Bed bugs are minuscule, blood-sucking pests that usually inhabit the linings of sheets and mattresses. These tiny, nocturnal arachnids stay hidden by day and only emerge at night to feed on the unlucky person sleeping nearby.
The evidence of bed bug infestation is usually unmissable, as bed bug bites are horribly itchy and (in cases of large infestations) can be widespread. However, the bed bugs themselves are usually nowhere to be seen by morning.
To kill bed bugs, you need to locate them first; so, how to find bed bugs during the day?
Most Common Places Bed Bugs Could Be Found During the Day
Bed bugs are very good at hiding, which is why they are so hard to spot during the day. In fact, most people don’t even know they have a bed bug infestation until they notice bed bug bites. This is because bed bugs hide in all sorts of places, and even full-grown bed bugs are small enough to squeeze into the tiniest gaps.
This means bed bugs can be hard to identify if you don’t know what you’re looking for, so how can you find bed bugs at home?
Bed bugs don’t like to stray too far from their food source (that’s you), so they are most commonly found in and around sleeping areas. Bed bugs hide in a wide variety of places, but you are most likely to find live bed bugs and bed bug eggs in:
- Mattress seams
- Pillow seams
- The folds of sheets
- Headboards and footboards
- Bedside dressers
- Other soft furnishings in the bedroom
In cases of severe infestation, bed bugs can spread to closets, laundry rooms, walls, and have even been found within the pages of books.
The Examination Process for Bed Bugs
You may be 99% sure that you have bed bugs, but you won’t see a single insect until you learn how to find their hiding places. To find bed bugs, you have to first examine their most likely daytime locations, and the bed is the perfect place to start.
How to Find Bed Bugs During the Day
Best bugs are most active at night, so the best time to find them is to hit them will the element of surprise. During the daytime, your bed bugs will be tucked away in their various hiding places, which gives you an ideal opportunity to locate their ‘nests.’ For this you will need a flashlight, a magnifying glass (if you want to take a closer look for eggs), and a strong stomach.
Once you find a potential bed bug hiding place, quickly shine the flashlight into the gap. Any live adult bed bugs will scurry quickly away from the light, leaving you to inspect the area for eggs and skin casks.
Examining your bed for bed bugs
You are most likely to spot bed bugs lurking in the seams of sheets, pillows, mattress covers, and mattresses. With a torch and magnifying glass, make a careful and thorough inspection of the seams on every part of your bed. Specifically, you are looking for dead or live bed bugs, bed bug eggs, or shed skins.
Live, adult bed bugs are around the size of an apple seed and reddish-brown in color, with flat, oval-shaped bodies.
Baby bed bugs (AKA, nymphs) are harder to spot, as they are smaller than adult bed bugs and pale, whitish-yellow. Bed bug eggs are tiny (around the size of a pinhead), pearly-white in color, and almost impossible to see with the naked eye.
As the largest and most darkly-colored, adult bed bugs are much easier to spy. If you see even a single bed bug in your home, you can be almost sure there are more hiding nearby. Other signs of bed bug infestations include:
- Human blood stains on bedding (from the bites)
- Crushed bed bugs (these will look like rusty or reddish stains on your linen)
- Bed bug droppings (which look like round, dark spots on bedding)
Examining your bed frame
New bed bug infestations are often confined to one area (i.e, the bed), but that doesn’t mean they can’t spread to other places. Bed bugs love small, dark crevices, and may wriggle their way into the box spring, bed frame, or even cracks in the ceiling and wall junctions of your bedroom. If you are finding bed bugs in every part of your bed, this could indicate a well-established infestation.
Examining other furniture for bed bugs
One bed bug is a problem, a bed full of them is a serious issue and a heavy, widespread infestation can become a full-blown nightmare.
Bed bugs usually get into our homes by hitching rides in laundry bags, second-hand clothes, and even between the pages of library books. Unfortunately, this means they can wind up almost anywhere in your house (though their preferred home is near their food source – i.e., your sleeping body).
If you suspect your home may be full of bed bugs, you will need to examine all the furniture in your bedroom (and, possibly, in other parts of your home, too). Take up your magnifying glass again and start a slow, methodical inspection of the furnishings near your bed. Pay extra attention to dark, concealed areas (such as joins in wood furnishings, hinges, cracks, drawers etc.) as this is where the bed bugs are most likely to be hiding.
What To Do After Spotting Hiding Bed Bugs During The Day?
If you find bed bugs at home, you’ll need to take immediate action to get rid of them. A single female bed bug can produce up to 20 eggs after just one blood meal so, if left untreated, bed bugs can quickly form huge infestations
Bed bugs are most active at night and can move very quickly when alert, so it’s best to kill bed bugs during the day. Eliminating bed bugs requires preparation, determination and, above all, speed!
Step 1: Find where the bed bugs hide
Now you know how to find bed bugs during the day, you have a good idea of where to look for them. Round 1 of bed bug extermination is to identify your targets – once you find bed bugs and their hiding places, the extermination can begin.
Step 2: The killing spree
Once you’ve found where the bed bugs are hiding, you’ll need to select your weapon. This will give the bed bugs time to settle back into their original positions so, by the time you’re ready for the attack, you’ll know exactly where to find them.
There are lots of commercially available insecticidal products that are fast-acting and safe to use at home. These chemical treatments can be highly effective but, in some areas, bed bugs have developed resistance to insecticidal treatments.
Alternatively, you could put together your own homemade bed bug spray using diluted rubbing alcohol, apple cider vinegar, or even ammonia. Whatever chemical or natural remedy you choose, always be sure to protect your skin and eyes during treatment, and make the area is well ventilated before you begin spraying.
Once you have your spray to hand, you’ll need to act fast – remember, bed bugs will scatter as soon as you uncover their hiding place. Once you’re ready, rip back the sheets and spray as many bed bugs as liberally as you can. Many sprays are kill-on-contact, and the bugs should die instantly.
Once the job is done, take all sheets directly to the washing machine and launder them at high heat to kill any remaining bed bugs or eggs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Bed Bugs Feed Only at Night?
Yes; bed bugs are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active at night time. Bed bugs bite their victims as they sleep, before retreating back into their hiding at day break.
Do Bed Bugs Feed Every Night?
Bed bugs are thought to feed every 5 to 10 days. If you are being bitten nightly, you may have multiple bed bugs hiding among the sheets.
When Are Bed Bugs Are Most Active?
Scientists have found that bed bugs do have a preferred mealtime, and it’s between midnight and 5 am. If a bed bug is especially hungry it may feed at any time, but it will do all it can to avoid being out in the sunlight.
Final Thoughts on How to Find Bed Bugs During the Day & to Get Rid of Them Effectively
If your extermination efforts don’t seem to be making much difference and you still find bed bugs during the day, your problem may be bigger than you first thought. As they are nocturnal, bed bug activity is typically very low during daylight hours. Seeing bed bugs during the day (especially in areas away from main sleeping quarters), or finding multiple bed bugs with ease could indicate a large infestation.
A large bed bug infestation can be almost impossible to handle without professional help. Bed bugs breed quickly and can spread throughout your house without swift and effective control so, if you’re covered in bed bug bites and think your house is heavily infested, call a pest control expert for their help and advice.