Detecting bed bugs in your home is no easy task, something that is surely known by residents who have had to deal with the realities of a bed bug infestation. To make matters worse, the longer it takes you to realize that you have bed bugs in your home, the more severe the infestation will become, making it much more difficult and costly to resolve the issue. The main problem with detecting bed bugs in your home lies in the fact that, for the most part, bed bugs come out into the open at night to feed on your blood, while remaining in tiny hiding spaces during the day.
To increase your chances of catching a bed bug infestation early on, you should learn some of their most common hiding spots so that you can do a quick check during your weekly house cleaning routine. Getting into the habit of checking these hiding places will also serve you well while travelling and staying in shared lodgings, which is the most common place that you can unknowingly pick up bed bugs and bring them back to your home.
Often times, even knowing common bed bug hiding spots is still not enough to detect them. If you notice any of the common bed bug warning signs but can not visually detect them, there are various detection devices that can be used. For the best results in any case, hiring an experienced bed bug control company will be a sure way to confirm your bed bug suspicions as they have elaborate tools for seeking out these nasty pests.
In this article we will go over some of the most common bed bug hiding spots and explain the most effective bed bug detection devices available.
Common Bed Bug Hiding Spots
Due to their tiny size of less than 6 mm in length, bed bugs are very elusive creatures that can hide in hard to reach locations in and around your bed. They rarely come out during the day so to highly increase your chance of finding them you should become familiar with some of their favorite hiding spots, which include:
- Seams of mattress and box spring – this is the most common hiding place for bed bugs. They can go unnoticed here for a long time while being very close to their food source. Any spot on your mattress or box spring that allows them to squeeze between two surfaces is ideal for them.
- Seam of upholstered furniture – similar to the seams of your mattress or box spring, bed bugs can also be found hiding in other furniture within your bedroom.
- Headboard and bed frame – also close to their feeding source, bed bugs tend to hide in tiny cracks & crevices within your bed frame.
- Behind wallpaper, baseboards, electrical outlets and other small spaces near your bed
Bed bugs will pretty much hide anywhere that is a tight fit for them and is near a food source. A good practice is to do a quick check of the most common areas listed above during your weekly house cleaning routine, or to thoroughly look at them if you notice any bed bug warning signs such as little brown spots on your bed sheets or bite marks on your skin. If you can’t find them but suspect that they are in your home, try using one of the detection devices below.
Finding Bed Bugs With Detection Devices
Detection devices are essentially bed bug traps. They work on the same concept as most other traps in that they are meant to capture live bed bugs in their tracks. You would normally use these types of devices when you suspect that a bed bug infestation has begun in your home but you have not seen any solid evidence yet. By setting up bed bug detection devices you may be able to identify a bed bug infestation early on, making it easier and cheaper for a professional to eradicate the problem.
Bed bug detection devices, similar to traps, come in two main forms; those that must be strategically placed to be in the direct path of bed bugs, and those that use attractive scents to lure bed bugs in. In either case, you should leave these devices out for at least 10 days if you suspect there is a bed bug infestation in your home because in the case of a small infestation, it may take a few days to capture a bed bug.
Intercepting Bed Bug Detection Devices
Intercepting devices work on the concept of catching bed bugs directly on the path they travel from their hiding spots to their feeding ground, aka your body. Therefore, these devices must be strategically placed between you and areas of the home you believe they might be hiding.
A very simple and effective version of this is to create a perimeter on your mattress made out of double sided tape. This way you will capture all bed bugs that are trying to feed on your blood while you sleep as they will have to cross this perimeter. Once they step on the tape, they will get stuck giving you the proof you need to take further actions.
Lured Bed Bug Detection Devices
In the case of lured bed bug detection devices, you do not have to be as strategic with their placement, but should still place them near your bed since this is where the highest concentration of bed bugs will be found. These devices use attractive chemicals or scents, such as carbon dioxide, to lure the bed bugs directly into the trap in the same way that mouse traps use cheese to lure mice in. Once the bed bug makes the mistake of entering this device, they will enter a one way door which they can not escape, once again giving you the evidence you need.