw holes.
  • Move your furniture to do a thorough inspection. Inspect your dressers, chests and nightstands checking for cracks, corners, nooks and crannies and, of course, screw holes. Slip your credit card into small cracks to potentially extract bed bugs.
  • With your furniture away from the walls, check baseboards, window and door frames, electrical outlets, and lighting fixtures.
  • Check curtains and drapes, artwork, lamps, carpets, and rugs.
  • Check your personal belongings such as luggage, purses, and clothing.

Bed bugs in furniture

In the living room

  • If possible, check in the cracks and crevices of the wooden frame of your sofa, loveseat and chairs as well as the seams of the cushions.
  • Just like in the bedroom, inspect each piece of furniture carefully for potential hiding places for these little critters.
  • Electrical outlets, baseboards, doors and window frames all need to be inspected as well.

Other places

Bed bugs can also be found in the following unexpected places:

  • Bookcase and books
  • Children’s toys
  • Dog beds
  • Electronics such as TVs, remote controls, computers, alarm clocks and other gadgets

What to Do If You Find Bed Bugs

If you find bed bugs, immediately contact an extermination company to seek bed bug treatment. Do not try to tackle the infestation on your own, as bed bugs are one of the toughest insects to eradicate without the proper tools, expertise and knowledge. Trusting bed bug control professionals to carry out a comprehensive extermination process can be the difference between eliminating the problem for good and the problem recurring.

What If You Only Found One Bed Bug?

It isn’t uncommon to only find one bed bug. However, due to the rapid rate at which they multiply, even a single bed bug is considered an infestation. Chances are there are more, they are just difficult to find due to their size and nature of staying unseen. The best way to find bed bugs is to have a K9 detection performed.

Call an Exterminator for the Right Solution to Your Bed Bug Problem

Bed bug infestations should not be taken lightly, as they can get out of control very quickly. If you suspect an infestation, it is best to call in professionals like Thermapro. We offer bed bug detection and effective heat treatment remediation services. Contact us for more information on our services.

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