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Bed Bug Hiding Places 


Bed bugs are found in all types of dwellings and transportation vehicles including single family homes, apartments, public housing, hotels and motels, movie theaters, buses and trains. Within these environments, harborages include:

  1. Tufts, seams, button on mattresses

  2. Inside and under box springs

  3. Bed frames and covers

  4. Couches and chairs

  5. Window and door moldings

  6. Behind wall paper and pictures

  7. Cracks in hardwood flooring

  8. Under carpet along walls

  9. Wall voids behind switch plates and outlets

  10. Luggage, backpacks, clothing

Bedbugs found on mattress. When inspecting use gloves and

thoroughly inspect mattress seams, tufts and folds

Signs of a bedbug infestation can include:

  • small bugs or tiny white eggs in the crevices and joints of your mattress and furniture – use a bright torch to check for these 

  • bites on your skin 

  • tiny black spots on your mattress – this could be their dried poo 

  • mottled bedbug shells – bedbugs shed their skin as they grow 

  • blood spots on your sheets – these can occur if you squash a bug after it has fed 

  • an unpleasant, musty scent in your bedroom 

Bedbugs tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic and metal, and often hide near to where you sleep – for example, under the mattress or along the headboard.

But they can be found away from the bed in other furniture, along the edges of carpets and even behind mirrors or inside smoke alarms.


Inspection for bed bug infestations must be very thorough. Your primary tool is a flashlight.

Since bed bugs are cryptic insects and spend most of their time hiding, you will need a

flashlight to find them. You must move and/or disassemble some items while searching

including beds, dressers, carpets and rugs. While you inspect, be alert for a bed bug smell

which has been described as an obnoxious sweetness or fresh, red raspberries. You should

also look for accumulations of cast nymphal skins and for stains of blood spots on sheets and

linens. A common location for bed bug infestations is a box spring. The framework is often

made of wood and contains cracks can crevices suitable for harborage. Other common areas

include wall voids, behind switch plates, interior corners of bedside tables, under the edges of wall to wall carpeting, couches and stuffed chairs.



Bed bugs are active at night and are adept at hiding in dark places during the day. They most often hide in crevices and in spaces between mattresses and box springs, on bed frames and headboards, and between couch and chair cushions. They are less commonly found in dressers and nightstands, in and on luggage, in electrical outlets, and among clutter. Once they infest a room, they often travel to adjacent rooms.

Prevention and Control

Proper sanitation practices and diligence can help prevent bed bug infestation.

  • Inspect for bed bugs wherever you sit or stay. Eggs are tiny white ovals, bed bugs are brownish, shed skins are yellowish, and fecal spots black.

  • If you may have been exposed to bedbugs, wash and dry your clothes on high heat, then run them through the dryer again for at least 20 minutes. Dry clean items that cannot be machine-dried. Place shoes and other non-washable items into sealable plastic bags and place them in the freezer overnight to kill bed bugs that might be on or in them.

  • Never bring used or discarded furniture or clothing into your home unless it has been carefully inspected for bed bugs. Wash and/or freeze clothing and other items as described above.

  • If you find bed bugs at home, heat is the most thorough, efficient chemical free method to use. Either conduct a heat treatment yourself or use a professional pest control service and request that they use heat. Chemicals require repeated visits to the site. It is not necessary to use chemicals where you live. Heat is clean and efficient.

  • Other heat treatment benefits include removal of odors from cooking, smoking, animals, urine, and bacteria.

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