When I found out that they are nocturnal pests, I wanted to know how to find bed bugs during the day. The truth is that if you have a large bed bug infestation, you could easily find bed bugs during the day. Bed bugs are most active during the night, but they’ll come out during the day to feed on humans. For example, if you work nights bed bugs will come out during the day to feed on you.
How to find bed bugs during the day?
First, bed bugs will almost always hide close to the host. That means about ten feet from where you sleep. If you want to find bed bugs during the day all you have to do is look in the following areas:
- Mattress and bed frame – Look for reddish or rusty stains on your bedsheets to find bed bugs during the day.
- Box spring – Inspect the seems along the side of the box spring. If there is a bed bug problem, step number one is to get rid of the box spring, but that doesn’t solve the problem.
- Headboard and footboard – The footboard and headboard where bed bugs may lay their eggs. If there is a bed bug infestation, you will find bed bugs there during the day.
- Couch – If there is bed bug activity in your home, you could find bed bugs there during the day. Look for tiny streaks or black spots on the upholstery.
Bed bug treatments
Bed bug steam and Heat Treatment
Steam and heat must be maintained at 120 degrees and applied precisely to infested areas. Equipment to sustain these high temperatures should only be used by trained pest control professionals.
The process needs to be as dry as possible so that items do not get soaked, making them subject to mildew. The steam produced by carpet cleaners or clothing steamers does not reach a high enough temperature to kill them. It is expensive, multiple treatments are needed, articles can be damaged by heat, and it has only an 80-85% success rate after 2-3 treatments. This targeted treatment works best for small bed bugs and eggs infestations but leaves no residual to kill the offspring of unhatched eggs or bed bugs coming from other places in the room or residence.
Spray bed bug removal
Pest control operators may mention a spray bed bug removal product (access may be limited to licensed pest control operators). It is an aerosol, and it does kill bed bugs. It has to be applied directly to the bed bug-infested area and is limited to spot treatments in cracks and crevices, tufts, and folds of mattresses.
Multiple treatments are recommended. The label states that you should clean and air out the mattress before the treatment. Based on what we know about how easily eggs are knocked loose, unnecessary movement of furniture and mattresses is not wise, as it can spread the infestation. This bed bug removal product is a limited or targeted treatment-the infestation must hit right on, and the homeowner must hope that there has been little spread of eggs and bed bugs.
Get rid of bed bugs with fumigation
Fumigation involves covering the entire house with a tent and infusing it with lethal gas.
Consider how intense the gas must be to permeate an entire house and penetrate a mattress and box springs. It is pretty extreme, wildly expensive, and not available in all areas. It is such a dangerous process that few insurers will cover it.
Bed bug spot treatment
Bed bug spot treatment is only treating the room or bed that is known to be infested.
Bed bugs can be in other rooms whose occupant may not be sensitive to bites or does not realize he/she is being bitten. In addition, many materials used to treat bed bugs are repellant, so bed bugs will flee into other rooms where there is no residual protection. It may seem cheaper initially, but spot treatment usually has a limited guarantee, if any, and additional treatments will come at additional cost to you. You could be fighting bed bugs in new rooms and over an extended period of time. A lower initial cost may look tempting, but it will keep adding up. So, ask yourself whether you can tolerate getting bitten over a period of several months.
The bed bug proof mattress cover
A removable cover that is supposed to protect your mattress from infestation or keep the infestation from exiting the cover.
We know that throwing away or replacing the mattress does not rid you of infestation, so covering up the problem will not help either. The mattress is only one piece of furniture. There are too many other places where bed bugs can live and hide.
Every mattress cover is not bed bug proof. The seams and closure have to be very tight because bed bugs easily walk through the seams of the mattress.
Bed bugs can go for long periods without feeding, so you shouldn’t take off the mattress cover for a year. And this assumes that there are no crevices or exit points in the mattress cover that a skinny, hungry bed bug couldn’t get through in response to repeated exposure to the enticing aroma of your exhalation. The value of mattress cover is that it might restore your sense of cleanliness or newness after the infestation has been officially eliminated.
