One of the most common misconceptions about bed bugs is that they only hide in people’s beds. This is an understandable mistake, as it’s right there in their name. However, bed bugs are so tiny that they can hide almost anywhere! A fully grown adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed, so they can fit into the tiniest of hiding spots. Don’t be fooled by their name and only look in your bed. Here are ten places you should look for the sneaky pests.
Hiding Spot #1: Your Bed
This one might seem fairly obvious, but unsurprisingly, bed bugs do like to hang out in your bed. They are nighttime predators and enjoy being close to humans at night so that they can feast on blood while you’re sleeping. They prefer to feed while humans are asleep because their bites don’t typically wake people up. This way, they can feed without interruptions.
Even if you don’t see any signs of bed bugs when you glance over your cushions, it’s worth taking a closer look. Bed bugs aren’t the brightest creatures, but they’re smart enough not to hang out in the open most of the time. If you’re checking your cushions for bed bugs, always remember to move the cushions and check the bottoms and sides, as well as any crevices between cushions, such as the gaps between cushions on couches or loveseats.
Hiding Spot #3: Hotel Rooms
This one might seem fairly obvious as well. Bed bugs in hotel rooms are a pretty common occurrence, so common that there are entire websites dedicated to helping people figure out which hotels have had bed bug issues and which haven’t. It’s worth checking out one of those sites or calling the hotel ahead of time before making a booking. Check the sheets and upholstery for signs of bed bugs as soon as you get into your room as well.
Hiding Spot #4: Used Cars and Ride-Shares
Bed bugs are the last thing you probably want to think about when you’re purchasing a car or calling a ride-share, but it’s a possibility! Bed bugs have been known to hide in the seats and/or floor mats in cars. Depending on the color of the car in question, it could be easy to spot signs of bed bugs, or not so much. If the car has a dark interior, that could make bugs tough to spot. We suggest using a flashlight. However, if the car’s interior is a light color, like beige, signs of bed bugs will likely be easier to spot.
Hiding Spot #5: Behind Wallpaper
Remember when we mentioned that bed bugs are small enough to hide pretty much anywhere, even the smallest and weirdest places? If your wallpaper is peeling even a little bit, they can actually hide behind the wallpaper! Check behind peeling bits of wallpaper for signs of bed bugs, like small dark fecal stains.
Hiding Spot #6: Waiting Rooms
Again, bed bugs are probably the last thing you want to think about when you’re in a waiting room, especially if you’re at a doctors’ office and not feeling well, but a few preventative steps never hurt! Try to avoid sitting on the chairs or couches in waiting rooms if possible. Wait to sit down until you get back to an exam room and can sit on a paper-covered surface.
Hiding Spot #7: Thrift Store Finds and Curbside Treasures
People put furniture out to the curb all the time and it may be tempting to pick it up, especially if it looks particularly nice. However, it may be out on the curb for a good reason, and that reason just might be bed bugs. Some people will write “bed bugs” across contaminated furniture so that others don’t pick it up, but not everybody does this. Thrift stores are another place to exercise caution. Generally, people wash their clothes before donating them, but again, not everybody does this. Most thrift stores do not wash their donations after they come in due to the sheer amount of clothes that come in each day.
Believe it or not, used books (mostly hardback books) are a pretty good hiding place for bed bugs. They don’t typically hide on the pages of books, instead opting for the space between the spine and the pages. Fortunately, if you find bed bugs in your books, it’s not difficult to get rid of them. Heat kills bed bugs, and since paper doesn’t burn until 451 degrees Fahrenheit, you can safely put the affected books into an oven at 175-200 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour to kill the bugs.
Hiding Spot #9: Airplanes
Airplanes are very safe, but they aren’t the most comfortable way to travel. They also aren’t always the cleanest way to travel. Airplanes are typically deep cleaned every 30-45 days. This is when the seat covers, tray tables, and overhead bins are cleaned. Consequently, if a passenger brings bed bugs onto an airplane, they could live on the seats or in the carpets for a month. The bugs could climb onto other unsuspecting travelers, heading home on their clothing or belongings.
Hiding Place #10: Your Clothes and Belongings
We’ve already talked about watching out for bed bugs on thrift-store finds, but unfortunately, bed bugs can climb onto your clothes or belongings from any of the aforementioned hiding places. They can hide out in the folds of your clothes or inside your purse until you’re home, then disembark and wander off to explore- and infest- your home. If you’ve been on a plane, in a waiting room, or any other place where bed bugs are a real risk, we recommend washing and drying your clothes as soon as possible when you get home.
Are Bed Bugs Hiding Out in Your Home?
If you think you have bed bugs or are interested in a home heat sanitation treatment, contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC in Lakewood, Ohio! We use heat treatment to eradicate bed bugs and we offer entire home sanitation heat treatments. This safe, effective treatment is completed in less than 12 hours, and Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC offers a 60-day warranty for you to verify for yourself that your bed bugs are fully eradicated. Contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC today for a FREE quote at (216) 221-1227 or through our website, and check out our other bed bug informational resources on identification, prevention, and eradication.