Bed bug Biology
The amazing spread of bedbugs and the difficulty faced by both pest control operators and homeowners are results of bedbug biology.
Bed bugs can be dormant and live without feeding for long periods of time, depending on temperatures (colder–less time, warmer–more time). The nymphs (young bed bugs) can only live a few months without a food source. Bed bug nymphs have to have a blood feeding to go to the next life stage. Adults can survive a year or longer without feeding.
These pests can travel up to 100 feet for feeding. However, they are generally much closer, around ten to twenty feet from their host-yes, that would be you. Consider that a small bedroom is about ten by ten feet. In apartment buildings and condominiums, 100 feet give them a lot of range (that’s ten floors!), which is why they usually move upward and outward inside the walls. In a detached home with at least one person living, the bed bug would nest close to their human food source. That’s why these pests are often living in a mattress, box spring, headboard, bed frame, nightstand, etc. As the population increases, the pressure for more food moves them out further and further into the home. A by-product of their mating(see next paragraph) puts the pregnant females at risk if they stay near too many males, and this can cause the female bedbugs to move away from the furniture and onto the wall, behind pictures, inside books and other objects. This is when the possibility of carrying insects or their eggs increases, and you may spread the infestation outside of the home.
One female can lay up to 500 eggs during her lifetime. Bed bug eggs have a sticky coating that easily attaches to hard objects like walls or wood. One insemination of a female bug allows her to lay eggs for an entire month. And, each female bed bug is subjected to dozens of inseminations each month. Copulation, also called traumatic insemination, is a brutal process. The male bug jabs at any female body section and even jabs other males. This potential for “over-mating” can be lethal to the female, and she will sometimes flee to unconventional areas to the harbor and can be laying eggs, all the while, in the oddest of areas. Fertilization occurs almost anywhere in the female’s body cavity where she is injected, and she will lay eggs throughout her lifespan as long as she has regular access to food. So, one tiny fertilized female bed bug introduced to your home can be the start of an out-of-control infestation because she remains perpetually fertile.
Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide that people exhale. Bed bugs come out for feeding when they detect the presence of carbon dioxide, which humans produce upon exhaling and heat. Since these pests prefer darkness, you can expect them to be doing most of the damage in your bed during the night. In most cases, bed bugs will live less than twenty feet from the food source, which is usually someone sleeping in a bed. However, the light will not prevent them from feeding when food is available; turning on the lights will not keep them away.
Considering the high rate of reproduction and the distance that bedbugs can travel, an infestation of a single condo or apartment can create a domino effect. As the bed bug population grows, the pressure for more food can send pests scurrying through the wall voids or down the hallway.
Residents trying to treat the infestation themselves with over-the-counter pesticides can also cause them to hide in the walls or the halls because these pesticides are pest repellent. Soon, the bed bug infestation in one apartment can move to another, spread to a whole floor, and move from one floor to all floors. In most cases, there are no solid barriers between condos or apartments, so a light fixture, a light switch, an outlet, gaps at the window and door trim or even where your carpet touches the baseboard or trim provides direct access to the next apartment or condominium and the conditions they favor, both darkness and the close quarters. Once in the walls, their search is aided by the heat and carbon dioxide exhaled by the occupants in adjoining living areas. The higher the occupancy(more people), the more attractive the new space.
Bedbugs feed on you, humans, not your pets. A person’s response to bedbug bites is completely dependent on whether they are allergic to the anesthetic released when they bite you; researchers are not sure what percentage of the population is allergic, but estimates are that 30-50% of people have no allergic response to their bites….so you can have bedbugs and have no idea. It’s a tricky situation with these pests. Two people can sleep in the same bed, and one of them may be bitten while the other isn’t; though it is more likely that both are being bitten, one is more sensitive to the allergen in the bed bug’s saliva than the other person.
Tasty tidbit: The most likely time for bed bugs to feed is just before sunrise.